Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Grupo Pegaso today announced that their consortium, Pegaso Comunicaciones y Sistemas, has been awarded nine 1900 MHz licenses to provide nationwide mobile PCS and wireless local loop (WLL) services throughout Mexico. The consortium, formed to participate in Mexico's Personal Communications Services (PCS) auctions, plans to immediately begin preparations to deploy cdmaOne (IS-95 Code Division Multiple Access) networks nationwide, with commercial service in major cities expected by the first quarter of 1999.
The results of the auction, which began on November 17, 1997 and ended May 8, 1998, were announced last week by the Comision Federal de Telecommunicacions (COFETEL), Mexico's telecommunications regulatory body.
"We entered the auctions dedicated to acquire the appropriate spectrum to establish a high-quality, high-capacity, nationwide cdmaOne wireless system for individual and business voice and data customers," said Harvey White, president of Qualcomm and president of Pegaso Comunicaciones y Sistemas. "We expect to provide premier quality and capability that only cdmaOne can deliver to both high-mobility and local customers."
"We have been a part of the growth of wireless communications in Mexico for six years through our ownership in Corporación Nacional de Radiodeterminación (CNR)," White continued. "This experience, which isalso in partnership with Pegaso, adds to our excitement relative to the possibilities and potential of the Mexican market. CNR provides a satellite data communications service known as the OmniTRACS system to thousands of trucks in Mexico as part of a seamless North American network serving the transportation industry."
"Mexico, with a population of more than 94 million and a current teledensity of under 10 percent, has set aggressive goals to increase access to telecommunications by introducing competition into the telecommunications sector, and we strongly believe that our consortium will be a leader in reaching these goals for Mexico," said Alejandro Burillo Azcarraga, president of Grupo Pegaso. "Qualcomm's CDMA technology provides the optimal solution for increasing teledensity by providing high-quality, cost-effective wireless local loop and mobile PCS services."
The consortium was awarded a total of five 30 MHz licenses in the 1900 MHz band in the Baja California, Northwest, Northeast, West, and Mexico City and Morelos regions (regions 1, 2, 4, 6 and 9) and a total of four 10 MHz licenses in the 1900 MHz band in the North, Southeast, Center, and Gulf and South regions (regions 3, 5, 7 and 8). The nationwide system will cover a total of 94.7 million potential customers (POPs). The consortium plans to offer a mix of urban, rural, fixed and mobile services according to the buildout requirements set out by COFETEL.
As the developer of CDMA technology and a leading supplier of CDMA digital wireless systems, Qualcomm is providing technological expertise and advanced CDMA equipment to the consortium, which was formed to improve access to high quality, cost-effective telecommunications services in Mexico. CDMA, the most spectrally efficient technology available, delivers excellent voice quality, advanced features and services, and secure wireless communications to more than eight million subscribers worldwide today.
Qualcomm will provide the complete turnkey system to provide nationwide CDMA coverage to Mexico, including infrastructure equipment, deployment services, wireless local loop telephones and mobile phones. The systems will utilize Qualcomm's QCell 1900 MHz base stations and QCore switch and base station controller products, which are fully scaleable for simple andcost-effective capacity expansion. Qualcomm's products optimize cdmaOne technology to its greatest potential, providing high-performance networks to operators all over the world. Qualcomm networks are fully data-capable, offering consumers the ability to access e-mail, browse the World Wide Web and transmit faxes using their CDMA digital wireless phones. Qualcomm will also furnish a full menu of services, including training, program management, installation, commissioning and network planning using Qualcomm's QEDesign network planning software.
Grupo Pegaso is a private equity investment group based in Mexico City with significant holdings in Grupo Televisa, the largest media company in the spanish-speaking world and a major player in the international entertainment business; OmniTRACS® system, a joint venture with Qualcomm providing satellite-based digital two-way communications with GPS for the trucking industry; regional cable companies; real estate; banking; and theme park and sports promotions.
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 communication 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, the Company's ability to successfully manufacture significant quantities of CDMA or other equipment on a timely and profitable basis and those related to performance guarantees, 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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