Qualcomm Expands Beyond Truckload
November 16, 1999
Qualcomm Inc. has introduced a new terrestrial-based mobile communications system and a Microsoft Windows-based onboard computer/keyboard, both designed to appeal to private and LTL fleets outside Qualcomm's customary truckload carrier market.
The San Diego-based company also announced the U.S. government has approved an increase in the number of Qualcomm's OmniTRACS satellite-based mobile communications units allowed to operate on licensed airwaves.
Qualcomm's new terrestrial communications system called OmniExpress outwardly resembles OmniTRACS, Qualcomm's breakthrough satellite system. But where OmniTRACS beams communications between Qualcomm's service center and customer drivers via satellite, OmniExpress uses the Sprint PCS ground-based network. OmniExpress communications do not offer the near-universal coverage of OmniTRACS but will cost less. The Sprint PCS network is based on the advanced CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology developed by Qualcomm.
Qualcomm's new onboard computer/keyboard called the MVPc, is a more stylish version of the familiar, rectangular OmniTRACS unit, but with a more substantial difference inside. The MVPc works with both OmniTRACS and OmniExpress, but can also run applications based on the increasingly popular Windows CE operating system. That will allow the MVPc to interface with many handheld devices used in the private fleet and LTL sector.
Qualcomm, which has shipped 300,000 of its landmark OmniTRACS systems, recently won authority from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to deploy up to 400,600 units. OmniTRACS operates on broadcast frequencies licensed by the FCC.