Tuesday 23 January 2018

Irish firms sign major deals at Mobile World Congress

Ireland section at Mobile World Congress
Ireland section at Mobile World Congress
Equiendo executives Margaret Healy (Product Manager) and Cyril Murphy (chief executive)

Adrian Weckler, Technology Editor

A number of Irish companies present at the world's biggest telecoms conference have signed major deals with global phone companies.

Dublin-based marketing firm Brandtone struck a deal with Unilever that will see the conglomerate use Brandtone's databases to reach millions of potential customers worldwide. The deal could make Brandtone "a lot of money", said chief executive Donald Fitzmaurice.

Meanwhile, mobile analytics firm Heystaks is close to signing a deal with a major US telecoms operator that is expected to transform the company's profile, according to chief executive Maurice Coyle. Heystaks also launched a new service that allows mobile operators to look for new advertising revenue streams in place of collapsing SMS income.

Another Dublin firm, Asavie struck a commercial deal with Scandinavian operator Telenor for 'machine-to-machine' sim card technology.

Meanwhile, mobile network data firm Equiendo is currently in exploratory talks with Turkish operator Avea and Lebanese operator Alfa about deploying its optimisation technology on both operators' networks. Equiendo's product can tell operators where they have bottlenecks on their networks and where they have spare capacity. The company currently employs 30 people but is seeking to expand this year.

"We're hoping to rise to around 50 people by the end of the year," said chief executive Cyril Murphy. "We're also looking to take on about €1m in new funding this year to help do that."

The Irish companies are among a delegation of 18 firms hosting a stand at Mobile World Congress, the world's biggest telecoms trade show in Barcelona. The event is proving to be a useful hunting ground for closing new deals, according to some of the Irish firms present.

"Normally I deal with mid-level managers in the global operators but here, I get a meeting with the chief executive," said Mark Burke, chief executive of Dublin-based wifi technology firm OptiWi-fi.

"For example, I'm meeting the chief executive of Ruckus [Wireless, a global telecoms infrastructure firm] this week, which is a brilliant opportunity. If I just rang up and asked for that any other time of the year, I'd never get near her. If you know what you're talking about, Mobile World Congress is a superb place to do business because you get to meet the top people here."

The Irish firms, which are supported by Enterprise Ireland, are doing business alongside some of the biggest telecoms firms in the world. Almost 100,000 phone executives and media are expected to attend the event, which will showcase future developments in the mobile technology.

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