Fierce 15 -- entrepreneurial spirit thrives in tough times

Despite tough economic times and a decline in venture capital funding, the U.S. wireless industry still attracts numerous start ups and entrepreneurs. But today's wireless entrepreneurs must be particularly nimble and creative, because financing dollars are difficult to find and investors are much more careful about where they put their investments.

Every year FierceWireless editors evaluate hundreds of the most innovative and smart emerging companies in the wireless industry. Our final selection--the top 15--are listed here as part of the FierceWireless' annual Fierce 15 list.

The winners this year are diverse. However, unlike previous years, many of these Fierce 15 winners provide practical solutions to existing problems. For example, one winner created an application that allows subscribers to report network problems. Another was picked because its software helps carriers manage broadband data network congestion. Two winners were chosen because the service they provide--delivering wireless broadband to rural America--fulfills a critical need.

One thing all our Fierce 15 companies have in common is a bright executive team and the potential to advance the wireless industry. Here are the firms that we think will become a great success story. --Sue, @FierceWireless

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