Network to link wireless world

Saturday, August 26th, 2006

TECHNOLOGY I Organizer says companies need to talk to each other

Gillian Shaw

Caroline Lewko, founder of the Wireless Innovation Network of British Columbia, is going global with a new organization that will bring together researchers, developers, companies and venture capitalists in an online network.

The new organization, the Wireless Industry Partnership or WIP, has its official launch Monday but already it counts 148 members on its roster, including the Ontario-based Ottawa Wireless Cluster to the MX Alliance in the United Kingdom.

Lewko said she came up with the idea of establishing a connector point for wireless businesses around the world when she found herself linking emerging companies with larger players and investment firms that are fuelling growth in the area.

“WIP is taking it to the next step,” she said. “I was finding there are more emerging companies that need to talk to each other; that need to be smarter about how they are building their technologies.

“They need those linkages to the investors and strategic partners.”

Members pay an annual fee of $300, which drops to $200 if they belong to one of WIP’s partner organizations such as WINBC. Lewko said her goal is to have 5,000 to 6,000 members participating in the network. The WIP connector portal is at

With wireless encompassing a wide range of technologies, from WiFi to 3G (third generation) to RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), Lewko said companies and individuals face a daunting task in finding the right help. They might need information on developing programs, deciphering regulatory issues or finding the right equipment.

“Wireless is a really complex issue,” she said. “It is overwhelming for a lot of people.

The Wireless Industry Partnership website links members through a ‘connector’ section that focuses on the strengths of each organization, detailing their markets, value chains and the types of transmission and technologies they use.

“It is a really different approach to networking and directories,” said Lewko.

Lewko points out that the wireless sector is one that faces huge growth. While the global telecommunications market is expected to grow in the single digits in the coming years, wireless is expected to enjoy double-digit growth. WIP points to Insight Research Corporation’s 2006 Telecommunications Industry Review, which predicts the wireless services market will approach $1 trillion US by 2010 and represent more than 55 per cent of the entire telecommunications sector.

© The Vancouver Sun 2006


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