New names line up with the company whose mobile VoIP promises which have yet be verifiably demonstrated
xG Technology, a Florida-based startup promising revolutionary wireless performance, has signed up new partners – despite a history of failing to deliver verifiable proof of its claims.
xG has been promising low-cost mobile VoIP using its own xMax signalling technology – which it claims is many times more efficient than WiMax or 3G – for around four years, but has yet to deliver a finished product or allow its technology to be verified independently. Wireless experts such as Phil Karn of Qualcomm, have pointed out that xG’s past performance claims have been in excess of the rules of physics.
Despite this, the company has announced a new potential partner this week: Townes Tele-Communications will test the xMax technology this month, probably in Arkansas, and “conduct due diligence on the startup company before deciding whether to deploy the solution over a greater area,” said Benjamin Dickens, a partner in the firm of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, which represents Townes, according to website Urgent Communications.
Townes, then, appears not to have actually tested the equipment yet, and follows other telecoms companies which have tried to test xMax since 2005, including Telefonica, which promised to test the technology in Mexico, and Florida-based Far Reach – the only company to get as far as buying equipment from xG, which split with the company last year.
Last week the company announced new financial backing, in the form of 2 million shares, apparently sold at $3 each to hedge fund Spartan Mullen.
xG was also cited as an example of innovation in a recession at the Cambridge Wireless International Conference, by Richard Traherne, of Cambridge Consultants, a product design group based in Cambridge and specialising in wireless, who compared the company to innovators in earlier recessions.
In the 2000 recession, Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) launched a single-chip Bluetooth implementation on CMOS, said Traherne: “People said that was impossible. And even today, during the current downturn, there are promising startups. xG technology, is based on new technology for mobile VoIP,” he said.
Cambridge Consultants has helped xG design its VoIP handset, so it may have seen some sort of demonstration of the technology. However, asked whether xG’s technology actually matched its claims, Traherne would not comment on the record or off the record, except to say, “It’s an interesting company.”