By Cliff Reeves

Redbend http://www.redbend.com/… Redbend provides tools for remote management of mobile software on mass market handsets, specializing in firmware: FOTA (firmware over the air). This is a highly specialized and demanding area due to stringent requirements for the user experience and restrictions on the use of bandwidth. They have agreements with Nokia, Sony-Ericsson and estimate that they are now managing approximately 200M phones.

WeFi http://www.wefi.com/…. Software to help users connect quickly and easily to WiFi anywhere and upload the information to a central server which creates an aggregate map. They also reward members who make the most contributions. They do more analysis than most connection managers by analyzing the connectivity and helping the user connect more effectively. 150,000 access points. Aprrox 6,000 current users, currently in beta with no marketing. Users can enter the routers they themselves own, and allow access to a limited group of friends.

Axis Mobile http://www.axismobile.com/…. Delivering email and attachments via push to almost any phone. The MNO runs an Axis Mobile server which collects the users’ mail from any service: Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc. For each user, the Axis Mobile server detects what device the user is holding at the time, and performs real-time transcoding of the email and the attachments, They can support a number of formats: MMS, XHTML, WAP, etc. Axis Mobile has contracts covering 200M subscribers via 15 operators in Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Poland). Axis Mobile is currently listed on London’s AIM which is technically a $30M IPO (investors hold common stock) , but operates like a VC (the investment are corporations).

Axis has recently introduced MMBox, which allow non-MMS users to enjoy MMS services (with transcoding at the server) and allows the operator to bill where they often cannot with MMS that is sent to unknown recipients. PhotoSync enables management and sharing of mobile photos on the service provider’s servers. This runs in the background, synching at off-peak times allowing the phone to be used for other functions.