Where it's based: Seattle,
When it was founded: 2004
Why it's Fierce: Cequint has embraced the philosophy that simple is better. The company created a software solution called City ID that provides consumers with the city and state associated with the exchange and area code of the incoming call. Since Caller ID doesn't exist in wireless, this is a very compelling feature for users.
The Caller ID application is installed on the handset by the device manufacturer, making it a fairly inexpensive application for operators because they don't have to do anything to their network or infrastructure. However, Cequint does have to convince handset makers to install the application on the device, something that is made easier once a carrier agrees to launch the application. So far Cequint has Alltel as a customer. Alltel started offering the service last May and in March the company announced City ID was available on more than 2 million Alltel phones. Alltel offers customers a free 15-day trial and when the trial expires the service is available for $1.99 per month.
Analysts are bullish on these types of simple applications that build customer loyalty and increase ARPU. Both Iain Gillott of iGR Research and Chetan Sharma have praised City ID for its ability to provide a simple application that customers are willing to use and pay for. iGR estimates that an operator with 30 million subscribers and a City ID penetration rate of 20 percent could generate additional revenues of $143 million.
What to look for: Look for Cequint to increase its reach by adding more handsets to its portfolio.