News | December 16, 2003

Start Network Selects Wavecom's M2M Development Lab for WLL Terminals

Source: Wavecom, Inc.

Wireless Local Loop growth in China fuels new market opportunities

Issy-les-Moulineaux, France and Hong Kong, PRC -- Wavecom, Inc. today announced that it has been selected by Fujian Start Network Technology Co., Ltd., to supply its M2M Development Lab solution for use in three of Start Network's new Wireless Local Loop (WLL) Fixed Wireless Terminal (FWT) projects for the Chinese market.

Over recent years, China has seen impressive growth in demand for WLL projects, due to both cellular and fixed line carriers increasing their efforts to recruit new subscribers. Fixed line carriers have gradually been taking market share from the cellular carriers by providing a low-cost, limited-mobility wireless service called Xiaolingtong, which is built into a city's fixed-line phone network through PHS (personal handy-phone system) and enables roaming within the city. Start Network's FWT provides the answer to the cellular carriers' needs, enabling them to win new subscribers and increase their market share by penetrating areas where the installation cost of fixed lines is prohibitively expensive.

Start Network's FWT comes in an ordinary desktop telephone form factor. However, instead of being plugged into a telephone socket, the device connects directly to the cellular network using either GSM or CDMA technology. In this way, cellular carriers can bring telephone services to remote areas and connect subscribers without access to fixed-line telephony.

Start Network began working with Wavecom and its distributor Fargo at the beginning of 2003 in order to develop an application providing the complete user interface for a Fixed Wireless Desktop Telephone. Thanks to Wavecom's MUSE Platform Open AT development tool, the application could be embedded directly onto the WISMO Quik Q2403A hardware platform. This eliminates the need for an external processor and thereby reduces the bill of material for the end product.

Mr Wang, Vice General Manager of Communication Equipment Dept. of Start Network said: "Wavecom has a comprehensive offer of solutions that met our needs at the right time of our new development. We were particularly interested in the unique access to interchangeable GSM and CDMA hardware platforms. Open AT adds further value by allowing us to eliminate our microcontroller in the desktop telephone, and we are confident that our new models will enable us to increase our market share".

Start Network has seen their new WLL business grow to 40% of the company's total revenue in under 18 months, and the first order of 60,000 units from Wavecom will see that number increasing further. Wavecom began shipments to Start Network in the fourth quarter of 2003.

"Start Network is an exciting company to be working with in this area of new business for Wavecom in China" said Jamie Garroch, Marketing Manager, Wavecom Asia Pacific Limited. "WLL takes many forms in many different regions of the world. In China, this is a particularly creative use of a predominantly mobile technology to address new and rapidly growing customer needs, and we are delighted to be partnering with Start Networks to create a solution for this market."

Source: Wavecom