November 4, 2006
If you’re a wireless carrier you know the disruptive combination of IP communications and wireless networks such as WiFi, WiMAX and others could really hurt your business over time. If you are smart you will have already developed technology allowing your wireless service to be extended onto the broadband networks to save precious capacity and also minimize the need for your customers to go and start experimenting with free VoIP offerings from the likes of Skype and others.
One company looking to be the glue connecting wireless providers and VoIP soft clients is Bridgeport Networks whose MobileSTICK USB-SIM solution transforms personal computers into voice, multimedia messaging and presence terminals for mobile operator services.
The company recently made news when it announced $13 million dollars in funding. One would imagine their investors think the company is on the right track. Bridgeport Networks are in a pretty interesting area of telecom and wireless carriers have to look at developing innovative solutions that are sticky to retain customers. MobileSTICK is such an application and to be honest I am surprised MobileSTICK hasn’t been rolled out by at least one US wireless carrier already.
I know one of the known challenges of selling products to telecom providers is how slow they generally move. I have witnessed dozens f companies go belly up over the last few decades because they just didn’t have the staying power to deal with telco bureaucracy. In this case however the telcos are all scared of Skype and have to move quickly to protect their turf. They will have to adopt technology like this. The question is will they do it themselves or work with others to make it happen.