Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) and Novatel Wireless, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVTL) today unveiled the Merlin U530(tm) Wireless PC Card Modem, a high-speed data device designed to enable mobile users to access the Internet and corporate networks over third-generation (3G) Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) networks.
The Merlin U530 was jointly developed by Lucent and Novatel Wireless under an agreement announced in August 2002, and incorporates QUALCOMM's MSM6200(tm) Mobile Station Modem MSM(tm) chipset and system software. The Merlin U530 Wireless PC Card Modem provides enterprise users with ubiquitous wireless data access via a 3G UMTS wide-area network. By plugging the PC card into a laptop and installing the necessary client software, subscribers on 3G UMTS networks will be able to access email, the Web, as well as data and applications stored behind corporate firewalls at speeds of up to 384 kilobits per second. These data speeds are sufficient to stream audio and video content, send and receive email with large attachments such as PowerPoint presentations and surf the Internet.
"We believe that the enterprise market for high-speed mobile data services represents a tremendous opportunity for 3G UMTS operators," said Roger Derrien, vice president for UMTS product development with Lucent's Mobility Solutions Group. "The Merlin U530 PC Card Modem from Novatel Wireless is exactly the kind of UMTS device that mobile operators need to help them compete effectively in this attractive market."
The announcement follows the successful completion by the two companies of a series of high-speed data calls - completed at data transmission speeds of up to 384 kilobits per second -- using the Merlin U530 and Lucent's commercial-grade UMTS infrastructure and software. For the tests, laptop PCs equipped with the Merlin U530 were used to access the Internet and corporate networks, allowing users to browse the Web, run streaming video and retrieve and open emails with large attachments. The tests also involved successful "softer" handoffs, which involve the movement of users between sectors on a base station.
"Using the Merlin U530 and Lucent's end-to-end 3G UMTS solutions, mobile operators will be able to offer their subscribers a truly compelling mobile data experience," said Peter Leparulo, CEO of Novatel Wireless. "This represents another key milestone in our efforts to promote the rapid adoption of mobile high-speed wireless data solutions."
The Merlin U530 Wireless PC Card Modems from Novatel Wireless are an integral element of Lucent's Secure Mobile Data Solutions for Enterprises (SMDSe) portfolio of end-to-end solutions that will allow business customers to access essential applications -- such as e-mail, company databases and internal Web applications -- behind corporate firewalls via third-generation (3G) UMTS and CDMA2000(tm) wireless networks, as well as corporate WLANs and public "hot spots." The SMDSe portfolio will enable mobile professionals to use their laptop PCs or PDAs to access all the applications they normally use, with the same level of security, data throughput and performance they typically experience in their office. UMTS -- also known as Wideband CDMA (W-CDMA) -- is an advanced and efficient wireless technology being introduced worldwide, and an international 3G standard established by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). UMTS is a spread-spectrum technology designed to support the 3G evolution needs of Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), and other wireless network operators.