SlipStream aims data compression product at intermediaries

A Canadian developer of data compression technology doesn’t plan to sell its products directly to mobile carriers, but one research analyst says the carriers who don’t use compression may risk losing wireless data customers.

SlipStream Data Inc. of Waterloo, Ont. plans to offer SlipStream SP,

a compression product designed to reduce the bandwidth required for Web browsing and e-mail use, to “”intermediaries”” that work with wireless carriers, said the company’s president, Ron Neumann.

One customer is Guelph, Ont.-based Ositech Communications Inc., which makes data transfer products for cellular networks.

Neumann said SlipStream does not plan to market SlipStream SP directly to the carriers because he believes they would not be receptive to a technology that would reduce the amount of bandwidth required to transfer content.

Most users of general packet radio services (GPRS) and 1XRTT services are billed by the amount of content transferred, rather than by air time. SlipStream SP reduces the amount of memory taken up by attachments, Web pages and other content. Therefore, with fewer megabytes crossing the radio frequencies, wireless customers’ bills would be reduced.

But Roberta Fox, president and senior partner of Markham, Ont.-based Fox Group Consulting, said wireless data customers want compression technology that will help them transfer files more quickly.

Fox said carriers could benefit from the technology because users might be more inclined to subscribe for service knowing they can transfer content more quickly. She added carriers who don’t use the technology may find that rivals who do adopt it are able to gain market share.

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