Nortel Networks to Work With Sierra Wireless, Xircom on 3G UMTS Wireless
Firms Plan to Speed Availability of ‘Missing Link’ Between Digital
BOSTON - Nortel Networks* [NYSE/TSE: NT] has signed agreements under which
both Sierra Wireless [NASDAQ: SWIR] and Xircom [NASDAQ: XIRC] will
independently develop the industry’s first third generation (3G) wireless
modems based on the UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service)
standard, and to accelerate availability of these modems to enable
anywhere’ access to rich Internet content through digital devices of all
Sierra Wireless and Xircom both plan to develop their own multi-mode
UMTS/GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) wireless modems in form factors
including PC cards, Compact Flash cards and embedded modules. Nortel
Networks intends to help fund these development efforts, and to provide
technical and joint marketing support. Plans call for market trials and
general availability in the first half of 2002.
"We’re combining the intelligence of IP (Internet Protocol), the
accessibility of the Wireless Internet and lightning fast Internet access
any device, any time," said Frank Plastina, president, Wireless Internet,
Nortel Networks. "We expect these new modems to provide the ‘missing
unleashing a torrent of data by freeing applications from the desktop and
enabling a new wave of applications and services that are scarcely
imaginable at today’s speeds."
Accelerated availability of 3G wireless modems is also expected to enable
Nortel Networks service provider customers to take full advantage of the
Wireless Internet revolution. Mobile professionals and consumers will be
able to plug these modems into personal digital assistants (PDAs), laptop
computers, in-vehicle information systems, MP3 players, digital cameras
other IP-enabled personal digital devices for untethered access to e-mail,
eBusiness, mobile commerce and multimedia services over 3G networks.
"At BT Wireless, we intend to maintain our current lead in mobile data
we launch our 3G service," said Tony Greaves, senior vice president, 3G &
Airwave, BT Wireless. "Availability of device supply is key. We expect a
range of 3G devices to be commercially available in 2002, and we are
with a number of manufacturers worldwide. The activities announced today
will help to ensure early availability and choice of products, and provide
us with options for early priority ordering through our strategic
relationship with Nortel Networks."
"We’re committed to enabling mobile users to take full advantage of the
high-performance Internet," said Peter MacKinnon, vice president, Wireless
Internet, Nortel Networks. "We expect a plethora of connected wireless IP
appliances to spur tremendous growth of wireless data, allowing service
providers to differentiate services profitably and grow average revenue
Development of 3G wireless modems will support Nortel Networks ‘Wings of
Light’ strategy, which combines optical, wireless and IP technologies to
help operators provide highly reliable, high-speed access to Internet
services and applications.
Nortel Networks recently announced an estimated US$1.8 billion in European
UMTS network awards, including a five-year contract with BT Wireless
subsidiary BT Cellnet in the United Kingdom, a 12-month build out for
in Spain and a three-year deal with Xfera, also in Spain.
"Working with Nortel Networks will drive Sierra Wireless firmly into the
European and Asia Pacific markets for 3G solutions," said Andrew Harries,
senior vice president, corporate development, Sierra Wireless. "We are
currently leading the way in the North American market for 2.5G and 3G
wireless modems and are focused on wirelessly enabling notebooks and PDAs.
Today’s announcement continues our drive for technology leadership,
and compelling 3G solutions, and a strong global presence."
"As the worldwide industry leading provider of global mobile access
solutions, Xircom is paving the way for reliable 3G wireless information
access," said Mike Scullin, vice president, business development, Xircom.
"By leveraging our years of experience in the enterprise, we are well
positioned to develop the expanded opportunity that 3G brings to the
consumer market. Together, Xircom and Nortel Networks will enable the
Wireless Internet by promoting the development of next generation,
high-speed data devices."
Strategy Analytics expects the market for personal digital devices across
the United States and Europe to nearly triple in size from US$20.9 billion
in 1999 to US$57 billion in 2005.
Sierra Wireless, Inc. is a leading provider of wireless data
hardware and software products. Sierra Wireless delivers wireless PC Cards
for portable computers, rugged vehicle-mounted wireless modems and OEM
modules for embedded applications. Sierra Wireless is the founding member
the WirelessReady* Alliance, an alliance of industry-leading hardware,
software and service companies committed to the delivery of complete and
compelling wireless data solutions. For more information on Sierra
visit its Web site at http://www.sierrawireless.com
For over a decade mobile professionals around the world have relied on
Xircom for access to their information anytime, anywhere. Xircom designs
develops innovative solutions that connect mobile users worldwide to
corporate networks, the Internet, intranets and other on-line resources.
Xircom sells and supports its products in over 100 countries through
distributors, resellers, electronic channels and global OEM partnerships.
Headquartered in Thousand Oaks, Calif., with regional headquarters in
Belgium, Japan and Singapore, Xircom has 1,900 employees worldwide and
trailing four-quarter revenue of US$496 million. Please visit
for more information.
Nortel Networks is a global Internet and communications leader with
capabilities spanning Optical, Wireless, Local Internet and eBusiness. The
Company had 1999 U.S. GAAP revenues of US$21.3 billion and serves carrier,
service provider and enterprise customers globally. Today, Nortel Networks
is creating a high-performance Internet that is more reliable and faster
than ever before. It is redefining the economics and quality of networking
and the Internet, promising a new era of collaboration, communications and
commerce. Visit us at http://www.nortelnetworks.com
Certain information included in this press release is forward-looking and
subject to important risks and uncertainties. The results or events
predicted in these statements may differ materially from actual results or
events. Factors which could cause results or events to differ from current
expectations include, among other things: the impact of price and product
competition; the dependence on new product development; the impact of
technological and market change; the ability of Nortel Networks to make
acquisitions and/or integrate the operations and technologies of acquired
businesses in an effective manner; general industry and market conditions
and growth rates; international growth and global economic conditions,
particularly in emerging markets and including interest rate and currency
exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of consolidations in the
telecommunications industry, the uncertainties of the Internet; stock
volatility; the ability of Nortel Networks to recruit and retain qualified
employees; and the impact of increased provision of customer financing by
Nortel Networks. For additional information with respect to certain of
and other factors, see the reports filed by Nortel Networks with the
States Securities and Exchange Commission. Nortel Networks disclaims any
intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking
whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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