And the 2007 Fierce 15 winners are...
(click a company to read its profile)
(Click here to find out what happened to these companies.)
It's been more than 20 years since the first cellular phone made its debut in the U.S. and the wireless industry is still going strong. Sure it's maturing and converging but this dynamic industry continues to draw flocks of subscribers who want to sign up for service, upgrade handsets and download applications.
I guess it's no surprise then that this vibrant industry still attracts a bevy of smart startups and adventurous entrepreneurs. There's no better proof of this than the Fierce 15, FierceWireless' annual list of the top emerging companies in the wireless industry.
Our winners this year are a diverse mix. If there's one common theme to these companies it is that the vast majority of them have strong executive teams with wireless company experience. Although wireless experience doesn't necessarily guarantee success, it often does provide the necessary entree to the wireless operator, which we believe is still key to longevity in this business.
Not surprisingly, many of the 2007 Fierce 15 firms are focused on innovative applications--both for the consumer and enterprise markets. Applications, not equipment, were a common theme at the recent CTIA Wireless conference in Orlando where most of the companies on the show floor were demonstrating applications that would boost operator revenue. This was a striking change from the past when the focus was more on telecom equipment.
Location-based services, mobile banking and mobile payments are just a few of the compelling services that appear to be making progress with operators. Some of the companies we selected will take advantage of these trends and offer what we believe are groundbreaking solutions.
But that doesn't mean that you should disregard technology offerings. A few of our Fierce 15 firms are making interesting strides in the market because they solve specific technology problems--problems that will likely make a big difference in voice quality, data rates and consumer satisfaction.
The 2007 Fierce 15 companies are privately held firms that were evaluated and selected by the FierceWireless editors. They were chosen because we think they have the potential to advance the North American wireless industry and become a great success story--these are companies that are the epitome of fierce. - Sue