Archived Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CISCO AND INTERWAVE SETTLE LITIGATION WITH CROSS-LICENSE
Cross-license provides each company a license to current and future
MENLO PARK, Calif., United States - July 13, 2001 - interWAVE®
Communications, a pioneer in compact wireless voice communications systems
and broadband wireless data networks, today announced a $1.5 million GSM
network contract from NationLink making interWAVE the primary GSM
equipment supplier to four networks in Somalia. Prior to this deployment,
NationLink, a communications service provider, depended solely upon a
wireline network to deliver their telecommunication services. With the
deployment of interWAVE's GSM network solution, NationLink can quickly and
cost effectively expand to areas traditionally considered too small or too
remote for wireless cellular service, immediately opening up new revenue
opportunities. NationLink plans to extend their initial deployment of
interWAVE's GSM solutions to northeastern Kenya and in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo.
"interWAVE is pleased to provide NationLink a complete and cost effective
wireless GSM solution. Our compact GSM products are the perfect solution
for emerging markets. Our solutions enable the network operator to develop
new market opportunities with an immediate return on investment.
Traditional wireless networks are cost prohibitive and have both a longer
payback period and higher on-going maintenance costs," stated Priscilla
Lu, Chairman and CEO of interWAVE. " This contract is another example of
how interWAVE's cellular networks offer value in delivering full GSM
services for operators looking for small, scaleable and simple to maintain
networks that interoperate with international mobile and wireline
About interWAVE Communications
interWAVE Communications International, Ltd. is a global provider of
end-to-end compact cellular systems and broadband wireless data networks
that offer the most innovative, cost effective and scaleable network
solutions in the industry, enabling today's operators to "read the
unreached." interWAVE's economical, distributed networks minimize capital
expenditures while accelerating customer revenue generation due to its
rapid and simple deployment of scalable IP and ATM broadband networks.
interWAVE's highly portable mobile, cellular networks and broadband
wireless solutions provide vital and reliable wireless communications
capabilities for customers in over 50 countries. interWAVE's U.S.
subsidiary is headquartered at 312 Constitution Drive, Menlo Park,
California, and can be contacted at www.iwv.com or at (650) 838-2000.
Headquartered in Mogadishu, Somalia, NationLink offers a variety of
telecom services including landline telephones, faxes, data, long range
cordless telephones and Internet services. NationLink is one of three
major telecommunications companies headquartered in Mogadishu that has
participated in collaborating to form a joint Internet company Somali
Internet Company (SICO) to provide services throughout the region.
Editor's Note: interWAVE is a registered trademark and WAVEXchange,
WAVEXpress/BSC, WAVEXpress/BTS, WAVEView/OMC, TurboMAX and WAVE-IP are
trademarks of interWAVE Communications International, Ltd.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to
known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause the results of
interWAVE Communications International, Ltd. to differ materially from
management's current expectations. These risks and uncertainties include,
but are not limited to, the risks relating to interWAVE's history of
losses, the expectation of future losses, reliance on a small number of
customers, complexity of products, difficulties in introducing new or
enhanced products, compliance with regulations and evolving industry
standards, long sales cycles, intense competition, management of global
operations, the ability to retain and motivate key employees, and
acquisition related risk factors including potential for profit
acceleration, dilution of shares outstanding, increases in debt absorbed
and potential post-acquisition employee retention, as well as the Risk
Factors discussed in the filings and reports made from time to time by
interWAVE with the Securities and Exchange Commission. interWAVE assumes
no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, which speak only
as of their respective dates.
Nationlink Somalia Becomes Thuraya’s
13 August 2001
Abu Dhabi----: Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company has entered
into a commercial alliance with Nationlink Somalia, Inc., which has become
its Service Provider in Somalia. With the signing of this agreement,
Thuraya’s list of Service Providers in the coverage area totals 43, with
many more to be finalised by the end of the year.
The Service Provider agreement was signed between Thuraya and Nationlink
Somalia, by Thuraya's Chairman Mr Mohammad Omran and Nationlink Somalia’s
President Mr Abdirizak Issak Ido. Present at the signing ceremony at
Thuraya’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi were Thuraya’s Chief Executive Mr
Yousuf Al Sayed and senior officials from both companies.
By becoming Thuraya’s Service Provider, Nationlink Somalia, which is a
leading private company in Somalia, will have the rights to distribute and
market Thuraya's mobile satellite services and products throughout
Somalia, including user terminals and SIM cards as well as overseeing
billing and customer care aspects.
Commenting on this event, Thuraya's Chairman Mr Omran said: "The signing
of this agreement comes in line with Thuraya’s strategy to reinforce its
service providers network in Africa, and we look forward to a long-term
and prosperous partnership with Nationlink Somalia,”.
Mr Omran said that Thuraya will work with Nationlink Somalia for the
introduction of mobile satellite services in Somalia, particularly in
providing telecommunication solutions for areas not served by existing
terrestrial telecommunications networks.
“One of the key advantages of Thuraya system is that we can provide
blanket border to border coverage to each and every country within our
99-country coverage area, added Mr Omran.
He also reiterated that the versatility of the Thuraya phones which
integrate Satellite, GSM and Global Positioning System (GPS) is a very
practical solution to communities with diverse lifestyle and industries
with dynamic activities, adding that the affordability of the products is
one of the service attractions.
Nationlink Somalia’s President Mr Abdirizak Issak Ido said: "This
agreement is an important step in bringing the latest satellite
telecommunications technology to Somalia. We believe that this partnership
will play an instrumental role in boosting the telecommunications sector
in Somalia and keeping it in step with the amazing developments evolving
in the telecommunications industry,”
“Somalia has a big geographic area with many scattered and remote
communities, and we are confident that the border-to-border
telecommunications coverage offered by Thuraya’s mobile satellite system
would be a significant boost to the existing telecom infrastructure in
Nationlink Somalia, Inc. is a leading telecommunications operator in
Somalia, providing public switched telephone network services, GSM and
Thuraya In Somalia
Thuraya's service provider in Somalia is Nationlink Somalia, a leading
private company in Somalia.
Nationlink Somalia distributes and markets Thuraya's mobile satellite
services and products throughout Somalia, including user terminals and SIM
cards as well as overseeing billing and customer care aspects.
Nationlink Somalia, Inc. is a leading telecommunications operator in
Somalia, providing public switched telephone network services, GSM and
Somalia gets online
Somalia: Local net access at last
Somalia's first internet service provider begins its operations this week
- making it the last African country to provide local dial-up web access.
Previously, Somalis could access the internet only by using an
international phone link to a service provider based elsewhere.
It is good to implement the service at a time when we are expecting a
Ahmed Abdi Dini, Nationlink Somalia
The launch of the Somali Internet Company - a joint venture by three
Somali telecommunications companies - comes as the country makes a
significant step towards national unity with the election of a new
president at the Djibouti-based peace conference.
"It is good to implement the service at a time when we are expecting a new
government," Ahmed Abdi Dini, Managing Director of Nationlink Somalia -
one of the participating companies - told the Africa Online information
He said the service offered the opportunity for Mogadishu residents to
contact relatives and business partners abroad.
Last week the new company offered free access to give people a taste of
It began charging subscriber fees from Saturday.
Technical consultant Jama Mohammed told Africa Online the service would
cost $20 per month, plus an hourly charge of $6.
He would not to comment on the cost of setting up the operation, other
than it was a "huge investment", and "not very easy to set up".
The service connects to the internet at 128 kilobites per second via a
satellite link from ArabSat.
Mr Dini said Mogadisu has about 25,000 fixed-line telephone subscribers
could access the service via a local call.
Mr Mohammed said the internet system has the capacity to handle 2,000
Somalia: The land of opportunity
Companies like Nationlink say they can try
By Stephane Mayoux in Mogadishu
Mogadishu's international airport is closed. Children use it as a football
pitch, goats graze on it and part of the runway has been mined by a
We usually pay because if you fight, you will either kill someone or get
killed. And anyway at the end of the day you won't do any business
Nationlink Managing Director Ahmed Dini
The harbour is unusable because two opposing factions still disagree on
how to share its potential revenues - any ship attempting to dock would be
Roads are in chaos and the currency, the Somali shilling which loses half
of its value every year has all but been replaced by the US dollar.
After 10 years of civil war Somalia lies in ruins.
But amid the destruction, a quiet economic revolution is taking place.
One of the companies making it happen is Nationlink, a telecommunications
firm that has grown into one of the country's largest businesses.
Mogadishu now has a
competitive telecoms sector.
Nationlink now has 15,000 fixed line customers and 1,200 mobile phone
Mogadishu has three competing mobile-phone networks. Their users can call
anywhere in the world for only one US dollar a minute.
The Nationlink switchboard is a small but frantic place where three
full-time operators field hundreds of calls six days a week.
Potential new customers inquire about their services and current users
report faulty lines.
But every time Nationlink technical staff walk out onto the streets of
Mogadishu, the reality of Somalia catches up with them.
As Managing Director Ahmed Dini explained, that reality is not easy.
Nationlink's managing director
would like to see a stable
"Throughout Somalia we have 200 people looking after our business. They
are all armed," he said.
Mr Dini said that someone somewhere will always ask for money if a job
needs doing, say the company wants to install a new cable in Mogadishu.
"You can do two things. Either fight with them or pay. We usually pay
because if you fight, you will either kill someone or get killed... and
anyway at the end of the day you won't do any business," he explained.
But in a country with no law-courts, few rules and no government, Somali
business-people turned to traditional customs to enforce business
If one of Nationlink's customers cannot pay, one of the company's
employees will call on his clan-elders, his family, sometimes the local
Muslim sheikh to make sure his debt will be paid up.
For Mohammed Elmi, head of HornAfrik, a multi-media company operating a
television channel, a radio station and a web-site from Mogadishu, there
is an amazing paradox in Somalia.
"After years of civil war, the only thing that binds people together is an
instinct to trust each other across clan boundaries to do business
Barakaat is now Somalia's
"Somalia is a virgin land. There is no lack of opportunity and every
business idea seems to be viable," he said.
A perfect example of a Somali company for which everything seems possible
Started with a money transfer, Barakaat is now Somalia's largest business,
having developed into a fully fledged bank.
It had built the country's largest telecommunications network and
currently invests in farming projects, construction ventures and
However, last week it was labelled as a terrorist organisation by the
It rejects the accusation but is desperately struggling to cope with the
Answering to the people
"We answer the needs of the people. We are always ready to invest," said
Mahmoud Mohammed, one of Barakaat's senior consultants.
After years of civil war, the only thing that binds people together is an
instinct to trust each other
Mohammed Elmi, head of HornAfrik
"We are getting a lot from the people. And we have to return some of what
we get to the people."
Somalia is an Islamic country and Islam instructs its followers to give
away a share of their earnings to the poor.
In fact, once a week hundreds of people queue up in front of some local
businesses to receive money.
In the absence of any sort of government, business-people often play the
roles usually expected of the government.
But they are not necessarily happy to carry on doing so.
Security, trust, responsibility
Both Ahmed Abdu Dini and Mahmoud Mohammed are desperate to see a Somali
government in full control.
Over 1,000 mobile phone
users subscribe to Nationlink.
"There is no excuse for no government. The only positive thing is that you
can try whatever you want. But we spend a lot of money on security,"
Nationlink's Mr Dini said.
It's not often that you hear of businessmen talking about wanting to pay
But in Somalia, there is no government to pay them to.
Instead they adhere to three basic self-imposed rules - security, trust
To hear the full programme, tune into African Perspective on the BBC World
Service at 0930 GMT on Friday 16 November.
GSM improves in Somalia
interWAVE has announced that Somalia's Nationlink Telecom,
a GSM operator affiliated with the Somali Telecom Group, has ordered two
additional WAVEXchange II (WXC II) high capacity GSM switches. Abdirizak
Ido, president of Nationlink Telecom, commented, "Four years ago we
successfully deployed our initial starter network in Somalia with
interWAVE and we have been very pleased with the reliability and
scalability of the products, as well as the support that interWAVE has
provided in the intervening years. With the addition of the leading-edge
WAVEXchange II technology, Nationlink will now transition into a
nationwide full mobility GSM operator, and these two additional WXC II
switches will allow us to meet the growing demand for cellular services in
the Somali market. interWAVE has been an important technology partner in
our on-going development. We look forward to the market opportunities that
lie ahead with the knowledge that our technology needs can be met by
interWAVE with the most comprehensive radio and switching portfolio in the
most cost-effective manner in the industry."
The relationship between Nationlink and interWAVE commenced four years
ago, when Nationlink deployed a network in Somalia based on interWAVE's
lower capacity GSM switch, the WAVEXchange (WXC). Nationlink's success in
the southern regions of the country led to further orders from Galkom and
STC, both sister companies of Nationlink in the Somali market through the
Somali Telecom Group organization. Since then, interWAVE has shipped
multiple expansion systems to these three operators totaling over 39 radio
sites in 11 different cities in Somalia, including Mogadishu.
Martin de la Serna, interWAVE's Managing Director for Europe, Middle East
and Africa, stated, "We are very pleased to provide Nationlink with the
scalable solutions, the cost efficiencies and the return on investment
that significantly contribute to their ability to become the leading
wireless telecommunications provider in Somalia. Our WXC II solution has
already been deployed in several markets where it successfully assists our
customers in growing their businesses. interWAVE is dedicated to providing
leading-edge remote communications solutions that can bring people
together to foster commerce and improve quality of life worldwide."
interWAVE's high capacity GSM switch, the WAVEXchange II, is designed to
support up to 100,000 active subscribers in a completely redundant mode.
It will offer fully integrated capabilities and value-added services such
as authentication center, prepaid server, and Short Message Services (SMS)
server into one complete system. interWAVE's WXC II system is expected to
maximize cost-effectiveness, ease of network management and efficiency in
community network deployments