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Panasonic Toughbook CF-74 Semi-Rugged Notebooks Certified For Cingular Broadband Service

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Panasonic Computer Solutions Company also achieves Master Dealer status, enabling it to activate Cingular LaptopConnect data plans for resellers selling Toughbook notebooks with integrated Novatel Wireless UMTS/HSDPA modules

Panasonic Computer Solutions Company (PCSC), the leading provider of durable, reliable wireless mobile PCs, and Cingular Wireless today announced that the semi-rugged Toughbook CF-74 notebook now features built-in support for the 3G UMTS/HSDPA BroadbandConnect Service from Cingular using Novatel Wireless’ Embedded Module. In addition, Panasonic has achieved Cingular Master Dealer status. This designation enables Panasonic to directly sell and activate Cingular Wireless services for Panasonic Toughbook preferred channel partners.

The Cingular-enabled semi-rugged CF-74 joins rugged Toughbooks, the CF-29 and the industry’s only rugged convertible tablet PC, the CF-18, as part of the Panasonic’s portfolio of UMTS/HSDPA-enabled notebooks. With this additional certification, users will have the option for Cingular-powered mobile broadband access in more than 115 markets (with populations of more than 100,000) in over 50 metropolitan areas, as well as seamless EDGE wireless data network coverage in 13,000 additional cities and towns across the country outside those areas. Toughbooks with Cingular built-in will also have global wireless data capabilities with access to EDGE or GPRS data service in more than 115 countries.

“Toughbook customers worldwide, from field technicians to road warriors, have come to expect a high level of reliability and connectivity from their notebooks. With this certification, CF-74 users can now enjoy an even broader range of choices for high-performance wireless data capabilities,” said Victoria Obenshain, director of wireless strategy, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company. “Panasonic pioneered embedded wireless data in notebooks and today offers the broadest portfolio of embedded wireless data solutions available.”

“The certification of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-74 and the signing of our new Master Dealer agreement is indicative of how Cingular’s valued relationship with Panasonic continues to expand,” said Laura Johnson, senior director, enterprise solutions, for Cingular Wireless. “Cingular’s enterprise and government customers can now purchase an end-to-end mobile broadband notebook for their mobile workforce that demands real-time access to critical information in a reliable form factor.”

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 135 commercial networks in 57 countries, and 51 HSDPA networks. GSM is the world’s most popular wireless technology, which is used by more than 2 billion subscribers in 210 countries.

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The Toughbook CF-74 features the Cingular-enabled Novatel Wireless (NASDAQ: NVTL) Expedite™ EU730 HSDPA PCI Express Mini Card Embedded Module to give Toughbook users a top-of-the-line wireless broadband computing solution. Cingular BroadbandConnect users can access the Internet or e-mail, download large files and attachments, and run corporate business applications at broadband speeds in areas covered by UMTS/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.

In addition to offering embedded access to 3G networks, The Toughbook CF-74 incorporates the Intel Centrino chipset for seamless connectivity to local networks and optional Bluetooth technology.

Pricing and Availability
The Panasonic Toughbook CF-74 with embedded UMTS/HSDPA is available now at an estimated street price of $3,749.00. To learn more about Panasonic Toughbooks and wireless solutions, please visit http://www.panasonic.com/toughbook for more information.

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