Novatel Wireless Expands into Italy with Speeka S.r.l
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - June 6, 2002 - Novatel Wireless, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVTL), a leading provider of wireless data access solutions, announced today that it has expanded its distribution into Italy with Speeka, S.r.l, a top wireless distribution company selling products nationwide throughout Italy.
Italy has over 50 million subscribers and a penetration rate of over 80%, one of the highest rates of wireless penetration in the world. Under this agreement Speeka will deliver Novatel Wireless' Merlin GSM/GPRS Family of Wireless PC Cards, including the Merlin G200 and G300 series, to businesses and consumers throughout Italy.
"Italy is projected to have more cellular phones per capita than anywhere else in Europe and we believe is a promising market for high speed wireless data services, " said Pierpaolo Poli, managing director for Speeka. "We are looking forward to working with Novatel Wireless and developing a partnership that will benefit enterprises and consumers in Italy. The Merlin product line offers true freedom when it comes to mobile connectivity and it is a powerful addition to our portfolio of wireless products."
"Speeka has been a pioneer in the wireless industry," explained Owen Stephenson, senior vice president of GPRS operations for Novatel Wireless. "We believe their wide range of products and strong partnerships will help expand the audience for our Merlin product line in one of the hottest wireless nations in Europe. With this agreement, our products are now being distributed in nine countries in Europe and throughout both Asia and North America."
The Merlin G200 Series will be available immediately and the Merlin G300 Series will become available in the third quarter of 2002. Pricing will be determined by network operators and other channel markets.
MERLIN G200 SERIES
The Merlin G200 Series is a family of dual band (900/1800) wireless PC Card modems based on GSM/GPRS technology. Slightly larger than a credit card, Merlin G200 slides inside your Type II PC Card slot; providing access to email, corporate databases and the Internet at maximum speeds of up to 53.6 kbps over GPRS and 14.4 kbps over GSM. Equipped with a robust removable antenna to enhance portability, the Merlin G200 provides Short Messaging Service (SMS) capabilities allowing users to send and receive text messages for quick person-to-person or group chats from their laptop or handheld device. The Merlin G201 is voice capable over the GSM network allowing users to make and receive calls from a laptop or Pocket PC device. Merlin G200 and G201 are compatible with Microsoft Windows 98, 2000, Millennium Edition, XP and Pocket PC 2000 and 2002 operating systems.
MERLIN G300 SERIES
The Merlin G300 Series is a family of true Type II, tri-band PC Cards that are compatible with Windows 98, 2000, Millennium Edition, XP and Pocket PC operating systems. The application software simplifies user interaction with Windows based operating systems and provides an integrated environment for SMS, fax, and dialer functionality. GPRS capabilities result in an "always on" experience, so that the user can access data wirelessly at the click of a button. Switching over to GSM-based applications like text messaging, fax, and voice calls is equally simple, resulting in an enhanced user experience. The Merlin G300 Series will offer standard GSM voice capabilities allowing the user to make and receive calls from a laptop or Pocket PC device.
GPRS is an exciting new wireless technology standard which has profoundly altered and improved the data services available over GSM-based wireless networks. An over-the-air system for transmitting data on GSM networks, GPRS technology converts data into standard Internet packets, enabling interoperability between the Internet and the GSM network, and providing the user with an "always on" experience. One of the great strengths of GSM is its international reach, giving consumers seamless service in over 170 countries around the world. This has been a vital driver in growth, with over 645 million GSM subscribers globally, representing over 67% of all handsets. GPRS wireless technology employs extensive authentication and encryption via standard GSM algorithms, making it one of the most secure public wireless systems in the world. The Subscriber Identity Module (SIM card), a key component of the GSM network, stores the authentication and encryption algorithms, making it virtually impossible for unauthorized users to capture and decipher messages.
Speeka was incorporated in 1991 and is the first company in the world to provide cellular phones for rental on a worldwide basis covering over 80 nations. Speeka was also the first Italian distributor of Sprint-GlobalOne and spearheaded the development of data transmission devices to be used with analog cellular phones, in partnership with Spectrum US, a pioneer in the cellular data transmission industry. As a prime point of reference for Italian cellular carriers, corporate and private customers, Speeka became the official cellular data transmission partner of companies such as IBM, Apple, Siemens, Acer, Texas Instruments, Olivetti, and Hewlett-Packard. A pioneer in the wireless data industry, Speeka has partnered with Telecom Italia, Omnitel, TIM and the Italian Armed Forces.
ABOUT NOVATEL WIRELESS, INC.
Novatel Wireless, Inc. is a leading provider of wireless data modems and software for use with handheld computing devices and portable personal computers. The company delivers innovative and comprehensive solutions that enable businesses and consumers to access personal, corporate and public information through email, enterprise networks and the Internet. Novatel Wireless also offers wireless data modems and custom engineering services for hardware integration projects in a wide range of vertical applications. The Novatel Wireless product portfolio includes the Minstrel® Family of Wireless Handheld Modems, MerlinTM Family of Wireless PC Card Modems, Sage® Wireless Serial Modems, Lancer 3WTM Family of Ruggedized Modems and ExpediteTM Family of Wireless Embedded Modems. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Novatel Wireless is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: NVTL). For more information, please visit the Novatel Wireless web site: www.novatelwireless.com or call 888-888-9231.
The Novatel Wireless logo, Minstrel, Merlin, Merlin G201, Sage, Lancer 3W and Expedite are trademarks of Novatel Wireless, Inc. Minstrel and Sage are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. All other brands, products and company names mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective holders.
This release may contain forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These factors include risks relating to technological changes, continued acceptance of Novatel Wireless' products and dependence on intellectual property rights. These factors, as well as other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, are discussed in more detail in Novatel Wireless' filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies.