Fractus’ business model
Fractus’ vision was that developments in mobile communications technology would lead to smaller devices with new functionalities that would operate in an increasing number of frequency bands (2G, 3G, 4G, etc.). This vision has been confirmed: nowadays, mobile devices are not only capable of transmitting data over a cellular network but they use multiple data transmission technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS which render multi-band antennae indispensable. This perspective was a decisive factor in helping the company raise funds from venture capital to set the project in motion.
Fractus started designing and producing its own antennae, and approached the major vendors of mobile phone equipment to offer its technology. Remaining true to its founding philosophy, it dedicated a large part of its budget to R&D, and in doing so managed to extend the application of the principles of multi-level and space-filling antennae to other fields and create a significant patent portfolio.
In 1998, Fractus’ development of multi-triangular dual-band fractal antennae for cellular telephony GSM and DCS technology was awarded the Grand Prize at the European Union IST Awards. In 2002, the company was selected as supplier to Telefonica for its UMTS base station antennae rollout, and in 2004 it launched its standard Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chip antenna technology.However, the company soon noticed that there were limitations to its business model. Each phone has a different form factor and a specific geometry, so each one requires an individual antenna design, and the revenue generated per antenna hardly compensated for the re-design effort. This effect was substantially magnified by the dynamic nature of the consumer electronics market, where products are short-lived and continuously superseded.
What do you think they could change in their business model?