Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that it has signed a contract with African Telecommunications Incorporated (AfriTel) for a wireless local loop (WLL) system in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire. Under the terms of the contract, valued at over $70 million, Qualcomm will begin deployment of the cdmaOne™ (IS-95 Code Division Multiple Access) WLL system in mid 1998, with commercial service expected by late 1998.
With Qualcomm's family of advanced CDMA products and services, AfriTel intends to offer many African countries the opportunity to leapfrog existing telecommunications technology and improve teledensity (i.e., the number of phones per 100 people) with high-quality, high-capacity, digital wireless systems.
"Our agreement with AfriTel demonstrates Qualcomm's commitment to providing advanced CDMA technology to countries throughout the African continent," commented John Major, president of Qualcomm's Wireless Infrastructure Division. "Telecommunications has proven to be an important engine of economic development and we are enthusiastic about being a part of the growth and advancement of telecommunications in Africa."
"Our relationship with AfriTel has a strategic vision," Major continued. "Qualcomm and AfriTel will be using CDMA wireless local loop to assist in the reconstruction and development of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country with over 46 million people and a low telephone penetration. Qualcomm looks forward to working with AfriTel to improve the availability and quality of telephone service to both residential and business customers in the Congo."
Qualcomm pioneered the acceptance of CDMA technology in Africa, and continues to expand its global presence with contracts for CDMA deploymentsin North America, South America, Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. As aleading CDMA equipment provider, Qualcomm offers turnkey fixed and mobile systems to 800 MHz cellular and 1900 MHz PCS operators. Qualcomm's products optimize cdmaOne technology to its greatest potential, providing high performance networks to operators all over the world. The Company has emerged as a leader in the global WLL arena with several commercial systems in Russia and India. As the developer of CDMA technology, Qualcomm continues to lead the industry in research and development and standardization of new CDMA features and services, as well as third-generation digital wireless technologies.
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 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, 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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