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Bubblephone Becomes First Company to Win Second Round funding from MoD's Dragon's Den


Transformational networking software beats 1,000 applicants

Bubblephone Ltd, a communications software company, has been chosen from more than 1,000 applicants to be the first company to be awarded second round funding from the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE). The Brighton-based company has received a contract valued at £43,000 to deliver a beta–version of its intelligent C-THRU network optimisation software (see Notes to Editors). The technology has the potential to transform the reliability and quality of the MoD’s tactical communications network, while helping save lives and money.

“This award underlines the value of CDE as a cost-effective way to access leading-edge technology and get it into the field quickly,” said Sean Curtis-Ward, Bubblephone’s CEO. “Also, it represents a strong endorsement for our adaptive software which we believe has huge commercial potential outside of the defence sector.”

Since its inception 18 months ago, the CDE has received more that 1,000 proposals from companies – mainly small to medium-sized businesses. The initiative, which has been likened to TV’s Dragon’s Den, is designed to enable the MoD to exploit new and emerging technologies that are already being researched or developed and get them into the field rapidly.

The MoD is interested in the use of C-THRU in its BOWMAN tactical military communications network – a mission critical system that contains different network types (such as VHF, UHF and satellite) and where transmission quality and reliability are paramount.

The new contract will involve Bubblephone delivering a beta-version of C-THRU with a view to its test, development and integration into BOWMAN. It will collaborate closely with General Dynamics UK, which will provide additional equipment and expertise.

In January 2009, Bubblephone received a feasibility contract from the CDE valued at £49,000. Work under the contract culminated in a demonstration in October 2009 of C-THRU on a special test network. Just three weeks later, C-THRU was further demonstrated to MoD staff on battlefield-ready kit over a subset of the BOWMAN tactical communications network. This was undertaken at the EDGE™ UK demonstration suite at General Dynamics UK’s facility in South Wales.


What is C-THRU and How Does it Work?
C-THRU is network optimisation software. It is designed to improve the reliability and quality of existing networks. When dropped into a network, it establishes rock solid network connections in environments where connections might normally fail. For example, maintaining communications in mountainous terrain where a signal may be frequently disrupted. It does this by being “aware” of the needs of the application and the network environment. Should that network environment be adversely affected – such as a mountain blocks the signal – the communication link seamlessly fails over to a different network type or connection method. C-THRU can also prioritise traffic so that urgent communications get through first.

C-THRU does not necessitate applications to be altered or changed. It is completely network agnostic, working with all modern communication network types: satellite, IP, UHF, VHF, Bluetooth, ATM, 3G, Tetra, etc.

About Bubblephone Ltd
Bubblephone Ltd is a privately owned company based at the Innovation Centre of the University of Sussex. It performs research and development in the areas of digital networking and communications technologies. Its lead technology C-THRU is a truly “transformational” networking technology. It enables networks and applications that don’t currently talk to each other to interoperate, whilst transforming the reliability and quality of existing network connections. Bubblephone is currently seeking additional investment to finalise C-THRU’s development and to realise its full commercial potential.

Photography of Sean Curtis-Ward is available on request.

For further information please contact:

Sean Curtis-Ward
Tel: 020 7617 7206

Neil Pattie
Tel: 07784 086530