March 07, 2006, 3:36 PM — This week's highlighted research:
VisionGain Intelligence. "Venture capital in wireless and telecoms. Funding a technology innovation."
In-Stat. "Corporate buying of wireless services and equipment 2005."
Analysys. "Scenarios for the evolution of the wireless industry in Europe to 2010 and beyond."
Trying to stay on top of the latest telecom trend is sort of like my Boston Terrier chasing squirrels. He never catches up to them, but never gives up trying.
Venture capitalists, unlike my dog, occasionally catch one (a successful telecom company, not a squirrel). And the VC's biggest target now is wireless telecoms. According to a report from VisionGain Intelligence, last year there were 152 wireless companies that received a total of $1.3 billion in VC funding, up 24 percent over 2004. Wireless accounted for a full seven percent of all VC investment last year, and this figure is likely to rise in the years ahead.
In the telecom business, about 60 percent of all investment is in wireless and wireless-related technology. And this does in fact make a lot of sense. For decades, there was virtually no change in the state of telephony. But recently, two major shifts occurred that changed the face of telephony forever: a shift towards IP-based telephony, and the appearance and demand for wireless. We can now send phone calls over the Internet, and we can carry our phones around with us--two big paradigm changes that have resulted in big demand, and billions of dollars of spending.
And there's no sign of this changing. Internet telephony has become accepted, and more people are switching to broadband phones. The call quality problems of early VoIP have long since been overcome, and consumers are already being bombarded with silly television commercials from VoIP companies. As I write this column, I can't get the Vonage "woo-hoo, woo-hoo-hoo" jingle out of my head. And of course, everywhere you look, almost anywhere in the world--from the most developed country to the poorest third world village--people are talking on cell phones.
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