The ICT industry has been in constant turmoil since the Dotcom bust of 2000, and the duration of the downturn has been sufficient to damage large and small companies alike.
Constantly in touch (all-pervasive communications of the future)
This in spite of the fact that the ICT revolution was only just beginning. It is therefore refreshing to realise that there are still companies out there, raising funding, defying the pessimism and who are creating the beginnings of the next phase of the Internet and communications revolution.
In our next meeting on Thursday, 26 February 2004 at the St John's Innovation Centre, Cowley Road, Cambridge (finger buffet at 6:00pm and talk at 6:30pm.), Cambridge Europe and Technology Club (CETC) will play host to two such companies, both playing their part in creating all pervasive communications in the near future, but operating at very different parts of the connectivity stack.
Our first speaker will be Barry Shrier, Founder and Chief Executive of Liberty Europe Network which is a company active in the 802.11 (wi-fi) broadband wireless networking connectivity space. This is a sector that is receiving considerable investment, and attracting many players - not all with successful business models.
Liberty Europe Network is in its early stages of development, but has already successfully deployed Wireless Internet-access networks across various parts of the UK, including the largest hotel installation in the country, and has secured funding from a major IT hardware distributor.
Barry will be speaking on the state of the Wireless industry, and will argue that his company's work (on the next generation, after the next generation, of Mobile communication services) may render existing investments by mobile operators redundant. How would you like unlimited mobile internet access, and unlimited voice calls, for €15/month?
Our second speaker is Matthew Bate of Essentially Different Ltd. His company's ambitions are harder to understand until one thinks about the messy way that we handle data and carry it from one environment to another when we are mobile.
Essentially Different uses a technology called 'SmartBlobz' that creates a whole new network architecture without disturbing existing infrastructure, incorporating the best features of both peer-to-peer and client/server models.
The unique architecture of SmartBlobz allows mobile users to keep data up to data and synchronised regardless of the frequency and quality of network connection by only exchanging the changes made to documents rather than having to re-send complete documents to users whenever updated. A revolutionary sharing mechanism allows multiple users access to the same document, even with differing access privileges.
SmartBlobz also incorporates a unique security system that keeps data as safe on mobile devices as they are on the server. Essentially Different Ltd is also in its early stages and has been the recipient of recent considerable funding backed by the DTI. Matthew will explain his technology and business model and along with Barry will outline his vision for communication in the future.
We are indebted to Prof. Peter Cochrane of Concept labs for introducing us to these businesses and their speakers, and to our sponsors for supporting this event. We hope that you will join us to listen to our speakers and and to learn how we may be using communications technology in the near future.
We will also have a brief presentation from Alex Smeets of St John's Innovation Centre who will describe the European Commission's Gate2Growth initiative, which aims to bring together entrepreneurs and investors across Europe.
To book, please send your name, company name, telephone number, e-mail address and cheque made payable to CETC (if required) to:
Guy Mulley, Hon Secretary, CETC
c/o NW Brown Employee Benefits
16-20 Regents Street, Cambs, CB2 1DB
Tel/Fax: 01223 720256
The Cambridge Enterprise & Technology provides a networking forum for business people, academics, technologists and service providers, together with a unique opportunity to learn about cutting edge technologies.