Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) announced today that Qualcomm has entered into a $117 million contract with Globalstar, L.P. (NASDAQ: GSTRF) and Globalstar Service Providers to manufacture and supply portable and fixed Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) telephones that will operate on Globalstar's worldwide low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite-based digital telecommunications system. Under the contract, Qualcomm will also deliver vehicle kits that will allow hands-free operation from within a vehicle.
"This represents another major milestone in Qualcomm's support of Globalstar™ as both a strategic partner and supplier of User Terminals and Gateways," said Gerald Beckwith, president of Qualcomm's Communications Systems Division. "By providing portable telephones that function in three operating modes to the subscriber base, we have assured the most direct and least expensive means of connection for the caller. The satellite mode of operation frees users from the need to be in close proximity to a terrestrial base station in order to communicate."
Qualcomm's Globalstar tri-mode portable telephone will provide access to the Globalstar network around the world, as well as access to cellular networks using CDMA technology or analog AMPS technology. The tri-mode telephone is designed to provide maximum choice of wireless access to telecommunications networks. Interoperability between the Globalstar system and cellular companies is assured while the subscriber maintains asingle telephone number and a convenient single point for billing.
Qualcomm's Globalstar fixed telephone offers an innovative solution for the quick and efficient installation of a communications link remote areas, while avoiding the cost and time necessary to interconnect using traditional wire or terrestrial wireless systems. Qualcomm's Globalstar fixed telephone delivers a contiguous wireless solution for providing the "last mile" of connectivity with the terrestrial telephone network.
The $2.7 billion Globalstar system, comprised of 48 LEO satellites and a global network of ground stations, will allow people around the world to make or receive calls using hand-held, vehicle-mounted and fixed-site terminals. Globalstar will also provide data transmission, fax and position location services. The first four Globalstar satellites were successfully launched on February 14, 1998. The next launch of four satellites is scheduled for April 23, 1998. Globalstar expects to launch a total of 44 satellites by the end of the year.
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 satellite communications system. Other Company products include the Eudora™ family of electronic messaging 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.
Globalstar, led by Loral Space & Communications Ltd., is a partnership of the world's leading telecommunications service providers and equipment manufacturers, AirTouch Communications, Alcatel, Alenia, DACOM,Daimler-Benz Aerospace, Elsag Bailey, France Telecom, Hyundai, Qualcomm Incorporated, Space Systems/Loral and Vodafone.
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, change in economic conditions of the various markets the Company serves, 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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