xG, the wireless start-up that claimed to break the Shannon Limit for communications, now says it is profitable in its first month of shipping.

The company has begun delivering xMax base stations which it claims are "1000 times more efficient than WiMax". Radio scientists rule that claim out as impossible, but the xMax stations do apparently function, and have been shipped to at least a handful of operators in a number of countries.

Now, those operators will put the device through its paces, and should nail or vindicate xG's claims. In the meantime, the company is claiming it was profitable "at the net income level" in January.

xG won't give details because it's in a close period, except to say this is "standard profit after direct and indirect expenses".

Without the details, sceptics can point out that it is always possible to make a profit in any given month, by moving expenses forward and back.

Be that as it may, the company says it has an encouraging future delivery schedule for its base stations, and tells us that it has a revenue share arrangement which will kick in if its partners launch commercial services.

But both of those things depend on these first customers actually finding they've got something that works as described, and which can be used as the basis for a profitable service - at a time when the world is pretty much brimming with alternatives. We're still waiting on that one.

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Update

Thank you for your comments - I'm responding here, as there isn't room in a comment and I can't add links.

Taking the most coherent posts - Tom and toljaso, let's do the Shannon discussion once more.

Obviously, xG never says "we break the Shannon limit". Free energy companies don't say "we break the second law of thermodynamics", and homeopathy sites don't mention their "remedies" contain no active ingredients (well, not usually).

What xG does is to make claims that imply it can break this physical limit, and various other people have pointed this out.

In the past, xG has claimed to be 1000 times more efficient than WiMax. They said that to me personally in Florida, and it was widely reported on Techworld and elsewhere. WiMax operates close to the Shannon limit. so a technology that is 1000 times more efficient would be a physical impossibility.

That claim isn't currently on the xG site but today I found the following is still on the company's technology pages:

"Single Cycle Modulation is implemented when individual sinusoidal cycles of RF energy are modulated to represent one or more bits of data. This proprietary modulation method differs from conventional approaches where tens to hundreds of thousands of RF cycles are required to convey a single bit of information. With each additional cycle representing more RF power, getting the job done with fewer cycles translates into more power-efficient RF transmissions."

This claims single RF cycles can be used where rival technologies use hundreds or thousands. That translates, pretty clearly, into a claim to be hundreds or thousands of times more efficient than rival technologies.

As I said above, if you're comparing against a relevant technology, say WiMax or 3G, which are close to maximum efficiency, then this must be a claim to break the limit - and therefore not a possibility.

Let's be clear, what I'm saying here. I am not saying xG's technology won't work. It's been demonstrated. And I'm not saying it can't be more efficient than existing technologies - there's always scope for improvements.

What I am saying is that it can't be as efficient as it claims. And we're waiting to see a definitive answer on how good it actually is.