Mobile World Congress 2016 is shaping up to be the biggest yet, with close to 100,000 mobile telecoms professionals congregating in Barcelona. Among them will be 26 cutting-edge Irish tech players.
Among the 26 companies will be 18 tech firms that will be on the Enterprise Ireland pavilion, including five new start-up companies.
“These companies are already attracting the attention of major international players and the Mobile World Congress (MWC) will provide them with the perfect platform to demonstrate these solutions and to strengthen their ties with mobile operators and other key players in the global telecoms ecosystem,” explained John McNamara, manager of Enterprise Ireland’s software division.
So, in no particular order, here’s the best of the Irish at Mobile World Congress 2016, which will take place from 22 to 25 February.
1. Asavie Technologies
Asavie Technologies has a busy week ahead, starting with recruitment efforts at Career Zoo tomorrow (20 February), then hosting two stands at MWC next week.
The growing connectivity services company has much to offer mobile operators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), particularly in its PassBridge platform, which enables rapid launch, scaling and security of end-user-focused enterprise mobility and IoT services.
Eir, Three, Vodafone, O2, Telenor, AT&T and Telefónica are already part of Asavie’s client list, but there’s always room for more at the company that has found success at MWC before.
2. Druid Software
A veteran of MWC at this stage, Druid Software provides for managed cellular coverage and applications within an enterprise domain.
Created back in 2001, Druid has moved from custom-designed software services to its flagship network application Raemis in recent years. Operating out of Bray, the company’s service basically creates a localised network, into a defined geographic domain.
Founded just last year, SiteSpy will be at MWC promoting the upcoming beta of its tech. That tech provides mobile operators and vendors with an internet of things solution that automatically monitors the orientation of antennae.
By monitoring this orientation autonomously, SiteSpy’s smart sensor cluster reduces the risk of undetected coverage issues.
Dublin-based Edgetier aims to simplify complex decisions by providing data and analytics products for mobile operators.
One of the company’s products is tariff simulation software, letting companies view what different price scales will do to the customer base.
5. Cubic Telecom
Founded originally in Cork, Cubic Telecom has grown to work with some of the world’s biggest transport, telecoms and tech brands.
The Dublin-based company is actively working with some of the world’s leading Fortune 100 tablet and notebook manufacturers, including HP and Lenovo, and Australian retail giant Woolworths
In May, Audi and chip giant Qualcomm made an €18m investment in Cubic Telecom to put 3G and 4G connectivity in Audi vehicles.
Recently, Cubic signed a major deal with Japanese internet giant Rakuten that will see it create a mobile SIM that can be used anywhere in the world.
HeyStaks is a data science start-up that has developed a method of analysing web user’s browsing patterns.
Think of Google or Facebook’s targeted ads – this is a more advanced version, analysing user’s patterns in real-time, and purportedly giving subscribers a much more in-depth profile of every user.
7. Escher Group
Originally from Boston, founded way back in 1989, software company Escher Group moved its HQ to Dublin around 10 years ago.
Providing outsourced, POS software to the postal industry, Escher’s business is pretty global, with it recently landing major contracts in both Germany and the US.
Taoglas is an Enniscorthy tech company specialising in the industrial internet of things (IoT) and radio frequency devices for machine-to-machine (M2M) platforms. The company has just invested $2m in an IoT lab in San Diego to support wireless device manufacturers.
The company helps design and develop radio frequency (RF) for some of the world’s biggest consumer and B2B brands.
Formed in Enniscorthy 12 years ago, the company is led by Dermot O’Shea and Ronan Quinlan and employs 37 people in Wexford and more than 130 worldwide.
Founded in Dublin in 2008, mobile network solutions company Equiendo has – in response to the massive growth in global mobile phone ownership – built a cloud-driven suite of software designed to help operators improve network services while cutting costs.
Telecoms software provider Openet has developed systems to enable communication service providers to become digital service providers.
Founded in 1999, Openet utilises software to help providers update legacy systems, to cut costs and to better target customers.
11. Inhance Technology
Inhance Technology is a Cork-based company that creates software applications for mobile carriers.
Founded back in 2005 – and with a hub in the US – Inhance won one of the 2014 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 awards less than 18 months ago,
Brite:Bill believes its approach to customer-centric billing and communications for operators is transforming the telecoms billing landscape for both service providers and users. Having landed multi-million-dollar deals with tier-one operators such as Vodafone, Sprint and T-Mobile, the telecoms world apparently thinks so too.
Brite:Bill leaders Alan Coleman (co-founder and CEO) and Jim Hannon (co-founder and CTO) will be attending MWC with the team to share a new product announcement, as well as analysis and industry insight. There will also be product demos and briefings, and if that’s not enough to entice visitors to the stand, Brite:Bill has promised to host Guinness and nibbles daily from 5pm to 7pm. Who could resist?
13. Adaptive Mobile
Founded in 2004 in Dublin, Adaptive Mobile has established itself as one of the largest mobile security firms around, with more than 1bn subscribers, including major mobile networks and broadband providers, to its network-to-handset security products.
With additional offices in North America, Europe, South Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region, Adaptive Mobile will be showcasing some of its latest security products at Mobile World Congress, including its SS7 Protection standard.
Madme is all about advertising, creating ways for brands to get their name out “in a non-intrusive way”.
With offices in London and Boston, and a HQ in Dublin, most R&D is done in Ireland, with a successful €1m funding round two years ago setting the start-up on its way to success.
15. GeoPal Solutions
A Siliconrepublic.com Start-up of the Week in 2013, GeoPal solutions is a cloud service and mobile app for companies that need to manage a workforce that is based in ‘the field’ rather than the office.
For companies that have fleets of drivers or employees off-site, GeoPal’s smartphone app sends back information to the head office in real-time so they can keep track of workers and activity.
Founded by Gerard O’Keeffe, Paul Coyle and Sean O’Reilly in 2011, GeoPal was also named as one of Siliconrepublic.com’s 25 trailblazing companies proving Ireland is an IoT hub last year.
Specifically, the company is focusing on the problem of International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF), which accounts for 26pc of the total $48bn a year in fraud that impacts mobile operators.
Xintec has created a new platform called Fraudstrike, which consists of a database of more than 200,000 numbers identified as being used by fraudsters and a set of detection techniques to enable early reaction.
Xintec’s technology is currently used by Vodafone, Orange, KPN and by Denis O’Brien’s Digicel in the Caribbean.
Dublin-based Benetel celebrates 15 years in business this year and returns to Mobile World Congress to showcase its latest LTE eNodeB small cell hardware platforms.
In brief, Benetel provides LTE hardware platforms, specialist design services, reference designs and test systems to wireless telecom OEMs, enabling them to increase the speed to market of the newest 4G small cell base stations. The company is growing in Ireland and expanding into international markets, including the UK, US, South America and a number of countries across eastern Europe and Asia.
18. Accuris Networks
Based in Dublin, Accuris Networks has for the last number of years been developing a means of creating a seamless and secure connection as a mobile user switches between LTE, GSM, Wi-Fi or IPX connections.
With more than 60 staff at its Dublin office, since it last announced an expansion following a €15m funding round, the company’s technology has been deployed across the US, western Europe, the Middle East and Asia by operators that include AT&T, China Mobile, Digicel, Sprint and Telenor. Partners include Cisco, HP and Alcatel-Lucent.
19. Alpha Wireless
With a base of operations in Portlaoise, Alpha Wireless has turned itself into a rather successful international company, with its range of 4G telecoms antennae produced both in Ireland and in Taiwan.
Used by more than 150 networks across the globe, the company has received considerable investment from VC funds, as well as signing a deal with mobile manufacturing giant Samsung back in 2014.
Last November, the company launched a new range of small cell antennae capable of being attached to existing infrastructure, such as a street light that will be on display at this year’s Mobile World Congress.
Vistatec is a long-standing success story on the Irish tech scene, having been established in 1997.
Vistatec specialises in localising content for brands: it takes brands’ content and translates and adapts it to ensure it will work and have the desired impact in the local market.
The Dublin-headquartered company, which also has offices in Silicon Valley, works across a range of sectors, including life sciences, software and IT, and telecoms and mobile, and some of its biggest clients include Sony and Intel.
21. Imob Media
Chaired by former Eircell CEO and Apple board member Stephen Brewer, Dublin-headquartered Imob Media specialises in helping physical retailers use mobile technology to turn passersby into paying customers.
The company enables high street retailers to use geo-fencing technology to cleverly engineer customers of brands to enter the store to make a purchase.
The company describes itself as a white-label, permission-based marketing platform enabling mobile network operators to target customers with contextual offers in real-time based on preference, profile and/or proximity.
22. Aspire Technology
Having been in the business for more than 20 years, Aspire Technology offers end-to-end network consultancy on a whole host of issues that mobile operators tend to come across, including legacy platform migrations and infrastructure enhancements of 4G networks.
Much of its efforts are geared towards reducing capital expenditure, as well as operating expenditure, through products like its nSpire SaaS solution to subscribers through a mobile app that is currently deployed globally in 31 operator markets. Back in 2014, the company’s CEO, Bill Walsh, was named among the 24 finalists for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
Cesanta is a software company that is helping to drive the internet of things (IoT) with embedded communications technology.
Founded in 2013 by Anatoly Lebedev (CEO) and Sergey Lyubka (CTO), after the pair met while working in Google, Cesanta’s offices are in Dublin.
The company is making waves in the IoT space by using software libraries and embedded solutions to enable apps, devices and machines to connect and communicate.
The company’s clients include Dell, Samsung and Hewlett Packard, and it will be at Mobile World Congress displaying its IoT solution Smart.js.
Start-up KillBiller’s flagship product is a free app that tracks your mobile phone use and tells you how much you would pay on other mobile phone plans in Ireland, the UK and Canada, giving you a like-for-like comparison of your options. The trio of founders – CEO Shane Lynn, CTO Bart Lehane and CIO Ciarán Tobin – are passionate about consumer transparency, and while that might scare some of the operators at MWC, it will surely appeal to the consumers.
This early-stage company originated at the Dublin Launch48 start-up weekend in 2013 and, last year, was named Best New Start Company at the Dublin regional finals of the InterTradeIreland All-Island Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition.
If you have received an SMS message from a subscription service, then it’s likely that the Irish company Anam is the one that has made it secure.
Founded in Dublin by its current CEO Louise O’Sullivan, Anam has made a name for itself as an independent SMS firewall and application-to-person (A2P) monetisation service provider in the world, filtering billions of messages in more than 60 countries currently.
While its head office is in Dublin, Anam also has a presence in Kuala Lumpur, London, Hong Kong and Hanoi. One of Anam’s key services is a sophisticated filtering system that allows operators to monitor, detect, block and report on SMS spam, called SMS Firewall. In February 2015, O’Sullivan was one of two women named among the 50 most inspiring people in Europe’s tech community.
26. Tango Telecom
Tango Telecom was founded in 1999 in Limerick, where its global headquarters is still based, but it now also has regional offices in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Dubai, Nairobi, Boston and Mexico City.
It is the leading global provider of data monetisation solutions for evolving mobile networks, and is particularly active in Asia, with it having signed a deal to expand its presence in Bangladesh in 2014.
Its clients include América Móvil, Telefónica O2, Indosat and the Axiata Group, and it currently supports more than 140 live systems serving 700m subscribers in 40-plus countries.
Barcelona image at top via Shutterstock