Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, manufacturer of durable, reliable Panasonic Toughbook mobile computers, and Novatel Wireless, Inc., a leading provider of wireless broadband access solutions, today announced they have successfully achieved their first joint certification for the Panasonic Toughbook CF-18 convertible tablet PC incorporating Novatel Wireless' embedded Expedite EU730 HSDPA module on Cingular Wireless' UMTS/HSDPA-based BroadbandConnect service. The CF-18 is the only fully rugged convertible tablet PC with embedded UMTS/HSDPA-based wide area wireless available today.
UMTS/HSDPA is the global standard and natural 3G evolutionary path for GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication/Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) providers. GSM is the world's most popular wireless technology, which is used by more than 1.8 billion people in 210 countries. In the U.S., CF-18 users will have mobile broadband access in all BroadbandConnect markets launched by Cingular in 2005 -- and in most major markets by the end of this year -- with seamless, high-speed EDGE network coverage outside those areas in 13,000 cities and towns. The Cingular-certified CF-18 also will provide users with global wireless data capabilities with access to EDGE or GPRS data service in more than 100 countries worldwide.
The CF-18 is the first of what is expected to be many joint UMTS/HSDPA certifications with Novatel Wireless and Cingular across the full line of Toughbook products -- including rugged, semi-rugged and thin-and-light portable computers -- designed to address mobile computing needs from the front-lines to the corner office and from global enterprises to small businesses.
With Novatel Wireless' Expedite EU730 module, Toughbook users will receive a top-of-the-line wireless broadband computing solution that enables them to access the Internet or e-mail, download large files and attachments, and run corporate business applications at broadband speeds in areas covered by BroadbandConnect. BroadbandConnect provides average download speeds between 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps), with bursts to more than one megabit per second (mbps). Cingular's EDGE network, the largest national high-speed wireless data network in the U.S., provides average download speeds of up to 135kbps.
"The combination of Panasonic's unique convertible tablet PC with built-in technology from Novatel for use on our 3G BroadbandConnect network provides a powerful end-to-end solution for companies in a wide range of industries that need to give their employees access to mission critical information," said Laura Johnson, senior director, enterprise solutions, for Cingular Wireless. "The global wireless capabilities that Cingular brings to this offering allows these employees to stay connected whether they are on the other side of town, across the country or halfway around the world."
"This announcement marks another milestone in our relationships with Novatel Wireless and Cingular, companies which have been with us at the forefront of mobile computing since the early days of embedded wireless technology," said Victoria Obenshain, Director of Strategic Wireless, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company. "As organizations of all sizes embrace wide area wireless connectivity, we will continue to work with these key partners in the delivery of wireless computing solutions designed to stand up to the tests of mobility, wherever our customers' work takes them."
"Panasonic Toughbooks are engineered with the core principle that mobility and durability must go hand-in-hand, and we have built our reputation on delivering modules designed for reliable, high quality global connectivity," said Peter Leparulo, chief executive officer for Novatel Wireless. "This HSDPA certification marks the first of what we hope to be many more joint solutions pairing unmatched quality in laptops with the most advanced embedded module solutions."
Toughbook CF-18 Convertible Tablet with Embedded Wireless
The rugged and reliable Panasonic Toughbook CF-18 is the only convertible tablet PC designed using MIL-STD-810F environmental testing procedures for drops, shocks, altitude, vibration, dust, water and extreme temperature resistance. Encased in magnesium alloy, the CF-18 features a shock-mounted removable hard drive in a stainless steel case. With one swivel, the Toughbook CF-18 transforms from a notebook to a handwriting-friendly tablet PC. It is an ideal form factor for field-based users in a variety of applications and industries, from EMTs and first responders to utility and telecommunications technicians to public officials and insurance representatives in inspection and disaster recovery roles.
Toughbooks are engineered for wireless computing to provide seamless connectivity for maximum productivity. In addition to offering connectivity to 3G networks, Toughbook computers incorporate the Intel(R) Centrino(TM) chipset for seamless connectivity to local networks, optional integrated GPS and Bluetooth(TM) technology for connectivity to local printers, headsets and networks.
Novatel Expedite EU730 Modules
The Novatel Wireless Expedite EU730 module operates on 850 and 1900 MHz UMTS/HSDPA networks in North America. The PCI Express Mini Card, a form factor specification of the Expedite EU730 module, is standard in most notebooks, providing quick and easy integration and minimizing space on the laptop motherboard. This enables platform manufacturers to reduce integration costs and maintain external slots for other functions. The module is backward compatible to 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz Enhanced Data Rate for Global Evolution (EDGE), and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) for wireless data access worldwide.