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Internal News - 30 July 2007

Innovation success for Swindon

A communications company that started life at the University of Bath in Swindon Innovation Centre has raised £12.5 million in funding from a consortium that includes search engine giant Google.

The company, Ubiquisys, was founded by two mentors from the centre’s business acceleration programme, Peter Keevil and Will Franks, and was based at the Centre from 2005 to 2006.

The Centre provided the company with flexible office space, administrative support, and help to find bigger office premises for expansion.

Ubiquisys is pioneering a technology known as ‘femtocells’. This allows mobile phone users to get a clear signal at home, cheaper calls, and to access innovative multimedia services such as automatically downloading podcasts or mp3 music tracks to their phone when entering the home.

Poor indoor coverage often prevents people using 3G mobile phones at home at present.

The company’s ZoneGate femtocell device plugs into a home broadband connection and provides high-quality 3G coverage in the home. Unlike WiFi, ZoneGate allows people to use their usual 3G mobile phones to access services.

“Our mission is to empower mobile carriers to bring compelling service packages into homes using our ZoneGate solution,” said Chris Gilbert, CEO Ubiquisys. “We’re delighted by the confidence our investors have shown in our technology and its ability to deliver innovative applications via ZoneGate’s unique services platform.”

In June 2007 ABI Research rated Ubiquisys number one femtocell vendor in a survey of the top ten players in the sector, based on product innovation and implementation.

The Ubiquisys ZoneGate is currently in trials with a number of leading European operators.

The Swindon Innovation Centre provides entrepreneurs and new start-ups with business mentoring, guidance, routes to funding and access to industry specialists, as well as affordable office space. It is part of the SETsquared Partnership, the enterprise collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bath in Swindon, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey.

Will Franks will speak at the Wireless 2.0 conference, organised by the University of Bath, on 28 September 2007. For more information please see the Related Links section.