Panasonic Computer Solutions Company and Cingular Wireless today introduced the Panasonic Toughbook CF-29, the first Toughbook targeted to public safety with Cingular's 3G BroadbandConnect service built-in. The two companies announced the availability of the rugged, wireless clamshell notebook today at the APCO 2006 show in Orlando.
Using the Toughbook CF-29, public safety officers can wirelessly access criminal databases and other mission critical information at broadband speeds while sitting in their patrol cars when in UMTS/HSDPA-based BroadbandConnect coverage areas. The Toughbook 29 provides seamless, high-speed EDGE network coverage outside of those areas. In addition to public safety, the Toughbook 29 is ideal for military and commercial field environments.
UMTS/HSDPA is the global standard and natural 3G evolutionary path for GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) providers with UMTS services already offered by 95 commercial networks in 45 countries, and an additional 67 networks in deployment, planned or licensed. GSM is the world's most popular wireless technology, which is used by more than 2 billion people in 210 countries.
Now, users of rugged Toughbook computers -- including the only fully rugged convertible tablet, the CF-18 -- will have the option for mobile broadband access in more than 60 BroadbandConnect cities, and seamless, high- speed EDGE network coverage in 13,000 additional cities and towns in the United States outside those areas. HSDPA/UMTS-certified Toughbooks will also have global wireless data capabilities with access to EDGE or GPRS data service in more than 100 countries.
"Law enforcement officers typically are involved in situations that require quick thinking and quick access to as much pertinent information as possible to ensure that the outcome is a safe one for them as well as the general public," said Laura Johnson, senior director, enterprise solutions, for Cingular Wireless. "The groundbreaking Panasonic Toughbook CF-29 integrated with Cingular BroadbandConnect gives these officers a reliable and fast way to get this mission critical information at their fingertips right in their patrol cars. And the fact that these devices can withstand rough treatment and harsh environments is important not only to public safety but also to our customers in the transportation, utilities, and telecommunications industries."
Toughbooks are engineered for maximum productivity. In addition to offering embedded access to 3G networks, Toughbook computers incorporate the Intel Centrino chipset for seamless connectivity to local networks and offer optional integrated GPS and Bluetooth technology. It features the Cingular- enabled Novatel Wireless (Nasdaq: NVTL) Expedite(TM) EU730 HSDPA PCI Express Mini Card Embedded Module to give Toughbook users 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 HSDPA-based 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 135 kbps.
The Novatel Wireless Expedite EU730 module operates on 850 and 1900 MHz HSDPA/UMTS 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.
Cingular's 3G network is available in more than 60 communities nearby the major markets of Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Gary (Ind.), Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland (Ore.), Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (Calif.), Seattle, Tacoma (Wash.) and Washington D.C. The company will expand its 3G network coverage area to most major markets by the end of 2006.
"Thanks to our close relationship with Cingular Wireless, we are able to quickly deliver high-performance mobile computing solutions designed for mission-critical applications like law enforcement," added Victoria Obenshain, director of wireless strategy, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company. "Based on this solid foundation, we look forward to achieving many more joint HSDPA/UMTS certifications across the full line of Toughbooks."