Wavecom celebrates 15 years of wireless innovation

Issy-les-Moulineaux, France-June 18, 2008
The year 1993 marked several milestones in the history of wireless communications. The number of GSM subscribers reached the symbolic figure of one million. Mobile data services were born, with the first SMS from phone to phone being sent in Finland. And three young engineers with a firm belief that the future would be wireless founded Wavecom.

A history of innovation
Since its inception fifteen years ago in June 1993, Wavecom has continuously pioneered not only wireless technology development, but also the creation of new business models contributing to driving the wireless communications market forward.

In its first three years of existence, Wavecom operated as an engineering consultancy primarily focused on wireless communication. By 1996, the founders realized there was a market for a standard GSM module, which could be integrated into mobile phones and other wireless applications. This was a major break with the industry's classic business model, where every phone manufacturer developed its own GSM stack from scratch. The first WISMO (Wireless Standard Module) was introduced in January 1997 and became an instant success. The WISMO met the needs of Asian handset makers who were able to quickly enter the exploding Chinese market for mobile telephones.

In 2003, Wavecom innovated again with the launch of a cellular software platform which enabled developers to embed their own applications directly onto the wireless module, thus eliminating external processors. This technology leap transformed Wavecom's products from mere wireless modems into powerful Wireless CPU®s, which now process data and store them in embedded memory, listen to more than 50 peripheral devices, run embedded customer applications, connect to the internet and much more - all while they continue to perform the basic functions of the wireless connectivity.

Innovation continues and the latest extension to Wavecom's offering is a complete end-to-end service portfolio, Intelligent Device Services (IDS). These services allow users to remotely manage their wireless devices securely over-the-air. They are used for upgrading firmware and application software, configuring devices, and implementing remote diagnostics. On the basis of the IDS offering, Wavecom once again has introduced a new business model - StarService - where the hardware (a Wavecom Wireless CPU®, WMP50) is provided free of charge, enabling customers to get their wireless business started at zero upfront investment in hardware.

Fully focused on M2M
For the last four years, Wavecom has been focusing exclusively on the M2M market. Currently, its most important market segments are automotive, smart metering, fleet management and alarm and security systems. With more than 30 million units already operating in the field and a unique technology ownership, Wavecom is well-positioned to consolidate and reinforce its leadership position in this field.

In order to sustain its growth and expand its range of products and services, Wavecom has been actively acquiring companies that provide complementary technologies or customer bases. Only since 2006, Wavecom has extended its offering and market share with the acquisitions of NextGen (Internet protocol and client software), Sony Ericsson M2M (a competitor with a strong foothold in the United States), and Anyware Technologies (advanced software solutions that optimize enterprise processes).

Michel Alard, co-founder and Chairman of the Board, declared: "In 1993, nobody believed that the mobile handset market would exceed a billion units a decade later. And while the M2M market is still a little slow to take off, I am convinced that its potential is even bigger. With 15 years of expertise and experience in this area, I am confident that the next 15 years will see Wavecom continue to realize our vision: To be a driving force in building a fully connected wireless world."