Omnipoint begins trial of high-speed wireless data
GSM service provider Omnipoint Communications has begun the first U.S.
trials of high-speed wireless data technology using Ericsson's General
Packet Radio Services (GPRS) solution. GPRS is an important step in the
evolution to third-generation (3G) mobile telephone networks.
This new technology will enable Omnipoint to offer customers better
wireless access to the Internet as well as a wide range of other IP-based
services at speeds reach 115 kbps. That is up to 12 times faster than
current Omnipoint data rates and more than double the average speed of
most dial-up modems today.
Ericsson's GPRS solution is installed at network facilities in Wayne,
N.J., serving Omnipoint's New York metropolitan area. The system is
currently undergoing extensive testing, which includes integration with
equipment from other suppliers. Omnipoint plans to extend the scope of
these first pre-commercial trials and offer commercial services next year.
Ericsson and Omnipoint signed America's first (and the world's second)
GPRS contract last January.
"We are thrilled to be the first American wireless operator to initiate
GPRS," said Christopher Resavy, Omnipoint Senior Director for Technology.
"This is further evidence of our ongoing commitment to remain at the
telecommunications forefront as a data-driven company."
This co-operation will not be limited to the delivery of infrastructure.
Ericsson and Omnipoint are working together to develop the market for non-
voice applications, including deployment of the latest technologies, such
as Bluetooth and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP).
"With this deployment, Omnipoint is better poised to put the mobile
Internet into the hands of its subscribers," said Jesper Eriksson, Vice
President and Key Account Manager, Ericsson Inc. "From here we can expect
to see considerable acceleration in the penetration of new mobile datacom
GPRS introduces packet data to mobile networks, fully enabling Mobile
Internet applications and a range of other advanced datacom services. By
combining its strength in datacom and mobility, Ericsson's objective is to
provide users with anywhere, anytime access to the Internet. Ericsson is
delivering GPRS systems to more than 45 leading-edge operators in the
Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe for GPRS field trials.
Ericsson is the leading provider in the new telecoms world, with
communications solutions that combine telecom and datacom technologies
with freedom of mobility for the user. With more than 100,000 employees in
140 countries, Ericsson simplifies communications for its customers -
network operators, service providers, enterprises and consumers - the
Please visit Ericsson's Press Room at: http://www.ericsson.se/pressroom
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
Kathy Egan, Vice President, Ericsson Inc., Corporate Communications
Phone: +1 212 685 4030; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Phillips, Omnipoint Communications
Phone: +1 973 290 2533; E-mail: email@example.com
Omnipoint currently provides advanced wireless communications services in
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Southern Florida, Michigan,
Ohio, Indiana and Maryland. It intends to provide those services in
Omnipoint is a founding member of the North American GSM Alliance, a group
of North America's leading digital wireless Personal Communication
Services companies. Using Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications
technology, Alliance companies provide superior voice clarity,
unparalleled security and leading-edge wireless voice, data and fax
features for customers, whether at home, away or abroad. GSM is the
world's most popular wireless standard, with more than 215 million
subscribers in 142 countries, including more than five million customers
in North America.
Other GSM Alliance members include: Aerial Communications, Inc.; Airadigm
Communications, Inc.; BellSouth Mobility DCS; Conestoga Wireless Company;
Cook Inlet PCS; DIGIPH PCS; Iowa Wireless; Microcell Telecommunications
Inc.; NPI Wireless; Pacific Bell Wireless; Powertel, Inc.; STPCS Joint
Venture, LLC; VoiceStream Wireless Corp.; and Wireless 2000 PCS. The GSM
Alliance works in cooperation with North American GSM equipment
manufacturers: Siemens, Motorola, Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks,
Nokia and Ericsson.
Omnipoint Communications is a subsidiary of Omnipoint Corporation (NASDAQ:
OMPT). Founded in 1987, the parent company is a leader in commercializing
PCS. In addition to Omnipoint Communications, Omnipoint Corporation also
includes Omnipoint Technologies, Inc., a developer and supplier of
wireless communication technologies, products and engineering services. As
a pioneer in the industry, Omnipoint Technologies is on the forefront of
developing and integrating advanced wireless technologies, such as GSM,
GPRS packet data, EDGE, positioning and Internet access. Omnipoint
Technologies also supplies the Eagle One wireless data communications
module for integration into product applications and designs.
On June 23, 1999, Omnipoint Corporation and VoiceStream Wireless
Corporation agreed to merge. On September 17, 1999, VoiceStream and Aerial
Communications, Inc. agreed to merge. On October 22, 1999, Omnipoint
announced that it had signed definitive agreements to acquire East/West
Communications, Inc. Completion of these mergers is subject to customary
shareholder and regulatory approval. When the mergers are completed, the
three companies together will have licenses to provide service to over 220
million people. As of September 30, 1999 Omnipoint, VoiceStream and Aerial
served more than 1.7 million customers combined.
Except for historical information contained herein, the matters discussed
and the statements made in this release concerning Omnipoint's future
prospects are "forward-looking statements" under the Federal securities
laws that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that
future results will be achieved, and actual results could differ
materially from the forecast and estimates. Important factors that could
cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to,
Omnipoint's limited operating history, including a history of losses and
the uncertainty of future operating results, high leverage, dependence
upon cash flow from its subsidiaries, debt service requirements and
restrictive covenants related to its existing debt facilities, significant
capital requirements, the continued buildout of Omnipoint PCS markets, and
its dependence upon key employees. Omnipoint's future results may be
impacted by other risk factors listed in its Registration Statement filed
on Form S-3 on June 30, 1998, and other factors listed from time to time
in its SEC reports, including, but not limited to, the report on Form 10-K
for the year ended December 31, 1998.
More information is available on the company's Website www.omnipoint.com