Pantech Selects Wavecom's Wireless Technology for European Expansion
Issy-les-Moulineaux, France and Seoul, Korea - May 27, 2002
Wavecom SA (Nasdaq: WVCM; Nouveau Marché: 7306), a leading developer of wireless standard modules (WISMO™), has signed a major contract with Pantech to support its GSM/GPRS mobile phone for the European market. The value of the contract was not disclosed.
Pantech Corporation is one of Korea’s largest manufacturers and exporters of mobile phone handsets. Under the terms of the contract, Wavecom is to provide WISMO Pac P3206B modules that will be the wireless "engine" for a range of Pantech mobile phones to be launched in Spain and Italy in the first quarter of 2003. Wavecom will also provide integration support.
The WISMO Pac P3206B ensures GPRS class 10 wireless connectivity, and WAP 1.2.1 capability. The module also supports enhanced and multi-media message connectivity. The Pantech phones will feature superior audio rings, four-gray and full-color screens, a SIM tool kit and multiple European options.
S.K. Lee, President of Pantech said: "We selected WISMO Pac's sophisticated technology because it offers a combination of advanced features and functions in a compact, easy-to-use and field-tested package. We were also convinced by Wavecom?s unique software and technical support offerings."
"We are very pleased to count Pantech among our Korean customers," said Jean-Charles Andreani, Managing Director of Wavecom Asia Pacific, Ltd. "We are convinced that their phones will attract the European consumers, and look forward to accompanying Pantech in their international expansion."
Established in March 1991, Pantech Corporation is one of the largest mobile handset manufacturers in Korea. In its early days, Pantech was famous for its pager business and was a great success in the Korean and South East Asian markets. Pantech changed its focus to digital handset manufacturing in 1997, and is now recognized as a “specialty mobile communications company.” Pantech is one of the few companies in the world who develop and ship both CDMA and GSM based mobile handsets.
In the CDMA arena, Pantech is in strategic alliance with Motorola of the United States. Pantech’s mobile phones, under ODM contract with Motorola, have been shipped throughout Motorola’s worldwide network including the United States, other North American countries and South America. Starting from 2002, Pantech was engaged in partnerships with Chinese companies in order to penetrate into the Chinese market.
In the GSM arena, Pantech initiated extensive R&D efforts, the company succeeded in developing GSM-based mobile phones last year, and inked supply contracts with Chinese companies such as Daxian, Soutec and TCL. This year, the company plans to further extend its export business by incorporating more new models.
Last year, Hyundai Curitel, a spin-off company from Hynix Semiconductor, became the largest shareholder in Pantech through an equity investment. Pantech became a family member of Hynix Semiconductor, and has been carrying out various cooperative efforts to positively meet changing market conditions and competition. Pantech has now achieved status and recognition as a global player in the industry.
With last year’s revenue of KRW 400 billion, of which the CDMA business accounted for KRW 350 billions and the remaining KRW 50 billion generated from the GSM business, Pantech forecasts a 100% growth in revenue to KRW 800 billion this year (CDMA: KRW 450 billion, GSM: KRW 350 billion).