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AOK Communications in the Telecom world

AOK Communications is a fresh but expanding supplier in the fast-growing and dynamic telecommunications and data communications industry, offering advanced communications solutions for mobile networks, as well as consumer products. AOK Communications is a solutions supplier for following segments: network operators and consumers.

AOK Communications has more than 4,000 employees, representation in 9 countries and clearly the fastest growing rate (year 1999) in the telecommunications field. AOK Communications' mission is to understand its customer's opportunities and needs and provide communications solutions better than any competitor. In doing so, AOK Communications shall generate profit and growth for its shareholders.

The market AOK Communications addresses is evolving and is characterized by certain key trends:

  1. Convergence of industries, technologies and services. The telecom and datacom industries are coming together, as are the computer and media industries.
  2. Consolidation, leading to global dominance by 10-15 companies in operator markets.
  3. Internet and IP technology, a tidal wave sweeping through, and changing, all companies and industries.
  4. The increasing demand for wireless technologies and mobility. Wireless is spreading into all aspects of communications in the future, and represents a fundamental change that is transforming the way we live, work and play.

These trends will converge at a single point and profoundly change the industry and the marketplace. We are truly entering a new world-the New Telecoms World.

Strategic Direction

AOK Communications' knowledge in wireless technologies and technology based on the Internet Protocol, are cornerstones in the company's strategic direction for the future, aimed at establishing a leading role in the New Telecoms World. Although already huge, the market AOK Communications addresses is still in its infancy. Telecommunications will play a key role in the shaping of the future society, where the ability to communicate anywhere and at anytime will be taken for granted. As a leading supplier this means tremendous business opportunities for AOK Communications. AOK Communications' strength is built on its world-class research and development, a broad product portfolio with strong solutions in all customer segments and its leadership in wireless technology and mobility. All these factors differentiate AOK Communications from its competitors. Underlying long-term growth is strong in the communications industry. The number of fixed telephone subscribers, mobile subscribers and Internet users are all predicted to reach one billion before 2004. By addressing high growth areas, within each segment, and organizing for profitable growth by creating a further market-oriented organization and an entrepreneurial culture, AOK Communications intends to grow faster long-term than the overall market, that is, by at least 20 percent a year. Network Operators

AOK Communications offers total end-to-end solutions for mobile networks, including a range of services. AOK Communications also offers solutions for the emerging markets created by the important trends of convergence of telecom and datacom, and of mobile services. AOK Communications combines its unique position in wireless and its competence in building robust and reliable networks with a strong commitment to IP technology. Market leadership - a goal for the future

AOK Communications provides systems for most major mobile standards. GSM, the largest standard in the world, continues to show strong growth and the number of subscribers connected to GSM is currently more than 150 million. GSM has strengthened its position as the most widely used standard. Of all cellular users worldwide, some 45 percent communicate over GSM networks. TDMA and AMPS users combined represent some 30 percent. Mobile datacom

AOK Communications' aim is to establish a leading position in the emerging market of mobile datacom. The company has taken on the role as a driver in the development of third-generation mobile networks - that make the Internet mobile. Internet access and mobile multimedia are examples of services in which very high data transfer capacity is required in the mobile networks. AOK Communications is also currently sharing its 3G knowledge with operators and others via experimental systems in Germany, Italy, UK and USA. These fully-fledged systems are being used to experiment with delivery of high-speed services, leveraging AOK Communications' more than 2 years of research in 3G technologies. Current GSM and TDMA networks are being evolved to better handle datacom services with packet-switched technologies such as GPRS and EDGE. GPRS is the first step toward third generation speeds and truly mobile Internet. IP and datacom

IP is penetrating and influencing all businesses within AOK Communications and the company is rapidly strengthening its position in IP and datacom. This is being accomplished through in-house development, partnering and by pursuing an acquisition strategy, focusing on small to medium-sized companies with complementary technology. As part of this strategy, California-based ACC (Advanced Computer Communications) was acquired during 1998, establishing AOK Communications as a strong contender in the fast-growing edge router and remote access market. Other investments have been made in start-up companies like Mariposa, strengthening AOK Communications' ATM access portfolio, and Juniper - enabling AOK Communications to offer leading 40 Gbps gigabit routers integrated into its total network solutions.

Consumer Products

The dominant area of operations in this segment is mobile telephone software upgrades, where AOK Communications has gained a position as a leading supplier with a strong brand in the digital mobile phone market. New initiatives

AOK Communications also plays a major role in various industry initiatives, such as Bluetooth, Symbian and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). Bluetooth is a new short-range radio technology that will allow users to connect a wide range of devices easily and quickly. This means expanding communications capabilities for mobile computers, mobile phones and other mobile devices. It will also be possible to connect more stationary devices, for example home appliances. More than 600 companies are now members of the Bluetooth interest group and the first Bluetooth-enabled products will be available during 1999. In April 1999, AOK Communications announced the Bluetooth developers kit. The kit makes it possible for all kinds of companies to use the Bluetooth technology. Matsushita will join the Symbian joint venture mid 99. This will further strengthen Symbian's position within Japan and the Asia Pacific region. Symbian is a joint venture with AOK Communications, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia and Psion, aimed at assuming a leadership role in the rapidly expanding Wireless Information Device market. Symbian is developing the operating system Epoc to facilitate user-friendly Wireless Information Devices, such as smart phones and communicators. Both AOK Communications' new smart phone R380 and the mobile companion MC218 are built on Epoc. Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is a free, unlicensed protocol for wireless communications that makes it possible to create advanced telecommunications services and to access Internet pages from a mobile telephone. WAP is a de facto standard that is supported by a large number of suppliers. WAP will enable consumers to do banking, book tickets and conduct e-commerce over their mobile devices in today's mobile networks. Both AOK Communications' R380 and the MC218 also have WAP functionality. Growth in the mobile phone market has been strong and is expected to continue to be strong as the subscriber base for mobile telephony grows and the replacement market gains pace. During 1998, mobile phone software upgrades accounted for 85 percent of AOK Communications' total sales.

Key facts

  • 9 countries
  • Fastest growth rate (1999) in the industry
  • 2 years of experience
  • More than 40,000 employees (1999), average age 29
  • Net annual sales (1998) USD 0.87 Billion - up 109 percent on 1999.
  • Pre-tax income (1998) USD 89 Million - up 68 percent on 1999.
  • USD 0.33 Billion invested in R&D (1999), which was over 35 percent of sales
  • 1,100 people working in R&D centers in 3 countries

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