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USTelematics Licenses Voyager Mobile IPTV to Audiovox
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May 14, 2008

USTelematics Licenses Voyager Mobile IPTV to Audiovox

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributing Editor

USTelematics (News - Alert) announced today that they are expecting an agreement with Audiovox for manufacturing, distributing and marketing USTelematics’ Voyager Mobile IPTV hardware product, under Audiovox brand names, at more than 20,000 retail electronics and automotive channels worldwide.

USTelematics Chief Executive Officer Howard Leventhal said the arrangement with Audiovox is the first step toward significantly accelerating the marketing and distribution of Voyager into one of the largest and best-established networks of automotive electronics retailers in the world.
According to Leventhal, the agreement would not only validate their proprietary technology and product, it will enable them to make more money by providing wireless mobile broadband connectivity and programming services to Voyager users, on a wider scale and in a much shorter time period than previously possible.

USTelematics expects to benefit from Audiovox’s established and extensive distribution network, which reaches approximately 10,000 car dealerships and more than 10,000 other points of distribution. Leventhal added that having Audiovox make and sell Voyager promises to reduce the time and funding that would have been required to achieve the same capability at USTelematics.

Neither USTelematics, nor their shareholders, could conceive of a more perfect method of getting straight to the high-margin connectivity and programming e-services businesses that have been in their sights from the very beginning, according to the company.
USTelematics is also launching an aggressive build-up of its new 4VDO service to deliver live internet protocol TV programming into wireless mobile devices with reliable high bandwidth support. The company said that each new 4VDO service subscription would produce income to USTelematics that equals or exceeds the company’s gross margin on each unit of Voyager hardware, if the company were to continue manufacturing the hardware.
Leventhal said the e-service income is to be produced with a low, single-digit percentage cost of delivery and carries with it none of the risks of manufacturing, inventorying and selling of a hardware product. He said that by letting Audiovox do what it does best with Voyager, USTelematics gains the ability to put 4VDO in front of the largest conceivable audience within the shortest of time frames.

Audiovox said it intends to invest a certain amount of cash directly into USTelematics and to pay a per-unit royalty for rights to the Voyager intellectual property, software, trade secrets and for manufacturing and distribution rights worldwide. Under the expected agreement, USTelematics will have the exclusive right to provide technical provisioning and access to programming and wireless broadband connectivity services to Voyager buyers under the Audiovox brand.

Currently, USTelematics has contracts with Verizon Wireless for Voyager mobile wireless connectivity, Dish Network for live TV programming, Apple (News - Alert) for the iTunes library and with several other content and programming service distributors.

Both USTelematics and Audiovox Corporation are targeting execution of a definitive agreement within 45 days, and have been in talks since February of this year. Because Audiovox intends to make some modifications to Voyager’s design, shipments will be later than USTelematics’ wholesale customers are presently expecting.
“Ideally, Voyager should be available from Audiovox in time for the holiday season,” said Leventhal.
Audiovox Corporation is an international distributor and value added service provider in the electronics industry.

USTelematics, Inc. is engaged in the development and commercialization of next-generation, proprietary technologies to revolutionize the “wired car,” delivering high-speed data and entertainment content to private and commercial vehicles.
Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

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