Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Orbitel Mobile Communications Ltd., today announced that they have signed a worldwide multi-million dollar handset license agreement for Qualcomm's Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology. The agreement allows Orbitel to design, develop, manufacture, and sell handsets for use within the Globalstar Satellite System. Orbitel will also purchase certain Qualcomm hardware and software designs.
Qualcomm and Orbitel have also signed a multi-million dollar development subcontract for Orbitel to design and manufacture pre-production Globalstar handsets incorporating Qualcomm's CDMA technology and Orbitel's Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) terrestrial-based technology and expertise.
"Qualcomm is very pleased to have Orbitel as part of our Globalstar development team. Orbitel's extensive expertise as a GSM handset manufacturer adds to the impressive list of world class manufacturers committed to Globalstar," said Jerry Beckwith, president of Qualcomm's Communications System Division. "Qualcomm welcomes this opportunity to license our CDMA technology to another European manufacturer."
"In working with Qualcomm on the Globalstar technology initiative, Orbitel will be expanding its product range into this new and exciting market opportunity," said David Sims, managing director of Orbitel Mobile Communications. "In developing our strategy to meet local needs in a global market we recognize that Satellite Personal Communications Networks (S-PCN's) provide an excellent opportunity to offer a common telephony standard. Having evaluated the prospective systems we believe that Globalstar will be a cost effective and technologically advanced system."
Globalstar consists of a 48 low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation, gateways, fixed and mobile handsets, which provides wireless telephone service, data, fax, paging, and position location services to customers around the globe. Globalstar expects to begin launching satellites in the second half of 1997 and to begin commercial operations 1998.
Orbitel Mobile Communications Limited is a U.K.-based company with purpose built manufacturing plants in Nottinghamshire, headquarters in Basingstoke and sales offices in France and Germany, and is jointly owned by Vodafone Group PLC and LM Ericsson of Sweden. Formed in 1987, Orbitel designs, manufactures and markets digital cellular products and infrastructure equipment and is recognized as a leader in the supply of high quality GSM mobile terminals. In addition recent expansion of its product range include multi-line Telepoint, Radio in the Local Loop and specialist outdoor enclosures for the cellular market place. Orbitel has seen significant growth over the past two years and sees Globalstar as a further opportunity in expanding its businesses around the world.
Headquartered in San Diego, Qualcomm develops, manufactures, markets, licenses and operates advanced communications systems and products based onits proprietary digital wireless technologies. The Company's primary product areas are the OmniTRACS® system (a geostationary satellite-based, mobile communications system providing two-way data and position reporting services), CDMA wireless communications systems and products 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, VLSI components, and communications equipment and systems for government and commercial customers worldwide.
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