Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that through OzPhone (a company formed to participate in Australia's Personal Communications Services auctions), it has acquired eight 800 MHz licenses, covering 5.4 million potential customers (POPs). Qualcomm, as sole owner of OzPhone stock, plans to use the licenses to provide digital mobile and wireless local loop (WLL) services in several major metropolitan and suburban areas of Australia. Qualcomm will deploy cellular systems based on the Company's Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology, which offers secure, clear voice communications andfast, reliable access to data services, including e-mail, fax and Internet browsing.
"The government's decision to require the conversion from AMPS to digital in the cellular band in these areas will, for the first time, give Australians the opportunity to use CDMA, with its superior coverage, cost and quality, for wireless service in the cellular spectrum," said Harvey White, president of Qualcomm. "We are looking forward to bringing high-quality fixed and mobile wireless voice and data services to major portions of the country. We believe our CDMA network will bring fixed and mobile users a new level of freedom to communicate anywhere, anytime in a cost-effective manner in these greater metropolitan areas."
The consortium has acquired a total of eight 5 MHz licenses in the 800 MHz band in the Brisbane, Perth, Cairns, Mackay, Maryborough, Grafton, Tasmania and Regional West regions, covering 5.4 million POPs. The total cost of the licenses was just under 10 million Australian dollars (approximately US $6.2 million). The results of the auction, which began on April 14, 1998 and ended May 25, 1998, were announced this week by the Australian Communications Authority, Australia's telecommunications regulatory body.
CDMA technology, developed by Qualcomm, is ideal for covering diverse terrain, and can serve a mix of fixed wireless and mobile users from the same equipment platform. Because of this flexibility, Qualcomm will be able to tailor the type of service to each region's particular needs and growth patterns. For example, CDMA technology delivers spectral efficiency unmatched by any other commercial technology, making it an optimal solution for providing wireless services in urban and suburban areas, such as Brisbane and Perth. In addition, the wide coverage afforded by CDMA basestations will enable the network to be extended easily and cost effectively to rural areas—providing access to service as well as roaming capabilities.
Qualcomm is to be the turnkey supplier of infrastructure equipment, deployment services, wireless local loop telephones and portable phones for the network rollouts. The systems will utilize Qualcomm's QCell™ 800 MHz base stations and QCore™ switch and base station controller products, which are fully scaleable for simple and cost-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 also offers a variety of customer services, including training, program management, installation, commissioning and network planning using Qualcomm's QEDesign™ network planning software.
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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