The Triangle’s reputation as a center for wireless technology innovation and as a source for talent apparently hasn’t been hurt by the departure of HTC or the uncertainty surrounding Research In Motion as Truphone comes to the region.
Plus, let’s not forget Bandwidth.com’s new venture – Republic Wireless.
As HTC lays off its 50 local hires and shuts down its offices at the American Tobacco Historic District in Durham, U.K.-based Truphone earlier this week announced plans to open its U.S. headquarters in the Triangle.
Meanwhile, Republic Wireless continues to grow at Cary-based Bandwidth.com, taking on the big wireless carriers with a blend of Wi-Fi and cellular serives.
As for RIM, the troubled BlackBerry maker, the Canadian company has yet to disclose plans for its Triangle research and development office as it makes company-wide cutbacks in hopes of surviving declining sales.
Wireless ventures certainly have come and gone from the Triangle, perhaps the saddest example being the Sony Ericsson decision to bolt for Atlanta.
But that corporate decision and the HTC shutdown also helps free up engineering talent – one of the lures that brought Truphone to town.
A spokesperson for the company tells The Skinny that Truphone will have 12 to 13 people here initially with plans to ramp up to as many as 30 by year’s end.
The headcount could hit “as many as 100 or more over the next 12 – 18 months, provided that growth meets our projections,” the spokesperson said.
Truphone needs to fill sales, marketing, operations and administrative jobs.
The privately held venture is a provider of mobile communications access for international travelers. It launched in the United Kingdom in 2006. It employs some 300 people wordlwide.
As WRAL News reported earlier this week, Gary Cohen, a former executive with Motricity, IBM, Nextel and Lenovo, will lead the Triangle operation as senior vice president and general manager for Truphone Americas.
“RTP is well known for its technological advancements and entrepreneurial culture and both reasons support why Truphone is here,” Cohen said in a statement when the headquarters choice was announced. “We look forward to joining the more than 170 global companies based in RTP and becoming a respected neighbor in our own right.”
Truphone provides a service that enables travelers to avoid higher cost roaming fees.
The RTP team includes people who have worked for other telecommunications and technology firms such as Sprint, AT&T, IBM, Motorola, Ericsson and British Telecom.
Truphone launched the first mobile VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) service in 2006. Its technology works with Apple and Android smartphones.