$41-Million Contract Award
for Satellite-Based
Forest Protection Commnications System.

CALGARY, AB - August 29, 2002, Cochrane, Alberta-based Pathcom Wireless Inc. has been awarded a $41-million Alberta Government contract to develop and supply a world-first, state-of-the-art communications network designed to provide satellite-based, wide area radio communications to the Forest Protection Division, a department within the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Development.

The system will provide two-way communication capability from the District Fire Command Centers and Provincial Fire Fighting Center to the airborne and ground-based fire-fighting resources throughout the forested areas of Alberta. The network is comprised of 91 remote sites co-located at Fire Lookout Towers, 11 District Fire Command Centers and the Provincial Fire Fighting Center. The 91 sites provide radio coverage to virtually all forested areas within the province; an area twice the size of the United Kingdom.

The FireNet System will be used to provide communications with Forestry personnel during forest fire suppression, for the co-ordination of both ground and air fire-fighting resources. As well the network will be used in day-to-day operations of forestry resource management. Quick response and efficient coordination of resources will translate into a greener Alberta.

Pathcom Wireless Inc. is a rapidly expanding telecommunications supplier and system integrator. The company is based in Cochrane, Alberta. Pathcom has been providing voice and data communications to remote Canadian operations for the past 20 years.

"The FirenNet radio network, will put both the government of Alberta and Pathcom into a leadership positon for remote area communications," said Pathcom President Chet Perry. "The network, in addition to providing wide area voice communications, is also capable of providing connectivity to the Internet or Local Area Networks to accommodate data and video surveillance applications".

Alberta lost 153,478 hectares to wildfires in 2001. While the count for 2002 is still growing, it is recognized that wildfires consume an inordinate amount of the Government's financial resources and of course have a very negative impact on the forest industries. It is felt that the improvement in communications provided by FireNet will help to reduce this huge expense by allowing fires to be controlled earlier, and with less cost.

The network is capable of being expanded to other provincial and state jurisdictions. With fire-fighting operations increasingly becoming an inter-provincial or international joint exercise it is thought that the FireNet network may soon connect other governments or agencies into a single, co-ordinated communications system.

According to Mr. Perry, "The network has been designed with sufficient flexibility that it can be easily expanded to accommodate the communications and data requirements of other users; such as the oil and gas, mining, and logging industries and other enterprises that are located in the remote, underserved areas in North America".