Northern Ireland technology in global focus

Ten Northern Ireland companies took part in the 3GSM Exhibition, the premier event for the mobile telecommunications industry, in Barcelona last week

Six companies visited the show for the first time to look at new products, services and potential partners that they may use to develop their own business in this fast growing sector.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director, commenting on the exhibition, which took place from 12-15 February, says: “3GSM brings together world class companies and leaders from mobile operators and equipment vendors and has a sharp focus on the internet and the entertainment world.  

“The event is primarily aimed at the wireless telecommunications sector but is also relevant for other ICT companies who supply services and technologies to the sector. It provides an ideal platform for the developing cluster of Northern Ireland companies in this important sector to make worthwhile contacts.

“The mobile communications industry is gearing itself up to become a mainstream distribution channel for broadcasters and content providers. The humble mobile phone is no more; it has grown and changed shape to become a TV, MP3 player, PDA, cashcard, camera and so much more. Converging technologies and industry collaborations are proving that new vistas are opening up for mobile technology all the time.”

Colin Reid, Chief Executive, Consilium Technologies in Antrim, says: "We have been active in providing back office services for local authorities and developing e-business applications. We now need to adapt to the demand for similar services to be available via mobile telephones.

“Visiting 3GSM enables us to consider the latest devices and applications necessary to allow us to diversify and grow our business in the rapidly developing mobile area.”

A regular visitor to the show, Stephen Wray, Licensing Business Manager of APT in Belfast, adds: “Last year Invest NI arranged a meeting for us with Cambridge Silicon Radio during the show. This relationship has developed and we are now selling to them. We had a programme of visits to other exhibitors this year and anticipate further opportunities in this sector.”

Two Northern Ireland companies, Aepona and Mobile Cohesion, exhibited separately and have also formed an alliance with six companies from the Republic of Ireland to develop a service delivery platform (SDP).

This is an integrated suite of software products which provides service providers and their partners with the ability to develop, deliver and manage voice and data services quickly and cost effectively.

The SDP has been developed by Mobility Data Systems in its Belfast test laboratory. Mobility Data Systems also attended 3GSM and demonstrated the effectiveness of the development to many international visitors.  

Ian Graham, Chief Executive of Momentum, the software industry sector association and a managing partner in the initiative, says: "The SDP Alliance is off to a great start. There were around 150 international visitors to the exhibit and many were companies that we could do significant business with. Our next goal is to follow up on this interest and to work towards our aim of selling this service in international markets.”