Partner Communications To Launch High-Speed Data Services Using 3G UMTS Modem Cards From Lucent Technologies And Novatel Wireless
LONDON AND SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) and Novatel Wireless (NASDAQ: NVTL) today announced that Partner Communications Company Ltd. (Partner) will offer its customers the Merlin U530 Wireless PC Card Modem, jointly developed by Lucent and Novatel Wireless. Partner expects to launch comprehensive commercial 3G services using its third-generation (3G) Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network in Israel later this year.
The Merlin U530 will enable Partner to offer its customers enhanced services such as high-quality streaming video and audio over PC, secure mobile access to e-mail with large attachments and other information stored behind corporate firewalls at data transfer speeds of up to 384 kilobits per second, while allowing them to be fully mobile.
"This is an important milestone in the rollout process of our 3G network," said Iris Beck, vice president of marketing & content, Partner Communications. "At the beginning of June, we started a controlled launch of our 3G services with around 1,000 customers who were able to experience mobile broadband access, some of them using the Merlin U530 data card from Lucent and Novatel Wireless. The trial was designed to ensure a high quality of the service prior to commercial launch.
"Broadband access is a key element of 3G services," added Beck. "As of next week, our customers will be able to access a service never experienced in Israel - mobile broadband data on their laptop PC. Our customers will be able to read e-mails and access the Internet and corporate information on their laptops using the Merlin U530 PC card at speeds up to 10 times greater than what has been available before."
The UMTS service will be available in the Gush Dan area - Tel Aviv, Givataim, Raanana, with coverage soon expanding to other areas.
"Even when our customers travel abroad, they will be able to enjoy mobile broadband Internet access in many key locations, since we have 3G roaming agreements with nine operators and we continue to expand the international connectivity to our customers," said Dan Eldar, Partner's vice president,Carrier and International Relations.
"The Merlin U530 cards will enable Partner's customers to take advantage of the high-speed mobile data services that 3G UMTS networks make possible," said David Poticny, president, Lucent Europe, Middle East and Africa. "These services are particularly attractive to business users, and these agreements put Partner in an ideal position to start tapping the enormous demand for mobile data services in the business market."
"We are pleased to expand our market reach to the Middle East and add Partner to our growing list of top tier operator customers that span the globe," said Rob Hadley, vice president of sales for Novatel Wireless. "With the Merlin U530 we have clearly established ourselves internationally as the market leader in 3G UMTS data solutions and we look forward to similar success with our other products that will support the build out of 3G networks in North America."
ABOUT PARTNER COMMUNICATIONS
Partner Communications Company Ltd. is a leading Israeli mobile communications operator known for its GSM/GPRS based services and the development of wire free applications under the preferred orange brand. The Company commenced full commercial operations in January 1999 and, through its network, provides quality of service and a range of features to more than 2.2 million subscribers in Israel. Partner subscribers can use roaming services in 141 destinations using 309 GSM networks. The Company was awarded a 3G license in 2002. Partner's ADSs are quoted on NASDAQ under the symbol PTNR and on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) under the symbol PCCD. Its shares are quoted on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) under the symbol PTNR. For more information, please visit www.investors.orange.co.il
ABOUT LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES
Lucent Technologies designs and delivers the systems, services and software that drive next-generation communications networks. Backed by Bell Labs research and development, Lucent uses its strengths in mobility, optical, software, data and voice networking technologies, as well as services, to create new revenue-generating opportunities for its customers, while enabling them to quickly deploy and better manage their networks. Lucent's customer base includes communications service providers, governments and enterprises worldwide. For more information on Lucent Technologies, which has headquarters in Murray Hill, N.J., USA, visit www.lucent.com.
ABOUT NOVATEL WIRELESS, INC.
Novatel Wireless, Inc. is a leading provider of wireless broadband access solutions. Novatel Wireless' MerlinTM PC Cards, ExpediteTM Embedded Modems, Freedom Box Ruggedized Modems and MobiLink Communications Software Suite enable high-speed wireless access to personal, corporate and public information via portable computers, handheld devices and vertical market applications. The company delivers innovative 2.5G and 3G solutions to operators, distributors and vertical markets worldwide. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Novatel Wireless is listed on NASDAQ: NVTL.
© 2004 Novatel Wireless. All rights reserved. The Novatel Wireless logo, Merlin, Merlin U530, Expedite, Freedom Box, and MobiLink are trademarks of Novatel Wireless, Inc. 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, as amended to date. 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 contained herein. 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 (available at www.sec.gov) and other regulatory agencies.