Aether Buys RTS Wireless

Wireless service provider Aether Systems Inc., (NASDAQ:AETH) is acquiring RTS Wireless, a developer of software systems connecting the Internet to a broad array of wireless devices, for $26 million in cash and approximately 1.3 million shares of Aether stock. The acquisition broadens Aether’s product suite while enhancing the company’s current offerings to the carrier and Internet service provider (ISP) market.

Based in Plainview, N.Y., RTS Wireless provides carrier-class wireless Internet infrastructure products and services with technologies for wireless messaging services including two-way short messaging services, instant messaging and unified messaging. The RTS Wireless Advantage System also provides web content transformation and delivery services to virtually any wireless device, including cell phones, pagers, hand-held PCs and on-board computers in vehicles.

RTS Wireless customers include carriers, ISPs and businesses such as America Online, Alltel Communications, Ameritech, Ericsson, EirCell (Ireland), Motorola, Verizon and Voicestream.

Through the deal, the Owings Mills, Md.-based Aether will gain a team of 120 wireless engineers among RTS’s 200 employees, all with extensive mobile application development experience.

“This acquisition makes Aether an even stronger technology company in many ways,” said Aether chairman and CEO Dave Oros. “Aether can now offer value-added products and services directly to carriers and ISPs. The RTS Advantage System brings new capabilities that fit perfectly into our product roadmap as we build a complete mobile computing platform. And, the engineering resources we gain, when combined with our existing base of 350 world-class wireless engineers, gives Aether an outstanding concentration of talent.”

Over the last year, RTS Wireless has established its presence in Europe, where the company has built out both engineering and sales resources to address the opportunities throughout this region. More recently, RTS Wireless’ Hong Kong office has made major strides in establishing a sales and marketing presence in the Asia Pacific market and positioning its web content transformation products in banks, brokerages, ISPs, publishers and e-commerce companies.

“Our infrastructure, products and technology have gained acceptance by the leading carriers, device manufacturers, content providers and enterprises in the marketplace,” said Spencer A. Kravitz, president and chief operating officer of RTS Wireless. “By joining forces with Aether, we will be able to create an all-encompassing mobile computing software family.”

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