GoAmerica, a wireless Internet service provider that provides wireless phone access to email and Web applications for business and mobile professionals, closed the day with a valuation of $754 million. The company offered 10 million shares at $16 a piece.
Many analysts forecast hundreds of millions of Internet-enabled cell phones and handheld devices will be in use in the near future. Coupled with high-speed wireless networks that are on the horizon, a whole new market for mobile technologies and wireless e-commerce could be set to explode.
Some analysts believe a rash of wireless Internet start-ups will attempt to go public this year in order to gain credibility among a sea of much larger providers.
"If you don't go public you may not be around in a year and a half," said Francis Gaskins, editor of Gaskins IPO Desktop, an IPO industry newsletter. "There's a big push to go public now because these companies are trying to carve out a wireless niche before the shakeout comes."
Despite the tepid enthusiasm on Wall Street for GoAmerica shares, two other wireless industry start-ups fared well earlier this week. Vyyo, a fixed wireless equipment manufacturer, went public Wednesday while wireless content delivery firm i3 Mobile had a solid offering yesterday.
i3 Mobile stock slipped more than 20 percent today. But Vyyo shares continued to climb, adding 22 percent to close at $33.
Vyyo is not alone in the wireless industry's Wall Street run-up.
Several wireless Internet industry-related firms also saw substantial stock boosts today. Microbrowser software maker Phone.com added 19 percent to close at $140.25, and Metricom, a wireless modem manufacturer, spiked 16 percent to close at $49.63.
Separately, stock in Aether Systems, a wireless data firm, rose 23 percent to close at $171, while 724 Solutions, which makes infrastructure equipment for secure wireless transactions, gained nearly 27 percent to close at $121.