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  • Qualcomm chief wins nation's top technology award

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------JAMES W. CRAWLEY Staff Writer 15-Sep-1994 Thursday

    Irwin Jacobs | Qualcomm

    Qualcomm's founder and chairman, Irwin Jacobs, will receive a NationalMedal of Technology from President Clinton next month, the CommerceDepartment announced yesterday.

    Jacobs will be honored for "his vision, innovation and leadership" indigital wireless communications.

    "It's a pleasant surprise and an honor," Jacobs said after hearing aboutthe announcement.

    "This obviously is the most significant award I've ever received," headded.

    Clinton will present the medal to Jacobs and four other awardees in a WhiteHouse ceremony in early October.

    The medal is the nation's highest honor in technology and was created byCongress in 1980 to recognize innovation and the commercialization oftechnology.

    Jacobs started working in the field of digital communications when he wasan assistant professor of electrical engineering at the MassachusettsInstitute of Technology during the early 1960s. He moved to the Universityof California San Diego in 1966.

    While a professor at UCSD, he and Andrew Viterbi founded Linkabit, whichstarted as a small consulting firm dealing with the Defense Department. In1968, the pair resigned from UCSD to devote full time to the firm.

    With Jacobs as chief executive officer, Linkabit became the foundation formost of San Diego's telecommunications industry. In 1980, the firm wasmerged into M/A-Com, and Jacobs remained at the firm until 1985.

    Next, Jacobs and Viterbi founded Qualcomm -- Viterbi is a senior executivewith Qualcomm -- which has developed two major product lines: first, asatellite-based tracking and communications system for trucks, vehicles andships called Omnitracs; and more recently, a digital cellular telephonesystem called code division multiple access (CDMA).

    Using a technique called spread spectrum, CDMA increases the capacity of asingle cellular phone channel tenfold.

  • The CDMA technology is one of two digital cellular phone systems that willbe deployed by mobile phone companies. The first CDMA systems will becomeoperational in Seattle and Los Angeles during the next year. The technologyis also being considered for the next generation of wireless phones, calledpersonal communications services.

    Other honorees this year include Joel Engel and Richard Frenkiel, the twoscientists who pioneered the development of cellular phone systems while atAT&T Bell Labs in the 1960s and 1970s; Joseph Gerber, who has more than 600patents to his name and developed automated manufacturing equipment; Amgen,a California biotech firm; and Corning Inc., which makes glass and opticalproducts.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------Copyright Union-Tribune Publishing Co.

    China plan may mean windfall for Qualcomm By Matt Pottinger REUTERS October 18, 2000 BEIJING -- China Unicom will invite tenders next month to build a 10 million-subscriber CDMA mobile phone network, offering potentially huge revenues to Qualcomm Inc. and equipment makers, industry sources said yesterday. Unicom, China's second-biggest mobile phone company, would set up a subsidiary to operate the network covering major cities, said a senior executive with a Chinese CDMA equipment maker who declined to be identified. A tender document with specifications of the network will be issued to potential bidders next month and construction will begin early next year, the executive quoted Unicom and Ministry of Information Industry officials as saying. On Monday, a top Unicom official told Reuters that the company would go ahead with narrow-band CDMA networks, reversing a decision in June to drop the technology developed by Qualcomm, a San Diego-based wireless technology firm. China Unicom declined to reveal details about the CDMA roll-out other than to say it "won't be very small" and subscriber capacity had yet to be determined. If it actually reaches 10 million subscribers, it would mean huge contracts for North American, Chinese and South Korean equipment and handset vendors, executives said. The Chinese CDMA executive estimated a figure around $2 billion. At the same time, Qualcomm would reap profits from sales of its chip sets and royalties on CDMA equipment and handset sales. Under a framework agreement between Qualcomm and China reached in February, Chinese equipment makers would pay a 2.65 percent royalty on CDMA handset sales and a 1 percent royalty on equipment sales, according to the Chinese executive. Qualcomm would also make about $27 on each chip set it sells to handset makers, the executive said. Qualcomm has declined to reveal the details of the agreement. Chinese vendors have also offered discounted rates to China Unicom if it decides to expand the network later using more advanced technology that allows services such as high-speed Internet, the Chinese executive said. Qualcomm had lobbied China for years to build networks using its CDMA, or code division

  • multiple access, standard. Almost all China's 65 million mobile phone subscribers use the rival GSM, or global system for mobile communications, standard promoted by European firms. Foreign and Chinese executives speculated yesterday that the first round of contracts would go to North American firms, including possibly Nortel Networks, Motorola and Lucent. Ericsson of Sweden also manufactures CDMA equipment. In separate news, Qualcomm said yesterday it has taken a stake in SkyBridge LP, which is building a global satellite telecommunications network. Terms and size of the investment were not disclosed. In investing in SkyBridge, the latest of a number of ambitious and costly satellite-based telecommunications ventures in recent years, Qualcomm joins several of the world's largest telecom and aerospace firms. SkyBridge's lead investor is the French telecom and aerospace group Alcatel, and other major backers include Boeing Co., Loral Space & Communication Ltd., Litton Industries Inc., EMS Technologies Inc., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Sharp Corp. and Toshiba Corp. Qualcomm shares closed up $2.81 at $74.19 in trading yesterday on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

    Copyright 2000 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.


    Jacobs hopes to ride to the rescue | Can Qualcomm's deal save stadium? Douglass STAFF WRITER 14-Feb-1997 Friday

    Irwin Mark Jacobs

    So who is this guy Irwin Mark Jacobs, who has plunged into the contentiousdebate over the expansion of San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium?

    Jacobs, chairman of Qualcomm Inc., has offered to make a deal with the citythat would resolve the funding controversy and put the high-tech company'sname on the stadium.

    ...Qualcomm's offer is not just a showy gesture. A company gets publicity andrecognition -- which helps sell products and attract new employees -- whenits name is on a stadium.

    Qualcomm has begun selling digital mobile phones, and it is anxious to getits name out. Being part of a sports stadium would be a big boost.

    That kind of exposure would be a big change for Jacobs, who has beenwell-known -- and even controversial -- in the wireless industry, but has

  • maintained a lower profile in the community at large.

    A few years ago, though, President Clinton selected Jacobs for the 1994National Medal of Technology, the nation's highest honor in science andtechnology. He was honored for his "vision, innovation and leadership" indigital wireless communication.

    He has since earned many other awards and citations, including the 1995IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal.

    Jacobs started working in digital communications when he was an assistantprofessor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology during the early 1960s. While at MIT, he co-authored a textbookon digital communications that is still in use.

    He moved to the University of California San Diego in 1966. While at UCSD,he and Andrew Viterbi founded Linkabit, which started as a small consultingfirm. In 1968, the pair resigned from UCSD to devote full time to the firm.

    Linkabit, now part of Titan Corp., eventually became part of San Diegobusiness history, having spun off most of the companies that now make upthe city's telecommunications industry.

    In 1985, Jacobs left Linkabit and helped found Qualcomm Inc. with Viterbiand others.

    THE STADIUM CONTROVERSY Qualcomm after brighter image in marketplace Douglass STAFF WRITER 14-Feb-1997 Friday

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------Qualcomm Inc.

    If Qualcomm Inc. ends up with its name affixed to San Diego Jack MurphyStadium, it would dovetail with the company's recent efforts to make itsname and products better-known.

    The company, long a quiet maker of wireless communications technology, hasbegun making digital wireless phones on its own and through a partnershipwith Sony Electronics.

    But Qualcomm is new to the consumer market and, although it sellstelephones under its own name in Hong Kong and South Korea, it is notwell-known in the United States or overseas. The company has set out tochange that.

    Qualcomm has begun buying full-page advertisements in newspapers and

  • national magazines and has been courting regional and national reportersand Wall Street analysts. Late last year, the company hired a publicrelations firm to help.

    "This is a major transition for the com