Wireless startups: Announcing FierceWireless's Fierce 15 for 2016

colin gibbs

The wireless industry is on the cusp of a major transition. Carriers are densifying their networks as they begin to prepare to launch 5G services that will help provide ubiquitous connectivity to a wide variety of devices and sensors. New technologies and strategies are being developed to help deliver ever-increasing amounts of mobile data and to make spectrum use more efficient.

Meanwhile, networks dedicated to IoT services are being deployed, competing with legacy networks and cellular technologies. And satellites are being prepared for launch to bring wireless services to users where fixed-line infrastructures don’t exist. All those trends and themes are reflected in our 2016 “Fierce 15” list.

Much of the activity is being driven by innovative startups eager to push the industry beyond traditional technologies, services and business models. FierceWireless once again recognizes some of the most noteworthy of these startups in our 2016 “Fierce 15” list. As always, our list includes startups from across segments of a very broad wireless market, from hardware manufacturers and software companies to telecom gear vendors, technology developers and others.

All of our winners are engaged in interesting work that has the potential to reshape the industry. They are the ones we should be watching in the years ahead.

Fierce editors are always on the lookout for interesting start-ups and emerging companies in the wireless industry. We’ve tracked countless potential candidates over the last year and recently whittled a very long list down to 15 selections. We’ve profiled one of those finalists every weekday for the next three weeks, concluding with today's selection, OneWeb.

To qualify, a company must be privately held, well-funded, emerging, and have the potential to be a major player in the industry. Candidates are either based in the U.S. or conduct a significant amount of business here, because that’s where the majority of our readers are.

These are the firms that we think are particularly well positioned to have a major impact on the wireless market over the next few years. – Colin @colin_gibbs

This year’s Fierce 15 (this will be updated over the next three weeks with each new entry):
Starry looking to offer ‘full stack’ wireless web to the home
Ingenu challenges carriers as 'the machine network'
Afero looks to declutter development for the IoT
Juvo brings visibility to 'invisible' prepaid users
Passport shifts into high gear on mobile parking and transport payments
Unlockd enables carriers to deliver ads through the phone's lock screen
Kumu Networks is spearheading a Full Duplex Revolution
Kymeta connecting vehicles via satellite
Shine Technologies enables carriers to strip out mobile ads
SolidEnergy Systems developing better, safer batteries
OneWeb plans to launch wireless services via hundreds of satellites
Cohere pushes OTFS in the march to 5G
Tarana promises gigabit speeds over fixed wireless
Automile aiming to disrupt the telematics industry
Blue Danube increasing capacity to meet data consumption