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California: A Wireless Powerhouse

  |  June 13, 2002   |  Comments

An industry report says the state has a significant presence insatellites, 802.11 services, integrated circuits, and fixed wireless/free space optics.

California has a reputation for being on the cutting edge of technology. A wireless industry study released Wednesday is certainly supporting the claims that the state is a wireless powerhouse.

The report from O'Melveny Consulting LLC (OMC) and the San Diego Regional Technology Alliance (RTA) finds that in spite of the slow economy and wireless company layoffs, California employs the most wireless employees, hosts the most wireless companies, and has the largest wireless payroll of any state.

Furthermore, in two regions, the Bay Area and San Diego Area, the wireless sector has exhibited tremendous growth.

In fact, the study found the only states that even comes close are Texas, Illinois and Florida.

"California has a significant presence in satellites, 802.11 services, integrated circuits, and fixed wireless/free space optics," said Cliff Numark, managing director at O'Melveny Consulting LLC and the report's author. "Especially with recent San Diego activity, and innovative research institutes, California has positioned itself to be at the heart of wireless innovation."

The study cites the presence of the Silicon Valley, along with QUALCOMM'S Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) [define] technology – the standard that is used in advanced cellular communications – as critical factors to California's leadership in a variety of wireless sectors.

The report found that California headquarters the most public wireless firms, including over 28 percent of the nation's wireless companies.

The state has more than 60,000 people employed in the wireless sector, nearly double that of the 34,000 employed in Texas. The greater Los Angeles Area has the greatest number of wireless firms and employees in California, with approximately 800 firms and 22,500 employees.

The Bay Area is the most concentrated in the number of firms and payroll. The region has also received the most wireless venture capital funding in the state, nearly $4 billion over eight years.

San Diego and its region lays claim to the most concentrated for wireless employees in the state, with 484 wireless employees per 100,000 residents. The region has also experienced the fastest growth rate at 257 percent since 1993.

"Wireless communications, along with biotech, have cemented San Diego's place in the technology world," said Tyler Orion, CEO of the San Diego Regional Technology Alliance and an editor of the report.

The study was conducted using primary and secondary market research; interviews with numerous experts from the venture capital industry, leading companies and academic sources; and company surveys conducted by the California Manufacturing Technology Center. The State of California's Technology Trade and Commerce Agency funded this study.

Reprinted from siliconvalley.internet.com, an internet.com site

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Tom Hespos

Tom Hespos heads up the interactive media department at Mezzina Brown & Partners. He has been involved in online media buying since the commercial explosion of the Web and has worked at such firms as Young & Rubicam, K2 Design, NOVO Interactive/Blue Marble ACG, and his own independent consulting practice, Underscore Inc. For more information, please visit the Mezzina Brown Web site. He can be reached at thespos@mezzinabrown.com.

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