QUALCOMM Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), pioneer and world leader of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital wireless technology, and Sprint PCS (NYSE: PCS), operator of the nation's largest all-digital, all-CDMA wireless network, today announced U.S. trials of a third-generation (3G) CDMA 1x Multi-Carrier (MC) voice and data solution that began in April 2000. Trials will include testing and verification of the 144 kilobits per second (kbps) 3G data capabilities using QUALCOMM CDMA Technologies' (QCT) MSM5000(TM) Mobile Station Modem (MSM(TM)) chipset and system software, and CSM5000(TM) Cell Site Modem (CSM(TM)) base station chip and system software, on a Sprint PCS network. Interoperability testing and qualification with network hardware from multiple infrastructure manufacturers will also be included in the trials. These trials are expected to lead to commercial deployment of 3G CDMA 1xMC networks and services in the United States during 2001 by Sprint PCS.
"QUALCOMM's leadership in CDMA, on-time delivery of innovative solutions and hands-on technical support have been instrumental in helping Sprint PCS maintain a roadmap for these 3G 1xMC qualification trials that will bring our customers the benefits of more network capacity, higher data speeds and increased handset battery life," said Oliver Valente, vice president of Technology and Advanced Systems Development, Sprint PCS. "Our goal for a commercial 3G 1xMC rollout in the second half of 2001 is on track and moving forward."
"These 3G 1xMC trials and their timely, successful completion represent the next logical major milestone in the CDMA revolution," said Don Schrock, president of QUALCOMM CDMA Technologies. "Partnering with Sprint PCS and world-leading infrastructure manufacturers, we are utilizing our extensive CDMA experience and engineering excellence to create a cost-effective and efficient migration path to the next generation of wireless systems and services."
The three-way cooperation among QUALCOMM, Sprint PCS and the various leading infrastructure equipment manufacturers during the trials is key to ensuring timely testing and trial qualification of the voice and data features that the rollout of new 3G 1xMC systems will demand. These trials follow Sprint PCS' successful over-the-air voice call in March 2000, which was the first by a wireless carrier in North America using 3G CDMA 1xMC technology.
The trials are expected to verify voice capacity improvements over existing IS-95A/B-compliant systems, increased high data rates of up to 153 kbps on both forward and reverse links, and a 50 percent improvement in handset standby times compared with existing IS-95A/B-compliant handsets and infrastructure equipment. The 3G 1xMC trials and associated equipment will support the IS-2000 Release 0 published standard, as well as the latest addenda to Release 0.
QCT's MSM5000 chipset and system software includes support for IS-95A, IS-95B and 3G CDMA 1xMC (IS-2000 Release 0) as well as packet data, an Internet protocol suite, voice recognition and many other features.
The trial handsets and MSM5000 system software are also being tested with QCT's CSM5000 3G 1xMC infrastructure system software. Device sampling and the Phase 1 software release for the CSM5000 solution, which began in Q1 2000, will allow infrastructure manufacturers to deliver equipment to support these trial capabilities.
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