Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), a leader in satellite-based two-way mobile communications for the transportation industry, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Aeris Communications, Inc. to deploy Aeris MicroBurst™ technology in its new terrestrial-based untethered trailer tracking product. MicroBurst wireless messaging technology will enable Qualcomm to provide its customers with alow cost and reliable untethered trailer tracking solution within the North American cellular network. This is the first phase in an aggressive strategy to provide satellite and terrestrial-based tracking services for both tractors and trailers.
With its new three-tiered strategy, Qualcomm will be the first communications company to offer a complete range of trailer tracking services, including a tethered (connected to the tractor) version, a satellite-based untethered version and a terrestrial-based untethered version for all major transportation market segments. Qualcomm's trailer tracking customers will have their choice of coverage and options with hardware prices targeted to range from $200 to $600 and messaging targeted to start at less than $10 per month. Additionally, all messaging will be integrated at Qualcomm's Network Management Center (NMC), providing customers around-the-clock technical support and single source point of contact. Whichever trailer tracking product is selected, Qualcomm customers will benefit from increased equipment utilization, fewer asset losses, improved customer service and cargo security.
Already the leader in tethered trailer tracking, Qualcomm will leverage Aeris MicroBurst's low-cost solution to successfully enter the untethered trailer tracking market.
"We chose MicroBurst technology for its low cost structure and its efficient use of the existing cellular network," stated Phil White, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm's OmniTRACS Division. "Our goal is to offer choices to our customers without sacrificing the superior customer service and reliable total solutions for which we are known. MicroBurst will enable us to offer an untethered trailer tracking solution to those customers with tracking requirements primarily within the North American cellular network while a satellite solution will be offered to those that require broader-based coverage."
Qualcomm's current tethered trailer tracking product, TrailerTRACS™, offers information concerning trailer identification, location and unscheduled trailer movement when connected to an OmniTRACS® equipped tractor. The untethered trailer tracking products will offer these same features plus a variety of other options including door sensors, load capacity and trip recording logic while disconnected from a tractor for up to thirty days. For maximum cost efficiency, both untethered products will suppress messaging when connected to an OmniTRACS equipped tractor by using a Qualcomm proprietary communications link.
"This agreement reflects the strength of MicroBurst's cellular control channel solution for vehicle and asset tracking," said Dick Gossen, CEO and president of Aeris Communications. "Aeris MicroBurst is ideal as a stand alone or as a wireless complement to existing messaging technologies."
Aeris MicroBurst is a proprietary utility that enables short RAAM (Remote Access Application Message) data packets to be transmitted over control channels in cellular networks using standard signaling mechanisms. From MicroBurst cellular devices embedded in Qualcomm's untethered tracking product, these short data packets are transmitted over existing SS7 (Signaling System 7) networks to the Aeris central hub facility, which then routes the data to Qualcomm's NMC. The end user receives the information via various telecommunications solutions.
With over 230,000 OmniTRACS units sold worldwide, Qualcomm is the leader in providing mobile communications and information management systems to the transportation industry. Qualcomm currently has systems operating in the United States, Canada, Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Korea and Malaysia.
Aeris Communications, Inc., headquartered in San Jose, California, provides wireless connectivity for a broad array of short packet signaling and messaging services using its proprietary MicroBurst utility. MicroBurst employs the control channel infrastructure of the cellular network as a transmission medium to achieve low cost of service and ubiquitous coverage. Initial applications include vehicle position and condition reporting, security and equipment monitoring, and utility meter reading. For more information on Aeris, call (408) 296-8700 or visit the Aeris web site at http://www.aeris.net/.
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 products, 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, 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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