ABI Research Confirms Option's Growing Global Leadership in the Cellular Modem Market



    LEUVEN, Belgium, March 20 /CNW/ - Option (Euronext: OPTI; OPNVY), the
wireless technology company, reinforced its market leadership and increased
its share of the global cellular modem market to 38% in 2006, according to a
new report from ABI Research.
    The study, "Expanding Cellular Broadband Connectivity to the Laptop: PC
Cards, Express Cards, Minicards, USB modems and 3G/Wi-Fi Routers, also
indicates that Option grew its market share for the fourth consecutive year.
From 20.7% in 2003, Option's market share increased to 25.6% in 2004, 31.9% in
2005 and reached 38% last year. Worldwide cellular modem shipments exceeded
5.2 million units in 2006 and will grow to 68 million units in 2012, a
compound average annual growth rate of 53%.
    Jan Callewaert, CEO of Option, said: "Building close and
mutually-beneficial long-term relationships with our customers is a
fundamental part of Option's ethos. This independent confirmation of our
market leadership reflects the success of this strategy and our commitment to
provide our customers with the innovative products required to expand the
wireless broadband market. Increasing share in a strongly growing market with
its new competitors is no easy task, but we succeeded thanks to our clear and
focused vision, our market-driven innovation, best-in-class execution and
talented people."
    According to ABI Research, PC Cards represented the majority of sales in
2006 while internal modems did not live-up to initial expectations. The year
also saw the introduction of two new modem form factors, the USB modem and the
3G/Wi-Fi router. "The value chain for internal modems is complex with several
issues still needing attention particularly related to distribution," notes
Dan Shey, Principal Analyst at ABI Research, and the report's lead author.
"However, operators, laptop vendors and chipset manufacturers are committed to
this form factor and they continue to work together to develop the embedded
modem market."
    ABI Research predicts that internal modems will begin to lead sales of
cellular modems in 2009 while the ubiquity of the USB port, in laptops and
desktops, will lift the USB modem to second place in worldwide sales, later in
the forecast period.

    About Option

    Option, the wireless technology company, is a leading innovator in the
design, development and manufacture of 3G WCDMA (HSPA and UMTS), EDGE, GPRS,
GSM and WLAN technology products for wireless connectivity solutions. Option
has built up an enviable reputation for creating exciting products that
enhance the performance and functionality of wireless communications. Option's
headquarters are in Leuven, Belgium. The company has Research & Development in
Leuven, a Software and Applications development centre in Adelsried (Germany),
a Wireless Router development centre in Stockholm (Sweden), an ISO 9002
production engineering and logistics facility in Cork, Ireland. Option also
has sales & support operations in the US, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. For
more information please visit www.option.com.





For further information:

For further information: Douglas Ros, Vice President Business
Development, Tel +32-(0)-16317411, E-mail: d.ros@option.com; Frederic Convent,
CFO, Option, Tel + 32-(0)-16317471, E-mail: investor@option.com

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