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Qualcomm Announces Results of GSM-CDMA Technology Trial

– February 17, 1998 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced the results of the joint Vodafone/Qualcomm GSM-CDMA Technology Trial conducted over the last six months in Newbury, U.K. The enhanced hybrid technology combines the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) air interface with Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) networks. Culminating in the first-ever GSM-CDMA phone call, the field trial successfully demonstrated CDMA wireless access integrated into a GSM network, and validated the technical feasibility of the technology.

A primary objective of the trial was to demonstrate compatibility between the IS-95 CDMA air interface and an existing GSM network through integration of an unmodified GSM switch over the GSM-standard A-interface. GSM-CDMA is an extension of a GSM network with IS-95 CDMA radio access in addition to, or as a substitute for, TDMA radio access. It combines the spectral efficiency of CDMA with all the available features of GSM, including seamless roaming and network services.

Qualcomm and Vodafone connected to the live GSM network, using an unmodified GSM switch, and made an extensive series of mobile-to-land, land-to-mobile and mobile-to-mobile phone calls. The trial successfully demonstrated the ability to overlay IS-95 radio access to a GSM Mobile Switching Center (MSC) at the A-interface without major changes to existing commercial GSM or CDMA products. In addition, the trial successfully demonstrated the technical feasibility of GSM-CDMA integration while maintaining CDMA over-the-air performance. Specific trial objectives included validating compatibility with the standard unmodified GSM-A interface by testing a variety of network services, such as timing performance, soft and softer handover, failure rate performance and functional tests, and supplementary service tests.

The trial network supplied by Qualcomm consisted of four three-sectored QCell Base station Transceiver Subsystems (BTS) and a QCore™ Base Station Controller (BSC). The mobile phones used in the trial were Qualcomm 1.9 GHz PCS phones which were modified to accommodate standard GSM SIM cards. The GSM phone software was supplied by The Technology Partnership.

More specifically, the trial demonstrated the technical feasibility of the GSM-CDMA concept through:

  • Integration of a CDMA Base Station Subsystem (BSS - consisting of the BSC and BTS components) with a core GSM switching network using the standard A-interface. Phased integration of the CDMA BSS and GSM MSC was completed to test compatibility at Message Transfer Point (MTP) and BSSMAP levels.
  • Validation of the performance of the CDMA air-interface when integrated to the GSM network. A set of radio performance tests was completed. The tests included coverage and soft-handover in a standalone CDMA network, with further performance testing and repeated tests following integration.
  • Demonstration of stable and reliable GSM services. The trial demonstrated that the GSM-CDMA concept supports supplementary services such as call forwarding, call waiting, call hold and short message service. Set-up time and failure rate tests show these services are stable and reliable.
  • Demonstration of a security feature with the GSM authentication algorithm. The trial demonstrated GSM authentication, which is part of GSM Mobility Management, using the same algorithm, SIMs and Authentication Center as used in the operational GSM network.

For a copy of the Technology Trial Report, please contact Molly Foerster at +33 (0)4 92 38 82 20 (ph) or +33 (0)4 92 38 82 30 (fax). Alternatively, please contact Desirée Gaugler at 1-(619) 658-4558 (ph) or 1-(619) 651-2880 (fax).

The Technology Partnership, based near Cambridge, is Europe's major product development and engineering company and is the world's largest independent supplier of GSM mobile phone technology. For further information, please contact Dr. C. Graeme-Barber at the Technology Partnership at +44 (0)1763262626.

Vodafone is the U.K.'s most popular mobile phone operator, and is a leading international GSM operator bringing experience of the development, deployment and operation of digital and analog cellular networks. For further information, please contact David Danielli at the Vodafone Group Press Office at +44 (0)7000 500100.

Headquartered in San Diego, Qualcomm develops, manufactures, markets, licenses, and operates advanced communications systems and products based on its proprietary digital wireless technologies. The Company's primary product areas are CDMA wireless communications systems and products, the OmniTRACS® system (a geostationary satellite-based, mobile communications system providing two-way data and position reporting services) and, in conjunction with others, the development of the Globalstar low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite communications system. Other Company products include the Eudora Pro electronic mail software, ASIC products, and communications equipment and systems for government and commercial customers worldwide. For more information on Qualcomm products and technologies, please visit the Company's web site at http://www.qualcomm.com/.

Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including timely product development and commercial implementation of the Company's products, as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 28, 1997 and most recent Form 10-Q.

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