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TheFeature: Building a Wireless Economy

Carlo Longino has written an article based on IC²'s Wireless Future report, published at The Feature.

The meat of the report, however, is the suggestions it makes to Austin leaders in government, education, and business. It identifies a number of areas in which different constituencies in the city must deliver, and also lists a number of elements important to the growth of wireless businesses. These companies' top concern is access to investment capital, something common to new ventures anywhere. But the companies are also looking for well-trained and talented labor pool, and support from the city government and community.

IC2 offers several steps to take to make these a reality. Its first is to build a better social network for wireless companies in the area to foment cohesion in the industry. The thinking here is simply that a rising tide raises all ships, and to this end, the Austin Wireless Alliance was formed late last year. Community activists also started the Austin Wireless City project, which is dedicated to the proliferation of free, public Wi-Fi hotspots in town.

Another recommendation is for the local wireless industry to build on Austin's existing strengths in semiconductors, software, and digital media. As noted earlier, large companies like Motorola and AMD are heavily involved in the wireless chip business, along with Samsung, Intel, and others. Austin also has a strong background in software and video games in particular, with companies like Origin, Ion Storm, Digital Anvil, These fields complement the wireless industry; wireless devices and networks need semiconductors and flash memory, while digital media is converging on wireless devices. The expertise already here in the city in these areas is an invaluable tool to its relatively young wireless stable.



Wireless part of Austin's new economy

News 8 Austin features an interview with Alex Cavalli of IC² and Erin Defosse of IC²'s Austin Technology Incubator discussing Austin's wireless future. [Link]

Erin: Well, you know the great thing is that Austin already has phenomenal assets in order to do this. We have a deep set of expertise and capabilities in the semiconductor industry, which we developed over many years, software as well. And those two are key elements if you want to play in the wireless sector. So really, one of the things that we're going to be able to do in Austin, and we're starting to do, is we want to bring together those assets and industry together with what is happening at the University of Texas, together with what the city and the state want to do and collaborate. If we can collaborate – and we're starting to do this as evidenced by this event – which is really a collaboration of all those areas. If we can collaborate and speak with one voice to the rest of the country and the rest of the world for that matter, then I think we're going to be very successful.

Buffalo Technology and Fly Technology launch a strategic marketing partnership

Austin, TX – January 12, 2004 – Buffalo Technology a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of networking solutions for home, SOHO and SMBs and Fly Technology, L.P., an Internet services aggregation company for service providers and online communities today announced a co-marketing and promotional partnership.

Buffalo will integrate into its firmware access to a free trial of Fly Technology’s TotalPort®. The service will be available with Buffalo’s AirStation G54 Wireless Broadband Base Station-g (WBR-G54) and its LinkStation Network Storage Center (HD-H120LAN) as a value-added component for its wireless customers in the home, SOHO and SMB markets.

TotalPort is a complete Internet services suite that allows customers to easily store, access and share files, view multiple email accounts, chat, maintain contacts and more all on a private "Dashboard". TotalPort also provides easy, secure, one-stop access to private data and public Web sites via any compatible Internet browser. By integrating TotalPort into its products, Buffalo is offering its customers a simple and secure way to store and exchange files such as presentations, videos, music, etc. on their wireless network as well as gain access to the other beneficial services TotalPort offers.

“We are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of employees who work form home as well as an increase in users who want more control over their Internet services. Of course, home wireless networks are also on the increase, and users need the ability to manage and access their vital data very quickly and easily,” stated Morikazu Sano, vice president of Buffalo’s Networking Division. “Including TotalPort with our products ties up all the possible services that a customer may want into a tidy, economical package. It gives users more control over their Internet experience and personal data with less hassle.”

“This an extremely beneficial agreement for both parties – we couldn’t be more excited about its potential for expanding the reach of TotalPort throughout the U.S.,” said Ben Levenson, CEO of Fly Technology. “Buffalo Technology is providing an effective vehicle to drive TotalPort into a very targeted market, and we are helping to differentiate their offering by placing a value-added service at their customers’ fingertips.”

To utilize the service, a new WBR-G54 or LinkStation user receives a free domain name (e.g. www.myname.com) when they sign-up for a free trial of TotalPort. The domain is registered in the customer's name and hosting begins on Fly Technology’s data center servers. Users receive the benefits of e-mail, web hosting and their own FTP site that is highly secure. The user interface and customization are extremely simple to use.

With TotalPort’s email solution, users can set-up and manage multiple e-mail accounts and receive the benefit of free Spam prevention. Users can also import existing email accounts and send email contacts links to a stored files for quick and easy download. Data stored in TotalPort can be accessed from a browser and users can easily drag and drop files from a location on their PC or Mac. Users can even map a drive to TotalPort so that it will appear as a local folder. All communications are highly secure and encrypted with 128-bit SSL. For simple and quick Web site design, TotalPort offers wizards that require no knowledge of HTML or advanced website development.

The new product offering will be available on the shelves and for download in January 2004. To encourage maximum use of TotalPort, customers that purchase Buffalo’s products featuring TotalPort® will receive promotional pricing for the service.


UWB Leader Alereon Closes $31.5 Million Series A Financing

Austin's Alereon, the leading Ultra Wideband (UWB) semiconductor company producing chipsets for the personal area networking (PAN) market, today announced it has received $31.5 million in the first round of its Series A financing. Alereon will use the proceeds to complete development of its UWB chipset solution, bring its product to market, secure design wins, and achieve initial revenue. The Series A round was led by Austin Ventures with participation by Pharos Capital, Centennial Ventures, Kinetic Ventures, eCentury Capital, Duchossois Technology Partners, PTV Sciences and other investors. The company expects to close on a small amount of additional funding in early 2004 to complete its Series A financing round. [Continued]