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xG update - money, mystery and more

Today was going to be my lunch appointment with xG, but we've had to cancel due to creative differences - the company wanted it off the record, I wanted to be able to write about what it told me, so it's ended up with me having an on-the-record debate with a sandwich at my desk. (In the spirit of full disclosure, it was a BLT.
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Today was going to be my lunch appointment with xG, but we've had to cancel due to creative differences - the company wanted it off the record, I wanted to be able to write about what it told me, so it's ended up with me having an on-the-record debate with a sandwich at my desk. (In the spirit of full disclosure, it was a BLT.)

No reply to the list of questions I've sent either - why has nobody independently seen xG in action, who's responsible for QoS, what are the statistics for cell bandwidth and number of users, etc: I've asked for that by Friday, but the director of communications is a bit tied up with 'real media' at the moment, so no real idea when they'll get around to me.

Nonetheless, xG has been busy. It announced its unaudited half-year results to 30th June 2008: it's got around $23 million in cash and equivalents, it made $3 million before interest and share based payments, $46,000 afterwards. And it's collected $6 million since that period for base stations. There's no mention of any details of any deals, except that one with Treco - about whom nothing substantial is known.

But Treco has now decided to become the "exclusive infrastructure partner" to xG (well, seeing as it's buying enough base stations to carpet the US, it's hard to see what else they/he/she/it could do), and xG "expects [to] begin deploying next month in the southern Florida market. [...] xMax's superior technology capabilities mean that data and modem services will be added on early in 2009".

And Treco speaks! "In a statement, Treco Group said: “We have many years of experience backing successful entrepreneurial ventures and are in a unique capital position, free from external financing for any present or future obligation. We are now thrilled to be a part of something which will have such wide ranging global impact and our involvement will assist in delivering the xMax service more efficiently and profitably for all concerned".

In lieu of lunch, I popped an email off to xG, saying "Still no clue who Treco is, who the other partners may be, or how a service can be deployed before handsets are available. And what on earth is a ‘modem service’? How does that work on a digital system? And can any of the statements in that release be corroborated by the partner deploying the South Florida service, or Treco, or anyone other than xG?"

And back comes the answer:

"Treco is a private investment vehicle put together by some high worth individuals for the purpose of this deal. They wish to remain anonymous and we have to respect that. The base stations ie the network have to be deployed before the handsets rather than the other way round. What's the point of handset you can't use? The modem refers to the modem device which should be ready for home and business deployment 2009. Treco won't comment so no to that final point. I am unsure whether we are allowed to name our partners yet. I'll have to get back to you on that one."

In further email conversations (it would have been quicker to have had lunch!) it transpires that the South Florida deployment will not produce telecoms user revenue next month - I asked, because xG has previously rolled out services that never turned into commercial operations. As yet, I don't know when xG expects to host its first paid-for end user call.

Still, keep those eyes peeled on the real media - and, as always over the past three years, the moment I get anything that can actually be checked I'll be sure to let you know...

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