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Sprint completes test of AirPrime's new 3G CDMA "VisorPhone"

Tue Mar 20, 2001 - 1:05 PM EST - By Marcus Adolfsson

3G cdma2000 1x-Ready SB3000 Module to Deliver 14.4 kbps Data/Voice Today, 144 kbps Data/Voice at 3G cdma2000 1x Network Rollout

AirPrime, a leading provider of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) wireless voice and data products to the OEM market, today announced that it has successfully completed field testing approvals for its 3G (Third-Generation packet-switching technology) cdma2000 1x-ready wireless voice/data module for the Handspring Visor family of handheld computers.

The tests were made in cooperation with Sprint PCS, at its Systems Test and Integration Center in Lenexa, Kansas.

AirPrime's Springboard module, the SB3000, incorporates QUALCOMM's newest MSM5105 integrated circuit and system software, which sampled in December of last year.

The MSM5105 solution supports 3G cdma2000 1x data rates of 144 kbps and is backward compatible with IS-95A/B at data rates of 14.4/64 kbps today.

When wireless carriers upgrade their networks, beginning in early 2002, data rates of 144 kbps are expected to become available.

Because the SB3000 incorporates 3G 1x chip technology, people will be able to gracefully transition to higher wireless data speeds on their Handspring Visor and enjoy a rich wireless Internet browsing experience without having to purchase additional hardware.

A live demonstration of the SB3000-equipped Handspring Visor will be on display at the AirPrime booth (#7949) during the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) show, March 20-22 at the Las Vegas Sands Expoand Convention Center. The live demonstration will be conducted using the Sprint PCS nationwide wireless network.

"By working closely with Sprint PCS and QUALCOMM, AirPrime has developed a product that not only delivers leading edge wireless connectivity for people using Handspring Visors today, but also takes advantage of Sprint's advanced 3G 1x network as soon as it is available," said Mark Steele, AirPrime's Senior Vice President of Product and Program Management.

"Delivering an upgradeable 3G 1x wireless platform is important as we demand more from future, converged mobile devices and services," said John Garcia, Senior Vice President for Sales and Distribution for Sprint PCS. "These tests are the first involving the QUALCOMM MSM5105 chip and the first step in delivering a device like the SB3000 that is sure to be a part of Sprint PCS' expanding data connectivity solutions."

"We are extremely pleased to see the fast progress made by AirPrime and Sprint PCS with our new MSM5105 integrated circuit and system software," said Johan Lodenius, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Management for QUALCOMM CDMA Technologies. "In little more than two months from first samples and software, the AirPrime team has successfully integrated our latest 3G 1x technology into the SB3000 and made a significant step towards commercialization on the nationwide Sprint PCS network."

The completion of the tests is a significant milestone and positions AirPrime as one the first companies to supply a 3G 1x-capable wireless data module to the OEM computing market.

AirPrime's focus on CDMA-based technology allows it to rapidly innovate and help its OEM customers reach the market in less time. AirPrime will provide SB3000 modules to its lead OEM partners for evaluation and application development during Q2, 2001. The modules will be branded and sold by AirPrime's OEM customers.

CDMA is the fastest growing and most popular wireless air interface in North America. Current IS95A networks support 14.4 kbps while IS95B networks in Asia support 64 kbps. Future deployments of CDMA 3G technology (cdma2000 1x, cdma2000 1xEV) will support data speeds from 144 kbps to 2.4 Mbps. Analysts expect that wireless data subscribers will surpass one billion by 2005 as the world continues to migrate toward 3G technology.

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