Qualcomm Takes on Network Bottlenecks, Google Buys Gizmo5, a Cluster of Analytics Startups Emerges, & More San Diego BizTech News

11/16/09Follow @bvbigelow

San Diego serial entrepreneur Michael Robertson is going to have to find something else to do now that Gizmo5, the VoIP (voice-over-Internet-protocol) company he founded in 2003, has become part of a certain search giant to the north. We have that news and more.

Google confirmed that it’s buying San Diego-based Gizmo5, a six-year-old company that provides Internet-based calling software for mobile phones and computers. The service will become part of the Google Voice number-unification service. Google did not disclose the purchase price, which media reports put at about $30 million. Gizmo5’s 6 million users will still be able to use the service, according to a statement. But Google is suspending new Gizmo5 signups, and existing users can no longer sign up for a call-in number.

Platformic, a Web-based startup that enables customers to create and manage their own websites, said it is adding social media capabilities. The two-year-old San Diego-based company, which has targeted broadcast companies, says its expanded software-as-a-service product will help a broadcaster’s audience share photos, create their own user profiles, and create personal blogs on the broadcaster’s Platformic-powered website.

Qualcomm’s No. 2 executive opened a regional mobile technology conference in San Diego by providing an overview of steps the chipmaking giant is taking to help ease the pressure on wireless network bottlenecks as mobile data traffic soars. Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) Chief Operating Officer Len Lauer told the 3G CDMA Americas Regional Conference that in the year 2014, worldwide mobile data traffic in one month will exceed mobile data traffic for all of 2008.

Technology innovations that help companies optimize their profitability will likely lead to the next wave of analytics-based software startups, according to Stephen Coggeshall of San Diego-based ID Analytics. Another hot area will be analytics that can help forecast consumer behavior, said Coggeshall, who was participating in a discussion about new opportunities in analytics during the San Diego Software Industry Council’s annual forum on analytics.

Israel’s Panoramic Power won $250,000 and became the first winner of the top QPrize, the incentive prize competition launched earlier this year by Qualcomm Ventures. Panoramic Power is developing energy-monitoring wireless technology that enables a company or institution to deploy so-called “smart grid” technologies within their existing facilities.

—The San Diego-based Cannon Power Group said is getting $19.4 million in federal renewable energy grants to help fund construction of a giant wind farm in eastern Washington state, about 110 miles east of Portland, OR. The $1 billion Windy Point/Windy Flats project is expected to generate enough electricity for 250,000 homes.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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