ERF Wireless Inc., which is developing a long-distance data network aimed at financial companies, said it is "significantly increasing" its efforts to acquire wireless Internet service providers in several states.

The goal is to increase its coverage area by 100,000 square miles within 12 months, mainly in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Colorado.

ERF said it has already acquired 12 such companies in the past four years.

ERF, of League City, Tex., is developing several wireless data networks in the South, and plans to link them to create a national network for banks. It has said that wireless networks are less expensive to build and maintain than wired ones, and that they can play a valuable role in financial companies' disaster recovery planning.

ERF also said it is expanding its focus to cover oil and gas companies.

It said it expects its expansion to help it attract more customers and generate more recurring revenue from wireless data services, from about $1 million a quarter now to more than $1 million a month within 12 months.