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Summary:

An almost decade-long effort to bring an unknown wireless broadband technology to the U.S. is set to bear fruit next month in Florida after XG Technology Inc. scored a $375 million infrastructure deal backed by a secretive Swedish Swiss billionaire.

An almost decade-long effort to bring an unknown wireless broadband technology to the U.S. is set to bear fruit next month in Florida after XG Technology Inc. scored a $375 million infrastructure deal backed by a secretive Swiss billionaire. Earlier this week the Financial Times said Sarasota, Fla.-based XG scored a $375 million deal from an investment firm owned by Johan Bohman to start deploying XG’s low-power wireless base stations. So far I’m taking this story with a heaping grain of salt, especially since other reports call this guy a reclusive Swedish billionaire, and there are allegations of fraud regarding a member of the company’s management team, plus uncertainty about the technology.

XG, which is listed on the AIM market in London, is pushing a low-power, long-range wireless technology called wMAX that they’re pitching as a competitor to cellular and WiMAX networks. They already have handsets in the works, and FCC approval. According to the company, its signal range at 900MHz is 7.55 miles, compared with 2.3 miles for GSM, 2.46 miles for WiMAX and 2.53 miles for UMTS (3G), all using equal average power.

The goal is to roll out a VoIP service in South Florida this year and launch data and modem services in 2009, according to the Financial Times.  I’ve called the company to learn more, but have not heard back. If it can deliver a low-power, mobile broadband service that would be a cheaper alternative to cellular and possibly to other wireless broadband efforts, that’s pretty sweet, but it seems a little too good to be true.

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By Stacey Higginbotham

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  3. Jesse Kopelman Friday, October 10, 2008

    Are you sure they have FCC approval? My understanding of their technology is that they use a narrowband high power/Hz control channel and an ultrawideband low power/Hz data channel. While the narrowband control channel is no big deal, in the past the FCC has been very hesitant to approve ultrawideband applications. Given all the hoops that had to be jumped through to get super low power UWB approved for in home technologies like wireless USB, how did these guys get a much higher power version approved for wide area outdoor use?

  4. Stacey Higginbotham Friday, October 10, 2008

    Jesse, here’s the information the company provides: http://www.xgtechnology.com/news_pr_6-04-07.asp

    I’d love any input as I remember the UWB issues (and in Japan, I think it’s still a problem). I’ll also check in with the company when I chat with them next week.

  5. Stacey, your reporting is Ok, except for the allegations of fraud…any idiot can accuse another of fraud…the courts decide. So far, no proof of any fraud, and those that are making those allegations are low level engineers from competitors and someone who is short the shares. Not exactly unbiased opinions. IF I call you a fraud, will someone with any modicum of responsibility report that? No…only bloggers who have no responsibility would report that.

  6. @BlackEyedPea

    Those allegations are material to xMax and their business and in time it would be proven who is right and who is wrong. Of course we would report exactly that.

  7. Stacey Higginbotham Saturday, October 11, 2008

    @BlackEyesPea, there are a lot of questions about the technology from reputable publications, and company management has been sued for violating U.S. securities law by their (accredited) investors and later settled. The company’s PR person got in touch with me late in the day yesterday and I will chat with them next week to get their story as well as any court documents available to me. But it would be irresponsible to ignore so many warning signs just to plug cool technology, as I’m sure our readers would be quick to point that out.

  8. Bloggersknownothing Saturday, October 11, 2008

    Stacey, can you name ONE reputable publication that has had questions related to the fraud you speak of? I know there are a lot of useless bloggers that have made up a lot of stuff about xG. They have NOT been sued for Violating US Securities Laws, that is a complete lie. They were sued by investors who tried to take over the company in a hostile way.
    Warning signs? They are from low level bloggers like yourself.

  9. bloggersknownothing Saturday, October 11, 2008

    OM Malik, so let me get this straight…the “fraud” you speak of occured in 2001, it was reported as per your link in 2005 and here we are closing out 2008 and no one has been convicted or even tried for any crime, yet you feel it is your “duty” to report such nonsense. I think it’s not so much your “duty”, but your “doodie”

    Bloggers are useless and Blogs are made by people who cannot find a real audience.

  10. bloggersknownothing Saturday, October 11, 2008

    Stacey, you should try reporting the facts for a change.
    The investor you speak of is SWEDISH, not SWISS. But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of your sensationalism reporting.
    After all you have no responsibility, you’re just a blogger.

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