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Press Release 2001

November 2001 - Qualcomm Joins Rush To Make Aircraft Safer

Some of the new security applications include real-time video and audio monitoring of aircraft cabins and cockpits, and communications between Air Marshals and flight crews.

In addressing a widespread fear of flying following the September 11th terrorist attacks, airlines are looking to beef up security to assuage the public and to protect themselves from future hijackings. Wireless communications giant Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) on Monday unveiled an aviation safety system that the company said meets this urgent need.

The MDSS Globalstar Communications System (MDSS), which is based on Qualcomm's CDMA (code division multiple access) digital wireless platform and space-based technology from Globalstar Telecommunications (Nasdaq: GSTRF), provides real-time wireless data transmission -- including voice and video -- between aircraft and ground crews, including air traffic controllers and law enforcement personnel, Qualcomm said.

Real-time Communications
Globalstar's two-way, high-speed communications capability, originally designed for access to and from ground services and for access to private networks, Web sites and e-mail, also supports aviation safety applications using CDMA technology, the companies said.

The Globalstar system, launched in 1999, uses 48 low-earth-orbiting satellites and a network of ground stations to provide mobile telephone and data communications services throughout the world, primarily in areas underserved by traditional wireless services.

The new security applications include real-time video and audio monitoring of aircraft cabins and cockpits; an air traffic control service to alert aviation authorities to emergency situations; transmission of aircraft flight data to the ground; on-the-ground access to flight data and cockpit voice recorders; and communications between Air Marshals and the flight crew. MDSS also offers access to aircraft identification, altitude, speed and location information, according to Qualcomm.

Qualcomm said it began developing this technology as a consumer service two years ago.

"It became apparent that the critical need was for a solution to enhance aviation security, safety and passenger care," said Irwin Mark Jacobs, Qualcomm chairman and CEO. "The technology, equipment and infrastructure are available today and it is possible to develop a wide range of applications -- from remote diagnostics for medical usage to streaming video of cockpit and cabin activity."

A demonstration of MDSS, which Qualcomm said is in the final stages of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval and offers broadband packet data connections at 128 kilobits per second (kbps), was provided by the company using a Challenger 604 aircraft.

The test included video streaming from the cabin and cockpit to the ground, video of the cabin in a co-pilot display and transmission of the aircraft's position, as well as e-mail, instant messaging and voice communications.

For more information: http://www.qualcomm.com/press/webcast

Mobileinfo Comments & Advisory: This is an impressive technology for fighting terrorism in the air. We commend Qualcomm in demonstrating this capability so soon after September 11, 2001. Iridium has offered something similar. Now, it is for FAA and others to really investigate what technology would best serve the needs of the democratic world and ask vendors like Qualcomm, Iridium and others to present their best solutions in a RFI (Request for Information) format. 

Source - WirelessNewsFactor.Com

Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.



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