Nine wireless network companies to watch

Smarter smart phones, beyond the BlackBerry and exploiting XML

KORE Telematics , U.S. subsidiary of KORE Wireless Group

Founded: May 2002

Location: Virginia, US

What it offers: A mobile virtual net operator, KORE buys wholesale GSM cellular capacity from a group of carriers. What's different is KORE's "subscribers": electric meters, pumps, natural gas pipelines, landfills, semi-trailer trucks, even temporary ATM machines. The company works with over 400 application service providers (ASPs) to wed an array of sensor devices with GSM interfaces to enable machine-to-machine data communications, telemetry, and voice services for monitoring and control. Round the clock, KORE supports services such as specialized VPN interconnects, provisioning and billing, all based on the company's proprietary software and low-level connections to carrier networks. The company claims to be the largest all-digital provider in the machine-to-machine market.

Why it's worth watching: KORE exploits the trends in wireless sensor networking -- the ability to more easily collect data from the physical world with miniaturized, long-lived sensors -- and leverages them by using widespread GSM cellular networks. It creates a medium to identify, collect and transmit data from almost anywhere to enterprise applications and databases, where it becomes grist for decisions on such critical business issues as return-on-investment, compliance, efficiency and safety. Others in this field include Aeris and Numerex.

Management: Alex Brisbourne, president and one of the four founding investors, most recently a general partner with Aegis Management, a technology incubator, and previously served as general manager for Microcell, a Canadian GSM mobile operator; CEO Chris Scatliff, also a founder, was formerly president and CEO of UUNet Canada (now MCI Canada).

How it got its start: The founders foresaw a market growing quickly to hundreds of millions of sensor units that could supply data vital to businesses. The missing ingredient was a vendor that could marry a highly reliable, digital wide-area network with integration tools and support for ASPs.

How company got its name: The all-caps name deliberately echoes "core," to suggest a company and product that was central to powering network applications.

Funding: Undisclosed. Investors controlling in excess of 95 percent of company are Terry Jarman, Chris Scatliff, Richard Burston and Alex Brisbourne.

Who's using the product: RFTrax uses KORE for its remote asset management telemetry solution for freight transportation companies. The Asset Management Platform for locomotives lets railroads see in real time what's happening aboard locomotives equipped with the RFTrax transceiver.

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John Cox

Network World

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