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Compaq Streamlines Location Services with Industry's First Integrated Solution on a Single Platform
HOUSTON, March 27, 2001
Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE: CPQ) today announced a significant step forward for wireless carriers worldwide that plan to provide location-based services for their customers, especially U.S. carriers planning to deploy Phase II E9-1-1. Compaq, along with partners SignalSoft Corporation (NASDAQ: SGSF), SnapTrack, Inc., a subsidiary company of QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Wireless Facilities, Inc. (NASDAQ: WFII), will deliver a complete location solution, integrated on a single platform, called the Compaq Discovery Location System. This solution enables a carrier network to determine the precise physical location of a wireless customer and route the call to the nearest Public Safety Answering Point. Wireless location capability, mandated for October 2001 deployment by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will enable local emergency 911 response teams to know immediately where they must go to deliver aid.
The Compaq Discovery Location System will support gpsOne position-enabled handsets based on QUALCOMM's Mobile Station Modem (MSM) family of integrated circuits. gpsOne-enabled handsets will be available in fall of 2001 through Sprint PCS and other U.S. carriers, and are expected to support E9-1-1 as well as a variety of wireless position-enabled applications.
In addition to E9-1-1 emergency services, Compaq's Discovery Location System also provides the network infrastructure that carriers need to deliver a wide array of useful, location-based information, such as directions to and information on shops, restaurants, hotels and special events, directly to customers' wireless telephones.
The Discovery Location System is a turnkey solution that Compaq is making available immediately. Compaq has completed the prime integration and testing work, and will provide "one stop shopping" for carriers that need to move quickly to deploy this capability in their networks. Compaq will also provide services and support.
Industry observers forecast that by 2004 these location-based services will generate almost $10 billion per year of new revenue globally for wireless operators (ICM, Mobile Location Services, 2001). In addition, wireless customers, with location-specific information, will be more likely to initiate mobile transactions -- thus generating more revenue for wireless operators.
Mitesh Desai, vice president of Marketing and Business Development for Compaq's telecommunications unit, Compaq Telecom, said, "Location-based services clearly represent a huge opportunity for wireless operators. Compaq and its best-in-class partners, SignalSoft, SnapTrack and WFI, are providing a single, turnkey solution that will enable operators to meet their legal 911 obligations, and get to market quickly and efficiently with revenue-producing services -- all on one very scalable platform. It's a very compelling proposition."
"As carriers are facing an escalating pressure to comply with the new Phase II E911 rules, Compaq is offering a fully integrated solution that is available for immediate deployment," said Francesca Mabarak, Senior Analyst, The Yankee Group. She added, "The added advantage is that the solution -- which incorporates key technology from SignalSoft, SnapTrack and WFI -- gives carriers a head start on providing their customers with a wide array of location-based services."
Single Platform Delivers Key Advantages for Wireless Operators
To create its Discovery Location System, Compaq has integrated key elements from partners that are industry leaders in location-based services.
SignalSoft provides the fundamental location-based operating platform, including Location Manager which operates as the Mobile Positioning Center (MPC), MAPs Geographic Information System (GIS), and associated applications such as W911, Location Sensitive Billing, and local.info, providing localized content to the customer.
SnapTrack contributes its SnapSmart Position Determining Entity (PDE) software, which uses a handset-based Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver in conjunction with innovative Wireless Assisted GPS (WAG) and Hybrid Position Location WAG technology at the network service control point to identify user location, regardless of terrain, much more precisely -- and more quickly -- than with GPS- or network-based positioning solutions.
The SnapTrack PDE provides optimized support for wireless handsets based on QUALCOMM's gpsOne position-enabled series of MSM-integrated circuits. The QUALCOMM MSM 3300 gpsOne-enabled chipset is the industry's first wireless solution to feature a fully integrated low-power GPS baseband with RF capabilities. gpsOne is the only position location solution that offers all-terrain, high-availability performance and accuracy indoors, outdoors, and in urban and rural conditions where network or unassisted GPS solutions fail. QUALCOMM also offers gpsOne capability on its MSM 5000 family of 3G wireless chipsets and MSM 6xxx family of multimode chipsets.
WFI, as a leading telecommunications outsourcing firm specializing in network architecture and mobile wireless systems, provides a complete range of network services, including RF engineering, fixed network architecture, IP and data engineering, among others. Working with SignalSoft, SnapTrack and Compaq, WFI integrates the Discovery Location System into the network, providing the network calibration that is essential for accurate position determination.
"SignalSoft and Compaq have had a long-standing partnership in marketing Wireless Location Services® to network operators worldwide," said Don Winters, chief operating officer of SignalSoft. "The Compaq Discovery Location System demonstrates Compaq's leadership and provides operators with a reliable solution to comply with the FCC's E9-1-1 ruling."
Compaq has combined these core elements into a fully integrated, fully-tested solution that is hosted on a single Compaq NonStop Himalaya server. Well known as the world's most reliable, scalable platform, Himalaya servers lead the off-switch intelligent network market with over 450 service control points at numerous carriers around the world.
"SnapTrack is very pleased to be working with Compaq, one of the wireless industry's most innovative technology solutions providers," said Bret Sewell, vice president, worldwide sales and customer operations of SnapTrack. "The integration of SnapTrack's SnapSmart and SignalSoft's Wireless Location Services platform into the Compaq Discovery Location System will provide the wireless industry with a high performance, robust solution for their E9-1-1 and mobile location services needs."
"We are very excited about the opportunity to work closely with such innovative companies as Compaq, SignalSoft, and SnapTrack," added Scott Fox, president of network management and operations for WFI. "This relationship leverages one of our core competencies in the areas of testing and verification of wireless systems to support a true turnkey solution that will accelerate the delivery of advanced E9-1-1 services to network operators worldwide."
The integration of the location-based applications and position determination equipment on a single platform provides carriers with a key benefit. Data communication between the PDE and the MPC occurs within the host processor platform -- and not on the SS7 network. This frees valuable bandwidth on the SS7 network for voice and data. It also enables carriers to scale up the solution faster and more efficiently to accommodate growth in user volume.
Information on Compaq in telecommunications can be found at www.compaq.com/telecom.