Light Reading

Fastmobile Pushes With $12M

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
5/16/2005
50%
50%

Software vendor fastmobile Inc. has scored a $12 million series B cash injection, as the company gears up for battle with rival startups and incumbent players in the push-to-talk (PTT) space (see Fastmobile Secures $12M).

Founded in 2003, the Illinois-based company has attracted investment from new partners Doll Capital Management (DCM) and Walden International, as well as existing investors BlueStar Ventures and Leo Capital Holdings LLC. Total investment to date is $21 million (see FastMobile Raises $4M).

Fastmobile is best known for its fastchat “instant voice messaging” service, similar in concept to the digital walkie-talkie-like PTT service pioneered in the U.S. by Nextel Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTL). It’s not quite the same, however, as it allows users to send pre-recorded messages back and forth to each other, rather than offering a real-time connection.

“We believe that our ‘store and forward’ approach is a much better route,” comments fastmobile’s sales and marketing director, John O’Boyle. “You can store a message and send it forward. We also have a history of the call that we store on the server and handset. That is innovative and unique to us. It’s not as fast as instantaneous PMR [Public Mobile Radio], but the research we have is that, apart from emergency services, it doesn’t make much difference as long as you can get reactions in around 1.5 seconds.”

The vendor has won carrier deals with Dialog GSM in Sri Lanka, Hutchison Essar in India, Telecom Italia Mobile SpA (Milan: TIM), and German mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Victorvox (see Fastmobile Pushes in India).

Fastmobile is competing against rival startups such as Kodiak Networks and Sonim Technologies Inc., as well as the likes of Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) in the nascent PTT space. Despite such support, carriers outside the U.S. have been slow to deploy services, and long-term commercial success remains uncertain (see PTT: The New SMS?).

“There’s three factors involved here,” notes O’Boyle. “Firstly, we still don’t have sufficient numbers of handsets in the market to make it a reality. PTT requires a community, and you need to have enough people. The second point is that standards have not yet been approved. I don’t think interoperability with the POC standard is far away, and that will obviously help… Thirdly, this is something that’s new. We have to build through the niches…

"At a personal guess, it will be about another 18 months to 2 years before PTT matures.”

With a headcount of 33, the startup will be using its extra cash to ramp up sales and technical staff, as well as expand its product portfolio.

“This freezes us from the need to be immediately profitable,” adds O’Boyle. “We can now take a longer-term view. Traditionally we have been PTT-led. Push-to-talk is still important to us, but PTT on its own isn’t enough. We need to look at new services such as mobile instant messaging and email in terms of our fastchat service.”

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (2) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Thailand's AIS: Transforming to an FMC Operator

7|17|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


Saran Phaloprakarn, Senior VP of Fixed Broadband Business Management of Thailand's AIS, was a keynote speaker at the first Asia-Pacific Ultra Broadband Summit in Bangkok. In this video, he talks to Heavy Reading about transforming into an FMC (FBB+MBB+Content) operator.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cambodia's TRC Discusses Its Plans for National Broadband

7|17|15   |   10:33   |   (0) comments


In this video, Chakyra Moa, Chairman of Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), talks in in-depth with Heavy Reading about the Cambodia's current telecom market and TRC's goals and expectations for the future.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Phone

7|16|15   |   2:09   |   (4) comments


A man has an opportunity to purchase the world's first working 5G phone. Imagine the possibilities...
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network operators start seeing savings from NFV in the first year, according to a study by Affirmed Networks and ACG.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile Launches RCS Messaging
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/22/2015
Huawei Working Hard for Rural Success
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/22/2015
AT&T U-verse TV Hits the Skids
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent, Vodafone Test TWDM-PON
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 7/22/2015
Robbins Succeeds Chambers as Cisco Changes CEOs
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
Cats with Phones
Cat Sense Click Here
Can you hear me now?