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Lukewarm welcome for wireless Net IPO

Investors may have had their fill of wireless industry IPOs this week as shares of GoAmerica remain flat following the firm's first day of trading as a public company.

    Investors may have had their fill of wireless industry public offerings this week as shares of GoAmerica remained flat following the wireless Internet firm's first day of trading as a public company today.

    Stock in GoAmerica remained unchanged at $16 after its first day of trading on a heavy volume of more than 20 million shares. Shares traded as high as $18 and as low as $15. Tune in to CNET News.com TV's IPO Forecast

    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.