xG Technology to offer low-power handset

Sometimes mice do roar. Sarasota, FL-based start-up xG Technology made a splash last November when it demonstrated a low-power xMax wireless technology. Many treated the company's claims as more or less equal to Uri Geller's spoon-bending. The plucky start-up is pushing forward, however, saying it will start a marketing campaign in the U.S. by the end of the year for its innovative consumer handset. "In the U.S., we plan to utilize a grassroots marketing campaign to roll xMax out on a viral basis," said xG CEO Rick Mooers. An enterprise version of the VoIP handset will be available in the summer with a consumer version to follow by the end of the year.

The handset will enable low-cost VoIP providers, similar to the garage-based ISPs of the 1990s, Mooers explains. To get things going before the xMax base-stations appear, the handset will also operate over WiFi and have an Ethernet socket. xMax uses lower power and can operate in lower-frequency spectrum than other radio technologies such as WiMAX. The company has not provided full details about its technology, but from what we know, the technology uses "single-cycle modulation." It also uses a narrowband timing signal to synchronize and decode a wide-band low-power signal similar to that used in UWB.

The technology, which has been certified to meet FCC radio emissions limits, sends 40 Mbps of data over 15 miles using less than 1W of power. Small independent operators will thus be able to set up cheap base stations and provide connection to the Internet for VoIP services. The company release states that "Small companies, institutions, and communities can deploy wireless VOIP networks for thousands rather than millions of dollars." The technology has so far been approved only in the U.S.

For more on xMx technology and marketing plans:
- see Peter Judge's Techworld discussion
- see Rupert Goodwins' ZDNet-UK report
- Dan Jones' Unstrung report 
- also see the xMax Web site

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