This year’s Deloitte’s Fast 50 Canadian technology companies list features a healthy roster of wireless and telecommunications companies with Ontario companies such as Pickering’s AirIQ Inc. and Mississauga’s Redknee Inc. as well as Burnaby BC’s Unity Wireless Corp. making the top 20 (see box for full list of wireless and telecom companies).  Gary Foster, national leader of Deloitte’s technology, media and telecommunications practice, says the makeup of this year’s Fast 50 reflects the changing dynamics taking place in Canada. In total, there were 17 wireless and telecom-related firms on the list. When Deloitte started the Fast 50 eight years ago there were a lot of networking and software companies, notes Foster. But with the number of wireless and telecom companies making the list this year, it shows that past promises of dot-com and convergence are starting to be fulfilled. "It just took about three or four year until it got here and it wasn’t quite as foolish as people had anticipated...I think we’re just at 10% up the curve on the wireless revolution," he says, adding that it is realistic to think that within two or three years wireless and telecom companies will make about 50% of the Fast 50. Foster attributes the rise of telecommunications companies, and especially wireless firms, to the geography of the country. With a disperse population spread out over a country with such a large land mass, it only makes sense that "we’ve always been good at communications, always been good at building those types of networks and it’s clear that wireless really is the way of the future," he explains.  Not only are technology companies growing faster, according to Deloitte’s Fast 50, they are also investing more in research and development. "There has been a significant increase in R&D investment, with the average R&D expenditure of Fast 50 recipients up almost double $9.2 million, from $5.3 million in the previous year," reads the Deloitte news release.  The R&D tax credit regime in Canada can be credited with this increase in spending, says Foster. "We’ve got a very lucrative program for research and development with the scientific research and experimental development (SRED) tax credits...I think in many respects that program has helped fuel the growth, especially now that the bust is behind us. Companies have the money to invest in ," he says.  The top wireless company was AirIQ, placing eighth with a five-year revenue growth rate of more than 3,011%. Oceanwide Inc. of Montreal experienced more than 1,750% over the past five years and was the second-highest ranking wireless firm on the list. Toronto-based Strategic Vista International Inc. had more than 1,680% growth from 2000 to 2004.  Sales to the United States and Europe are the top two destinations for sales for all of the companies on the Fast 50, says Foster, adding that the Asia Pacific market will figure prominently in the future. "I would expect the European and Asia Pacific markets will continue to grow pretty quickly because they are early adopters.  Their networks are more robust. We’re now just getting to the stage of where we’re trying to push a lot of content down to the cell phone," he adds.