Return to press releases

Novatel Wireless Announces Commercial Availability of Next Generation Quad Band 3G PC Card Modems through Vodacom in South Africa

SAN DIEGO – January 31, 2005 – Novatel Wireless, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVTL), a leading provider of wireless broadband access solutions, today announced shipments of Merlin U630 Wireless PC Card Modems to Vodacom, South Africa’s leading mobile operator. Novatel Wireless supplied Vodacom with South Africa’s first quad band UMTS PC Card modem that offers high-speed broadband access over Vodacom’s UMTS network. Vodacom recently launched its 3G service and provides mobile service to more than 14.4 million customers in South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho and The Democratic Republic of Congo.

As a supplier of 3G data cards for Vodafone, Novatel Wireless supplied its Merlin U630 to Vodacom, following the partnership between Vodacom and Vodafone announced last year. Targeting business customers, Vodacom will market the Merlin U630 card as the 3G Vodafone Mobile Connect datacard, South Africa’s first high-speed laptop data card.

Once the Vodafone Mobile Connect datacard is inserted into a laptop, Vodacom subscribers are able to wirelessly email, surf the Internet and download attachments at speeds of up to 384 kilobits per second. The Mobile Connect Card offers wireless data access on UMTS 2100 MHz bands in Asia, Africa and Europe and GSM/GPRS 900/1800/1900 MHz bands worldwide. 3G subscribers can have access to corporate databases and information stored behind firewalls. ‘Always on’ connectivity enables mobile workers to retrieve data, stay connected to partners and customers, and remain productive when outside the office.

“Novatel Wireless is the largest worldwide UMTS PC Card provider and Vodacom is pleased to be working with a market leader,” said Pieter Uys, Vodacom Group Chief Operating Officer. “3G services enable mobile workers to have wireless access to anything they should need – from email to the Web to corporate networks. Vodacom feels 3G will revolutionize the way people work and is determined to lead in 3G connectivity throughout South Africa.”

“Novatel Wireless is committed to rolling out wireless broadband access across the world, and our partnership with Vodacom takes us one step further by providing the first quad band 3G UMTS PC Cards to South Africans,” said Rob Hadley, senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Novatel Wireless. “Our partnership with Vodacom enables Novatel Wireless to expand its presence into a new continent and deliver mobile high-speed networking access, increasing productivity for corporate users.”

Novatel Wireless is the global leader in UMTS PC Card sales with Merlin UMTS PC Cards available from 15 operators in 18 countries throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America.


Vodacom is a pan-African cellular communications company providing a world class GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) service to millions of customers in South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mozambique commenced operation in December 2003. Vodacom is the market leader in South Africa, with more than 95% of South Africans now within the coverage area of its impressive more than 5,000 base station cellular network.

Vodacom has a partnership with Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile community. Vodafone has over 151 million proportionate customers worldwide, equity interests in 26 countries and Partner Networks in a further 13 countries.


Novatel Wireless, Inc. is a leading provider of wireless broadband access solutions. Novatel Wireless’ MerlinTM PC Cards, ExpediteTM Embedded Modems, Freedom Box Ruggedized Modems, MobiLink Communications Software Suite, Ovation 3G Multimedia Application Consoles and Conversa Software Suite enable high-speed wireless access to personal, corporate and public information. The company delivers innovative 3G solutions to operators, distributors and vertical markets worldwide. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Novatel Wireless is listed on NASDAQ: NVTL. (NVTLG)

© 2005 Novatel Wireless. All rights reserved. The Novatel Wireless logo, Merlin, Merlin U630, Expedite, Freedom Box, MobiLink, Ovation, and Conversa are trademarks of Novatel Wireless, Inc. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

This release may contain forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended to date. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements contained herein. These factors include risks relating to technological changes, new product introductions, continued acceptance of Novatel Wireless' products and dependence on intellectual property rights. These factors, as well as other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, are discussed in more detail in Novatel Wireless' filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (available at and other regulatory agencies.

Kim K. Haneke
Novatel Wireless
(858) 812-0621
[email protected]

Katie Assar / Noah Dye
(619) 516-2559
[email protected]

Talk to our experts!

Set your customers or business up with the fastest, easiest, most reliable fixed wireless solutions.