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Novatel Wireless Selected by Ricochet Networks Inc. as Preferred Wireless PC Card Modem Provider for High-Speed Wire-Free Internet Service

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – November 18, 2002 – Novatel Wireless, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVTL;NVTLD), a provider of wireless data access solutions, today announced that Ricochet Networks, Inc. (RNI) has selected the company as their preferred PC Card modem provider to re-introduce the Ricochet® high-speed wireless Internet service to businesses and consumers nationwide. With service already deployed in Denver, this week RNI announced the availability of Ricochet in San Diego through ISP partner, NetHere Internet Services.

RNI and NetHere will market and sell the Novatel Wireless Merlin Wireless PC Card for $99.95 with unlimited access charges of $44.95/month. For a limited time the special Ricochet modem will be offered free to new subscribers with a signed six-month contract. Former subscribers in the San Diego market can re-activate their Merlin through RNI’s simple self-service activation process online at and will be offered one free month of service upon re-activation. v First introduced in late 2000, the Merlin Wireless PC Card Modem for Ricochet is a Type II PC Card for laptops and handheld computers, which enables high-speed wireless Internet access over the Ricochet network at typical speeds of 176 kbps, faster than any other mobile data network available today. The Merlin for Ricochet is compatible with Windows® XP, 2000, ME, NT 4.0, 98SE, Pocket PC® and Mac® OS 8.5/9 operating systems. Users can connect to the Internet, private Intranets, local area networks, email, and other online services from anywhere in Ricochet coverage areas. Novatel Wireless will initially ship the Merlin Wireless PC Card Modem for Ricochet out of existing inventory.

“Novatel Wireless has been a strong advocate of the Ricochet service for many years,” stated John Major, chairman and chief executive officer of Novatel Wireless. “When we first introduced the Merlin Wireless PC Card Modem for Ricochet, we received very enthusiastic feedback from our customers on its speed and performance. Under the new leadership and market strategy of Ricochet Networks, we are proud to be the preferred supplier of Ricochet Internal PC Card Modems and look forward to bringing this technology to new Ricochet users.”

Customers can purchase the Merlin Wireless PC Card Modem for Ricochet® by ordering a Ricochet Internal PC Card Modem from local retailers and sales agents, online at, or at 1-888-RICOCHET.

“Ricochet offers high-speed wireless Internet capability for businesses and consumers, as well as public safety and emergency personnel who rely on near-instantaneous data retrieval to perform their jobs,” said John Dee, RNI vice president of sales. “We selected Novatel Wireless as our PC Card partner for its industry-leading technology, brand recognition and high quality. With that in mind, we wanted to make the re-activation process as simple as possible, to get subscribers set up quickly and with minimum hassle.”

Under previous ownership, the Ricochet network had been built in 21 cities and had more than 51,000 subscribers. Shut down in August of 2001, the Ricochet intellectual property and certain assets were acquired by RNI in November last year.


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 Merlin Family of Wireless PC Card Modems, Expedite Family of Wireless Embedded Modems, Minstrel® Family of Wireless Handheld Modems, Lancer 3W Family of Ruggedized Modems and Sage® Wireless Serial Modems. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Novatel Wireless is listed on The Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: NVTL; NVTLD). For more information, please visit the Novatel Wireless web site: or call 888-888-9231.

© 2002 Novatel Wireless. All rights reserved. The Novatel Wireless logo, Minstrel, Merlin, 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, 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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