News Release Details

Wi-LAN AND Wi-COMM COMMUNICATIONS OF CHINA SIGN COOPERATIVE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT

04/29/2003

 

Wi-Comm Supports Further Development of Wi-LAN's W-OFDM Based LIBRA Series Products

Calgary, Canada and Beijing, P.R. China - April 29, 2003 - Wi-LAN Inc. (TSE:WIN), a global provider of broadband wireless communications products and technologies, and Wi-Comm Communications Equipment Co. Ltd. (Wi-Comm), a Chinese joint venture company based in Beijing, China, announced today the signing of a Cooperative Product Development Agreement to support further development of Wi-LAN's LIBRA Series commercial W-OFDM products, which have been deployed in networks in over 30 countries. Wi-Comm has agreed to pay Wi-LAN approximately $900,000 (US$600,000) to accelerate further development of the products, subject to certain terms and conditions. Wi-LAN has agreed to grant Wi-Comm a license to assemble and sell the products in China, and Wi-LAN will provide training and assistance in the assembly and deployment of the products. This agreement will enable accelerated LIBRA product development while preserving Wi-LAN's cash resources.

"Having Wi-LAN's products, expertise and patented technologies at our disposal has given us a significant competitive advantage in China," said Lok Chow, General Manager of the Wi-Comm joint venture. "The non-line-of-sight capability of Wi-LAN's W-OFDM technology is astounding. In the dense urban non-line-of-sight environment of Nanjing we deployed over 100 units with a success rate in excess of 99%. We are very pleased to make this investment in support of the mutual success of Wi-LAN and Wi-Comm."

"Lok and his team have been very successful in penetrating the Chinese market and I cannot think of a better cooperative development partner," said Dr. Sayed-Amr El-Hamamsy, President and Chief Operating Officer of Wi-LAN. "The accelerated product development will allow Wi-Comm to bring better products to market in a shorter time frame, driving sales growth for the mutual benefit of our two companies."

LIBRA, based on Wi-LAN's patented W-OFDM (Wide-band Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) technology, provides non-line-of-sight capability that has been proven in various commercial networks, increasing fixed wireless access subscriber coverage, from conventional levels of 50% or less, to levels that can exceed 90%. LIBRA's flexible architecture supports full or half duplex operation, is fully redundant and has tiered service management and user-friendly network management, all in an easy to install, weatherproof, single unit design. LIBRA products offer high spectral efficiency, which translates into maximum usage of valuable licensed spectrum and higher effective data transmission rates.

Wi-LAN's Libra 3000 Product Series
The LIBRA Series is the third generation of Wi-LAN's highly reliable, field-proven, non-line-of-sight commercial W-OFDM products, which have been deployed in networks in over 30 countries. LIBRA 3000 is offered in 3.5 MHz, 7 MHz and 14 MHz channel widths, in various frequencies covering the international 3.5 GHz licensed spectrum. LIBRA products have a seamless migration path to future products based on the recently finalized IEEE Standard 802.16a (North America) and the emerging ETSI BRAN HiperMAN (European and international) standard. Products that comply with these standards will enable network operators to maximize network performance and ensure interoperability with other standard compliant networks. Operators will also be able to multi-source their product purchases, reducing the risk associated with reliance on any single product supplier.

LIBRA 3000 is certified for use in the majority of telecommunications markets where 3.5 GHz licensed spectrum is available for commercial telecommunications applications, having received the CE Mark indicating the product conforms to the standards of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), and is certified for use by the State Regulatory Radio Commission (SRRC) of the Peoples' Republic of China. Certifications for other relevant jurisdictions are expected in due course.

LIBRA products include access points and customer premises equipment (CPE), and can be used in broadband access applications alone or in combination with wired alternatives. LIBRA supports both point-to-multipoint and point-to-point applications, and the LIBRA CPE can be configured with either an integrated antenna or an external antenna, making the system more flexible and scalable. LIBRA operates at an unprecedented throughput of up to 192 megabits per second per six-sector cell, and has a transmission range up to an estimated 40 kilometers in a line-of-sight point-to-point configuration, and 24 kilometers in a line-of-sight point-to-multipoint configuration. Improved security is built in through Wi-LAN's proprietary W-OFDM technology, user-configurable data scrambling and formatting, individual identification codes, VLAN tagging and IP filtering, making a LIBRA network one of the most robust solutions available in the market today. Installation and network setup is greatly simplified, with quick start menus and PDA support eliminating the need for a laptop computer to configure and install the system. LIBRA also offers tiered service management through CIR/MBR (Committed Information Rate / Maximum Burst Rate). The lightweight single unit design eliminates the need for expensive accessories and coaxial cable, is faster and less expensive to install, and can be mounted indoors or outdoors without requiring climate control.

Using a cellular network design, Wi-LAN's solution can easily serve a growing customer base. Network cells can be expanded quickly and cost effectively. Through the scalability and flexibility of LIBRA products, network operators can start small and expand, allowing a quick return on investment and early profits with relatively low capital requirements. The current hardware is capable of supporting several generations of enhancement to the system software. Features such as dynamic modulation, dynamic power control, and additional network management features are being made available, as the market requires, via over-the-air software upgrades.

The W-OFDM Advantage
W-OFDM is a variation of OFDM that further improves its characteristics. The signal reception is corrected for distortions, allowing greater transmission speeds, and the signal is processed to maximize the range and multipath resistance. W-OFDM allows lower-power, multipoint radio frequency (RF) networks to be implemented, minimizing interference with adjacent networks.

W-OFDM effectively permits several independent channels to operate within the same frequency band, allowing multipoint networks and point-to-point backbone systems to be overlaid on one another. Less disruption of adjacent users and insensitivity to external noise means that high-speed multipoint data networks can be simply and rapidly deployed. These systems are tolerant of changes in the RF environment, limiting maintenance requirements, and the systems can be easily and economically expanded to meet the service provider's growing business.

Wi-LAN Customer Support
As part of the Wi-LAN turnkey wireless network solution, the company provides engineering services to help customers and business partners plan and install wireless networks. From preliminary engineering service, such as system design and maintenance planning, to consulting and on-site service and training, Wi-LAN offers a full range of engineering services to help customers get the most from their wireless network equipment.

About Wi-Comm Communications Equipment Co. Ltd.
Wi-Comm is a joint venture company located in Beijing, P.R. China and owned 51% by Ray Scientific and Technology Development Co. Ltd. of Beijing, P.R. China, 20% by Wi-LAN Inc. of Calgary, Canada, and 29% by Wincomm Communications Inc. of Winnipeg, Canada. The joint venture was created in 2001 to accelerate penetration of Wi-LAN's broadband fixed wireless access products into the Chinese market. Wi-Comm's customers include major Chinese telecom companies China Satellite Communications Group, China Communications and China Unicom.

About Wi-LAN Inc.
Wi-LAN is a global provider of broadband wireless communications products and technologies, specializing in solutions for secure wireless provision of high-speed data and telephony over distance for enterprises and telecom service providers. Wi-LAN's broadband wireless access products are known worldwide for their high quality and industry-leading technology. Wi-LAN believes its W-OFDM patents are necessary for the implementation of devices using the IEEE standards 802.16a, 802.11a or 802.11g, the ETSI BRAN HiperLAN/2 standard or the current draft of the ETSI BRAN HiperMAN proposed standard. Wi-LAN licenses its W-OFDM technology and has executed non-exclusive W-OFDM license agreements with semiconductor companies. Wi-LAN is the Chair Company of the OFDM Forum (www.ofdm-forum.com). Wi-LAN's common shares trade on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WIN." Detailed information on Wi-LAN can be found at www.wilan.com.


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