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Novatel Wireless Moves into Portugal with New Distribution Agreement

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - July 30, 2002 -< Novatel Wireless, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVTL), a leading provider of wireless data access solutions, announced today that it has expanded its distribution into Portugal with M.M. Vaquinhas, Lda, a representative distributor and consultant in Portugal. Per this agreement, M.M. Vaquinhas, Lda will deliver Novatel Wireless' Merlin GSM/GPRS Family of Wireless PC Card Modems, including the Merlin G200TM and G300TM series, throughout the country utilizing a wide range of sales channels.

M.M. Vaquinhas, Lda has sales channels throughout Portugal, selling through other distributors, retail outlets, resellers, VARS, directly to corporate accounts and most recently through e-commerce. The company has a growing database of approximately 2500 customers with over 250 corporate clients purchasing on a regular basis.

"A growing number of wireless subscribers in Portugal and its high rate of wireless penetration justify our need to have innovative products available for delivery into our sales channels. Portugal was quick to embrace wireless cell phones and we believe it will demand wireless data technology with the same passion," said Philip May, marketing and technical director of M.M. Vaquinhas, Lda. "Together with Novatel Wireless, we can be confident that we are supplying our customers with the most effective wireless products on the market."

The Merlin G201TM is currently being sold in China, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK. In the last month alone, Novatel Wireless has announced distribution deals in Israel, Italy and Spain. These agreements are aimed at providing high-speed connectivity solutions to the mobile workforce wherever they live or work, worldwide.

"M.M. Vaquinhas has been very successful in penetrating the market with its large portfolio of products and its key, deep-rooted relationships," explained Owen Stephenson, senior vice president of GPRS operations for Novatel Wireless. "We are excited to be working together to educate users and raise awareness of our products, spreading wireless data solutions throughout Portugal. Along with other recent announcements, this deal positions us to continue to expand our presence in Europe as GPRS and wireless data starts to take hold."


The Merlin G200 Series is a family of dual band (900/1800) wireless PC Card modems based on GSM/GPRS technology. Slightly larger than a credit card, Merlin G200 slides inside your Type II PC Card slot; providing access to email, corporate databases and the Internet at maximum speeds of up to 53.6 kbps over GPRS and 14.4 kbps over GSM. Equipped with a robust removable antenna to enhance portability, the Merlin G200 provides Short Messaging Service (SMS) capabilities allowing users to send and receive text messages for quick person-to-person or group chats from their laptop or handheld device. The Merlin G201 is voice capable over the GSM network allowing users to make and receive calls from a laptop or Pocket PC device. Merlin G200 and G201 are compatible with Microsoft Windows 98, 2000, Millennium Edition, XP and Pocket PC 2000 and 2002 operating systems.


The Merlin G300 Series is a family of true Type II, tri-band PC Cards that are compatible with Windows 98, 2000, Millennium Edition, XP and Pocket PC operating systems. The application software simplifies user interaction with Windows based operating systems and provides an integrated environment for SMS, fax, and dialer functionality. GPRS capabilities result in an "always on" experience, so that the user can access data wirelessly at the click of a button. Switching over to GSM-based applications like text messaging, fax, and voice calls is equally simple, resulting in an enhanced user experience. The Merlin G300 Series will offer standard GSM voice capabilities allowing the user to make and receive calls from a laptop or Pocket PC device.


GPRS is an exciting new wireless technology standard which has profoundly altered and improved the data services available over GSM-based wireless networks. An over-the-air system for transmitting data on GSM networks, GPRS technology converts data into standard Internet packets, enabling interoperability between the Internet and the GSM network, and providing the user with an "always on" experience. One of the great strengths of GSM is its international reach, giving consumers seamless service in over 170 countries around the world. This has been a vital driver in growth, with over 645 million GSM subscribers globally, representing over 67% of all handsets.

GPRS wireless technology employs extensive authentication and encryption via standard GSM algorithms, making it one of the most secure public wireless systems in the world. The Subscriber Identity Module (SIM card), a key component of the GSM network, stores the authentication and encryption algorithms, making it virtually impossible for unauthorized users to capture and decipher messages.


Novatel Wireless, Inc. is a leading provider of wireless data modems and software for use with handheld computing devices and portable personal computers. The company delivers innovative and comprehensive solutions that enable businesses and consumers to access personal, corporate and public information through email, enterprise networks and the Internet. Novatel Wireless also offers wireless data modems and custom engineering services for hardware integration projects in a wide range of vertical applications. The Novatel Wireless product portfolio includes the Minstrel® Family of Wireless Handheld Modems, MerlinTM Family of Wireless PC Card Modems, Sage® Wireless Serial Modems, Lancer 3WTM Family of Ruggedized Modems and ExpediteTM Family of Wireless Embedded Modems. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Novatel Wireless is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: NVTL). For more information, please visit the Novatel Wireless web site: or call 888-888-9231.

The Novatel Wireless logo, Merlin, Merlin G200, Merlin 300, Minstrel, Sage, Lancer 3W and Expedite are trademarks of Novatel Wireless, Inc. Minstrel and Sage are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. All other brands, products and company names mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective holders. 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. 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. 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 and other regulatory agencies.

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