Continues to develop position at forefront of world handset market
June 25, 2004 - TTPCom Ltd, the world’s leading independent supplier of digital wireless technology, and Pantech Co., one of Korea’s major mobile phone companies, today announce the selection of TTPCom’s EDGE protocol software for the development of Pantech’s next generation multimedia and camera phones. With data rates up to three times those available on GPRS networks, Pantech’s EDGE handsets will be able to deploy data-intensive 3G type services including video downloads and high-speed Internet access across the growing number of EDGE-capable networks worldwide¹. The new handsets will use chipsets supplied by Analog Devices and the combination of TTPCom’s EDGE software with Analog Devices’ hardware is a proven technology platform that delivers a fast time to market.
Pantech is the third largest handset manufacturer in Korea. During 2004 Pantech plans to launch over 30 different models and is focusing in particular on building its brand through the sale of high-end handsets to a number of export markets. The company has already launched its Q80, G200, G300 and G500 models under its own brand in Taiwan, Russia, Mexico and Dubai and is now expanding in Singapore, Vietnam and other Asian countries.
“The high end GPRS camera phones that we launched last year have been very well received and are building a strong brand for Pantech. It’s important that we respond quickly to market demand for EDGE, particularly if we are to compete effectively with the world’s leading manufacturers”, stated Mr. Sung-Kyu Lee, President and CEO of Pantech Co. “TTPCom have demonstrated industry leading performance with their EDGE platform and their excellent technical support will enable us to quickly deliver EDGE handsets that meet the requirements of our network operator customers worldwide.”
“Although EDGE has been seen as a North American phenomenon for a long time it is now growing significantly in Asia. A number of EDGE trials are taking place in China and with the world’s largest mobile phone market embracing the technology this offers a huge opportunity for our many Asian handset customers,” stated Richard Walker, Managing Director of TTPCom’s Software Business Unit. “We have invested considerable resources in the development of EDGE technology with the objective of delivering a stable and fully tested solution in time for early market take-up. Forward-looking customers like Pantech who have licensed our technology are well-placed to gain a share of this growing market. In the longer-term we expect to see EDGE in the majority of mobile devices so that high data rates, and the services that go with them, can be maintained outside pockets of 3G coverage.”
TTPCom’s EDGE software has undergone extensive interoperability testing with leading infrastructure providers, test equipment vendors and wireless operators. Results from testing have demonstrated that TTPCom’s EDGE platform can sustain industry leading data rates up to 216 kilobits per second, enabling network operators and handset manufacturers to start rolling out 3G-style services, such as video streaming, before 3G infrastructure is deployed.
Today’s announcement with Pantech brings to 5 the number of licensees for TTPCom’s EDGE protocol software. Last week TTPCom announced that its technology has been licensed by Siemens ICM WM for the development of EDGE modules (click here) and the company has previously announced deals with LG Electronics and Sierra Wireless.
TTPCom’s 3G/EDGE/GPRS/GSM protocol stacks are fully integrated with the company's Ajar Platform. The Ajar Platform delivers a pre-integrated set of applications and services plus a sophisticated toolset for fast customisation of the User Interface. The Ajar Platform increases the productivity and flexibility of handset development teams enabling manufacturers to develop differentiated handsets with open OS style functionality, rapidly and economically. The Ajar Platform is delivered as an assured system solution, with up to two releases per year; key applications and services in the 2004 release include PoC, IMPS, WAP2.0 browser, MMS, 2D/3D gaming, media player, MPEG4, MP3 and a range of Java (JSR) applications.
According to GSA, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, 79 network operators in 53 countries have committed to deploy EDGE for the delivery of next generation services. The number of networks currently offering commercial EDGE-enabled services is 17 across North and South America, Europe and Asia. In China and Hong Kong the following network operators have announced EDGE deployments: CSL (service launched), PEOPLES, SUNDAY and China Unicom. For a complete listing of all EDGE operators click here.
In 1991 Pantech Co. was set up as a pager manufacturer within a rapidly expanding market. In August 1997, Pantech Co. was listed on the Korea Stock Exchange and moved into the development and production of CDMA and GSM handsets. In 2001, Mr. Byeong Yeop Park, the founder and chairman of Pantech acquired Curitel Communications Inc. which was a spin-off company from Hynix Semiconductor Inc. With a surprising emergence in domestic and overseas markets, Pantech has initiated global brand marketing and started promoting its products under the brand name “Pantech” in selected areas.
Now Pantech Co. Ltd aims to be one of the top six global handset manufacturers, producing a predicted 20 million handsets in 2004 with high-featured mobile handsets with high resolution colour TFT screens and mega pixel digital cameras with embedded flash and high-capacity memory, allowing users to store hundreds of phone numbers.
Pantech Co. Ltd is headquartered in Seoul, Korea with regional sales offices distributed globally. More information can be found at www.pantech.com.