Wireless construction consortium

Mobile communications provider Qualcomm Inc. has formed a wireless heavy-equipment consortium with equipment manufacturer Komatsu America International Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Komatsu Ltd., and United Rentals, the world's largest equipment rental company. Qualcomm says its wireless products could enable heavy-equipment manufacturers like Komatsu to further improve customer service

Mobile communications provider Qualcomm Inc. has formed a wireless heavy-equipment consortium with equipment manufacturer Komatsu America International Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Komatsu Ltd., and United Rentals, the world's largest equipment rental company.

Qualcomm says its wireless products could enable heavy-equipment manufacturers like Komatsu to further improve customer service and support programs while strengthening their global data networks.

For multi-OEM equipment fleet owners like United Rentals, Qualcomm could help optimize asset utilization and reduce owning, operating, maintenance, theft and insurance costs. In addition, heavy-equipment fleets could potentially see improved customer service and new revenue sources, as well as improved productivity of fleet service vehicles.

The wireless heavy-equipment consortium was established to create standardized mobile communications solutions for the heavy-equipment industry with the help of industry-leading manufacturers and fleets. Qualcomm's consortium will work on development of satellite, terrestrial and multi-mode wireless communications systems based on a common, modular, ruggedized hardware platform.

“Customers will collectively benefit from the creation of industry standard products and services and our ability to provide extremely rugged hardware and best-in-class network services worldwide,” says Chris Wolfe, president of Qualcomm Wireless Business Solutions.

“We realize that mobile communications capabilities will play a significant role in the success of our customers in the future, and see value in being able to provide them with a single communication platform,” says Steve Day, vp for Komatsu America Sales and Service.

“We rent the industry's largest and most diverse fleet, with equipment from most of the major manufacturers,” says Fred Bratman, vp-corporate communications for United Rentals. “It is critical for our business that we be able to effectively manage the fleet through standardized communications regardless of the manufacturer.”

Qualcomm says it is currently in discussions with a number of other construction equipment manufacturers and end-user fleets about membership in the wireless heavy equipment consortium.

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