Mobile Cohesion is investing £2.7 million to develop highly innovative software technology for the global mobile telecommunications industry, Prof. Fabian Monds, Invest Northern Ireland Chairman, said today.

Prof. Monds announced Invest NI’s support for the company with Denis Murphy, Mobile Cohesion’s Managing Director. The company, which is based at Weavers’ Court in Belfast, has also attracted substantial venture capital funding.

Said Prof. Monds: “This is an innovative R&D-led project focusing on very exciting next generation technology that will result in mobile telecom companies being able to offer customers a wider range of internet-based multi-media services. It will provide excellent opportunities for local graduates to contribute to the development of cutting-edge, worldclass technology.

“The new venture, launched by five entrepreneurs with a wealth of experience and knowledge of the global telecoms marketplace, will enhance Northern Ireland’s reputation as a global software engineering centre.

“Invest NI’s support for this project is in line with our Principles for Business Support which seek to offer a customised business solution to help companies such as Mobile Cohesion achieve sustainable growth, “ he added.

Mr Murphy said: “We looked at a number of potential locations for the project but opted for Belfast because the city offered access to a pool of people with experience in developing software for mobile telecoms and two universities with worldclass technology centres.

“We’ve already recruited 15 highly skilled people whose expertise and knowledge will enable us to bring our products to market fast. We plan to recruit a further five staff in the coming year,” added Mr Murphy.

Mr Murphy said the company’s first product, the ‘Hydra Multi-Media Access Gateway’ “will make it easier for mobile phone users to access services which contain exciting multi-media content such as pictures, video, animated graphics and audio”.

He added: “The product was very well received at the recent 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, the industry’s most important show.

“Research shows that new technology services will accelerate growth and generate revenues in excess of £2.5 billion by the end of 2005. This exciting business opportunity has been endorsed by our investors, who include venture capital companies, Accel Partners and Crucible Corporation, and who, in July 2002, invested $3.1 million in the company’s seed funding round.”