Cognito Ltd, the Newbury, Berkshire-based mobile data communications provider, can boast of being the first company in the field in the UK to make an operating profit in the year to September 30 1994. In its first year to Semptember 1993, Cognito signed up some 1,600 subscribers and won turnover of UKP700,000, and this year […]
Cognito Ltd, the Newbury, Berkshire-based mobile data communications provider, can boast of being the first company in the field in the UK to make an operating profit in the year to September 30 1994. In its first year to Semptember 1993, Cognito signed up some 1,600 subscribers and won turnover of UKP700,000, and this year added a further 2,900 for turnover of UKP2.2m. By the end of next September Cognito expects to have 8,500 subscribers and UKP5.0m turnover and intends to float on the London market in 1996. However the company will report only minimal profits as it continues to plough back money into the products. By comparison the RAM Mobile Data affiliate of BellSouth Corp does not expect even an operating profit until 1996 at the earliest. Currently over 120,000 transactions are being processed each day on Cognito’s radio network, with a capacity of 44m and coverage of over 85% of the UK, comprising eight switching sites and 200 radio base stations. The Financial Times recently reported that there are some mobile 5,500 mobile data users in the UK, and if the Pink ‘Un has got the numbers right, Cognito enjoys 80% of the market. Cognito attributes its success to a focus on vertical markets: 80% of revenues come from field service applications, the rest from transpport and emergency services, and from offering all the parts, full integration and support that inspires confidence in customers as they only have to deal with one supplier. The handheld messager terminal comprises radio and messaging software, real time status codes, a 150 message store, 50-address user-definable directory, 10 hours of battery life, a Qwerty keyboard and function keys and a serial data port that can be linked to a printer or bar code wand. NextBase AutoRoute It requires no programming, no system integration and promises real time communication even inside buildings. It retails at UKP595 per messager plus UKP50 per month for unlimited use and for a personal computer-based user UKP250 plus UKP50 per month. If a message fails to get through it will inform the sender and then reside on the network for up to 72 hours until the message is received. The sender can also monitor if the message has been seen by the receiver, and the receiver can communicate with the sender, to say when the job was started, completed and ask for further information or spares either of the host or another worker, major advantages over pagers. Packet size is 256 bytes but packets can be concatenated and the average message is 2Kb or 3Kb, though there is no maximum length. Cognito now plans to add an integrated automatic vehicle location and messaging system to chart the movements of vehicles and send and receive data messages at the same time, AVLplus. It collects location data from the network of Global Positioning Satellites and sends it across the Cognito mobile data communications network to a central personal computer. On this central computer, data is overlaid on AutoRoute Plus – a Windows-based mapping, routing and database package from Microsoft Corp’s NextBase Ltd acquisition. It will display exact vehicle location, speed, direction and historical route data for analysis. It costs UKP1,445 per vehicle for the messager, receiver and installation and UKP50 per month network access; at the host end, UKP1,195 for the messaging, AVL gateway and AutoRoute Plus software and UKP100 per month for network access. Cognito is also discussing with manufacturers and Groupe Special Mobile operators how the existing service might be extended in the future.