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May 9, 2000


Baltimore, Md. - Aether Systems, Inc., and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), have initiated a $510,000 research and education partnership to strengthen the Baltimore region's role in the rapidly growing field of wireless and mobile computing.

The agreement is the first step in an ongoing collaboration and will provide support to UMBC for on-campus research projects performed by undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. Aether engineers will work with UMBC faculty to develop a wireless data curriculum to help the university establish a leading national presence in this area of study and research.

In addition, the research grant will help sponsor wireless and mobile computing seminars on campus for students and faculty and off-campus seminars for the broader business community through UMBC's Visionary Series in Information Technology.

Based in Owings Mills, Md., Aether Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AETH), is a leader in wireless data systems and services, providing real-time communications and transactions across a full range of devices such as phones, pagers and personal digital assistants (PDAs) over a full spectrum of wireless networks.

"Through this partnership, Aether Systems is reinvesting in both the future of its core business - providing leading-edge wireless data products and services- and the Baltimore-Washington corridor's growing strength in high technology," said Aether Chairman and CEO David Oros, a graduate of UMBC. "Together with UMBC, we hope to cultivate the next generation of wireless conversant professionals and further establish our community as an internationally recognized center of high technology."

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski added, "The Aether-UMBC partnership will grow to attract the best minds in wireless and mobile computing, making our region a force in a field that is already changing the lives of people around the world."

UMBC faculty members such as Anupam Joshi are visualizing a future where wireless networks allow a constant interaction between pervasive computers and humans. "We're already seeing affordable palmtop computers that have the power of supercomputers from a decade ago," said Joshi, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at UMBC with six years of experience in the field. "In the near future we'll see embedded computers in roads, cars, household appliances, telephones and even clothing. These computationally enabled devices will form dynamic networks and collaborate to perform tasks."

The U.S. demand for wireless and mobile communications is predicted to soon surpass that of the traditional, "wired" Internet. The number of people using cell phones for wireless data applications among the U.S. Internet population is set to increase from the current 3 percent to an estimated 78 percent in the next 12 months, according to research by International Data Corp. (IDC).

"While the Internet has served as a vehicle for people to connect to the world, wireless technologies represent a vehicle to bring the world to the people, wherever they are," said Dale Shelton, Aether Chief Technology Officer. "Whether it's enabling investors to trade stocks while playing golf, a businessman to check and/or send email from a train or even a beach chair, or a teenager to pay a soda machine with her cell phone, the partnership between Aether and UMBC will help us lead the charge in making wireless the future of communications."

UMBC's residence halls, classrooms and offices will soon become living laboratories for wireless and mobile computing technology, according to Jack Suess, director of university computing at UMBC. "The transition won't happen overnight, but UMBC 's growing expertise in the field will help us to gradually provide a menu of applications for faculty, staff and especially students. Suess said that the first test project will be working with Aether Systems to provide UMBC students with wireless/mobile access to class information and services through the school's personalized web portal, My UMBC.

Wireless and mobile computing currently can be used for a variety of business and personal applications, including: e-mail, real-time stock tracking and trading, transportation logistics, field sales transactions, healthcare communications, message notification and call management, mapping and locator services, weather and traffic alerts, news, sports and information services, e-commerce transactions and banking services, online address books, directory services and corporate intranet applications.

A recent study by IDC found that more than 40 million US households are online, but there are more than 75 million cellular/PCS subscribers and more than 40 million paging subscribers. According to IDC, sales of handheld computers and smart phones worldwide will hit 35.2 million units by 2003 -- up from 8.9 million in 1999.

About Aether
Aether Systems, Inc., is a leading provider of wireless and mobile data services allowing real-time communications and transactions across a full range of devices and networks. Using its engineering expertise, the Aether Intelligent Messaging (AIM) software platform, the ScoutWare family of products (resulting from the acquisition of Riverbed Technologies, Inc.) and its network operations and customer service center, Aether Systems seeks to provide comprehensive, technology-independent wireless and mobile computing solutions. Aether develops and delivers wireless data services across a variety of industries and market segments in the United States and internationally. Aether is a joint principal owner, along with 3Com Corp., of OmniSky, Inc., a wireless Internet service provider based in Palo Alto, Calif. Aether headquarters are located at 11460 Cronridge Dr., Owings Mills, MD 21117. For more information, please visit the Aether website at

Posted by dwinds1 at May 9, 2000 12:00 AM