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New Agreement Sets Table for CDMA Customers to Call in Other Countries

Costa Mesa, CA -- December 5, 1996 -- Cellular and PCS service providers deploying CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) digital wireless systems have taken a major step towards offering their customers the capability to use their mobile phones in other countries. Service providers in the CDMA Development Group (CDG) have established an agreement document which spells out commercial and technical terms under which operators who have adopted the CDMA standard for wireless service can offer international roaming to their subscribers.

The CDG-endorsed agreement is based on a standard agreement developed by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) and is available to all CDG member companies. Perry LaForge, Executive Director of the CDG said he expected that operators, who are already familiar with the CTIA roaming agreement, will be ready to adopt the new CDG agreement into their business practices. The goal was to provide a turnkey document that operators around the world can use to establish roaming agreements.

BC Tel of Vancouver, Canada authored the CDG agreement with support from AirTouch Communications, GTE Mobilnet, Sprint Spectrum in North America and from Hutchison Telecom, Korea Mobile Telecom, MobileOne, and Shinsegi in the Asia Pacific region.

To further speed implementation of international roaming, the CDG has formed a cross-industry team comprised of CDG members from Asia and North America to address commercial issues such as clearinghouses and billing formats as well as technical issues such as number identification and global title translation.

The team is developing guidelines which will enable seamless international roaming between CDMA operators by leveraging the IS-41 standard for internetwork operations. Through IS-41 and dual mode phones, CDMA customers will also be able to roam in markets with AMPS analog cellular systems which is used in every major market of North and South America and more than 100 countries worldwide.

"CDMA has already secured the strong position in the worldwide wireless market," said LaForge. "Seamless international roaming among AMPS and CDMA systems will be an important source of revenue for operators and serve as a key driver in the globalization of CDMA as the next generation digital wireless standard."