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Novatel Wireless Announces New Orders for $14 Million and First Commercial Shipments of 3G UMTS Wireless PC Card Modem

SAN DIEGO - January 6, 2004 - Novatel Wireless, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVTL), a leading provider of 2.5 and 3G wireless data access solutions, today announced the commencement of commercial shipments of its Merlin U530 Wireless PC Card Modem and the receipt of $14 million in new orders scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2004. The Merlin U530, jointly developed with Lucent Technologies and offered to service providers through Lucent, is a high speed wide area PC card for laptops designed to enable mobile users to access email, the Internet and corporate databases over Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM), General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) networks in Asia, Australia and Europe. To date, Novatel Wireless has received orders for the Merlin U530 totaling over $22 million.

Shipments of the Merlin U530 began in late December after recently receiving CE Marking approval, allowing for the card to be sold into European markets. CE Marking indicates that the Merlin U530 conforms to the European Commissions health, safety and environmental protection legislation.

By inserting the Merlin U530 into a laptop computer and installing the accompanying modem manager software, subscribers on 3G UMTS networks in Asia, Australia and Europe will be able to stream audio and video content, send and receive email, browse the Internet, and download large attachments such as photos, presentations, and spreadsheets at speeds of up to 384 kilobits per second. Compatible with virtual private networks (VPN), the Merlin U530 enables secure wireless access to important corporate applications and files stored behind firewalls. The combined solution allows business professionals to access crucial information, stay in touch with clients and remain productive while away from the office, ultimately providing them with a critical competitive advantage.

"Demand from operators is high for our first 3G UMTS wireless data product," said Peter Leparulo, chief executive officer of Novatel Wireless. "UMTS shipments and the new orders offer further validation of our decision in early 2003 to streamline and concentrate our product development and sales efforts on the most promising growth opportunities. We expect this targeted strategy to continue to produce tangible results with the release of additional new products and an increase in market penetration for existing products."


Novatel Wireless, Inc. is a global leader in the design and development of wireless modems, software and custom engineering solutions for use in mobile computing devices. Novatel Wireless MerlinTM PC Card and ExpediteTM Embedded Modems enable high-speed wireless access to personal, corporate and public information via portable computers, handheld devices and vertical market applications. The company delivers innovative 2.5G and 3G solutions to operators, distributors and vertical markets worldwide. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Novatel Wireless is listed on Nasdaq: NVTL. For more information, visit

© 2003 Novatel Wireless. All rights reserved. The Novatel Wireless logo, Merlin, Merlin U530, and Expedite 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, 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.

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