Qualcomm Inc. has announced the dissolution of Wingcast LLC, a joint venture it created in October 2000 with Ford Motor Co. to provide in-vehicle telematics services using Qualcomm's Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital wireless technology.
The telematics venture had planned to release a remote safety and security system for light trucks and cars sometime next year, and hinted that it would follow up with fleet applications for its services (see “Telematics: The next generation of wireless data,” FO 2/02, pg. 80).
Qualcomm invested $25 million In Wingcast and held a 15% equity stake in company. Since May 2001, however, Ford has provided all funding.
“Ford Motor Company is still committed to the objective of providing telematics services in its vehicles, including the use of CDMA technology, but we do not believe it is necessary to have equity interest in a telematics service provider in order to meet that goal,” said Douglas R. VanDagens, director of wireless mobility at Ford.
“CDMA technology provides the best platform for high-speed data access for telematics services,” said Qualcomm Wireless and Internet Group president Paul E. Jacobs. “Qualcomm is continuing to work with CDMA licensees, carriers and automobile manufacturers on telematics solutions that will leverage advanced wireless data services being deployed today.”
Jacobs added that Qualcomm would continue to benefit from licenses to use some of the intellectual property developed by Wingcast.