Irish firms top IDC’s list of wireless vendors to watch


21 Dec 2004

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Irish wireless software players ChangingWorlds and Valista have been included by IDC in a list of the “10 Emerging Wireless Players to Watch in 2005”.

According to IDC, some of the most interesting companies in wireless today are smaller companies that, despite their relative anonymity, are poised to play significant roles in the rapidly evolving wireless marketplace. Because smaller companies are often hotbeds of innovation and creative solutions or have a wireless vision that is unique in the marketplace, IDC believes that they are an important group to track and analyze.

Each year, IDC’s wireless services analysts assemble a list of smaller wireless players that have the potential to make an impact on the wireless marketplace that is disproportionate to their current size. Both Valista and ChangingWorlds were included as taking part in a market segment whereby companies are focused on driving the wireless data, content, applications and marketing spaces.

Last month, Valista signed a technology deal potentially worth up to €10m with one of the world’s biggest internet service providers, AOL, which boasts up to 23 million customers worldwide. The deal will see Valista’s OfferPlus micro-payment software deployed to enable AOL sell premium services such as music, games, security software and movie clips to customers. Valista’s OffersPlus allows consumers to purchase goods and services according to their needs. First-time or low-use customers can pay for services individually, while higher-use or loyal consumers can save by purchasing bundles (packages of content) and subscriptions.

In May Swisscom Mobile chose University College Dublin software company ChangingWorlds to deliver its advanced intelligent navigation and portal management solution on the Swisscom Mobile Vodafone Live! portal. ChangingWorlds’ ClixSmart Intelligent Portal Platform technology will make it easier for Swisscom’s 3.7 million customers to access mobile content and services most relevant to them.

ChangingWorlds’ intelligent navigation helps users to locate content on a mobile portal more efficiently, by effectively restructuring the portal in response to its access patterns. Sites and services accessed regularly by a user are actively promoted to higher positions within the portal and, over time, the structure of the portal will adapt to the usage patterns of each individual user.

Other companies listed in the IDC top 10 includes Sms.ac, OZ, Digital Chocolate, Versaly Entertainment, WaveMarket, Ascendent, Connexion and MindWireless.

Collectively, IDC reckons the outlook for these emerging wireless players is bright when set against the backdrop of the rapidly evolving wireless ecosystem and marketplace, evolving market strategies of larger wireless players, the entrance of new players such as mobile virtual network operators and the overall trend of wireless becoming increasingly central to ever more subscribers.

Consolidation and acquisition are likely for these companies and their competitors over the next 12 to 36 months, following the current trend in which successful smaller wireless-focused companies either merge together or are acquired by larger players.

However, the past 12 months has shown that the role smaller companies are playing in driving the wireless markets continues to be one of the brightest stories of wireless and is set to continue into the future says IDC.

By John Kennedy