In mid-August a relatively unknown company came to market with an unexpected press release. DAG Wireless and its VelocityXG system promised 5G air-to-ground inflight connectivity services on a solution already certified and ready to deploy. But with no details about where it came from or where it was being tested the news was more than a little suspicious. Now we know why.
DAG Wireless, in cahoots with Wireless Systems Solutions LLC (WSS), is now accused of stealing the intellectual property of SmartSky and attempting to resell it under its own branding. In the filing SmartSky indicates that it paid WSS more than $30 million for the development and manufacture of the components at issue. But rather than deliver the goods to SmartSky it diverted the technology an resources to get DAG Wireless off the ground, including its new VelocityXG solution.
We have pledged to defend our intellectual property vigorously because it is critical to our success. In this situation, WSS failed to complete what it was contracted to do for SmartSky. Simultaneously, we believe WSS attempted to sell our product as its own, including through an alter-ego company formed after we began working with WSS yet involving the same people.– Ryan Stone, SmartSky President
Owing to the lawsuit and transitioning of the WSS work to another vendor, SmartSky now anticipates launch of its nationwide ATG network in 2021.
SmartSky also indicated it recently added $40 million in equity financing and $10 million in debt to keep the company running while the transition and new deployment occur.
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