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Sears Picks Itronix and Wireless Matrix to Build 'Smart Toolbox' for Service Organization.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- Sears, Roebuck and Co. has entered into agreements to purchase equipment from Itronix Corp. and Wireless Matrix Corp. to build the next generation of the "Sears Smart Toolbox," a computer laptop used in the company's Product Repair Services organization.

Sears will purchase 10,000 of Itronix's GoBook(TM) semi-rugged computer laptops and 10,000 of Wireless Matrix's Mobile Base Station (MBS) and Wide Area Wireless communications solution. By combining Itronix's advanced PC technology with Wireless Matrix's integrated wireless communication, Sears' service technicians will have immediate access to vital product information. Rollout of the new equipment will begin in early 2003. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

"Itronix and Wireless Matrix were able to meet both the unique business needs of Sears and the rugged, wireless requirements of the in-home Product Repair Service technicians," said Mark Good, executive vice president and general manager for Sears' Product Repair Services business. "This gives us an opportunity to improve the already high quality of service we provide our customers, reinforcing our goal to be the leader in in-home product repair services."

For example, a Sears technician repairing a dishwasher will have access to on-line diagnostic information, wireless communications for real-time parts inquiry and customer information and a Global Positioning System to learn the best routes to customer locations, among other features.

"We have worked closely with Sears to develop the Sears Smart Toolbox system, with the goal of providing the highest level of service and information to Sears customers," said Tom Turner, Itronix president and CEO. "Sears' in-home Product Repair Service technicians will have quick access to the information they need to deliver quality customer service."

"Our new generation wireless gateway and vehicle-mounted MBS positions Wireless Matrix to offer Sears a comprehensive and single source for their wireless data communication needs," said John Herring, president and CEO of Wireless Matrix. "We are excited that Sears, one of North America's largest field service operations, has selected Wireless Matrix."

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a broadline retailer with significant service and credit businesses. In 2001, the company's annual revenue was more than $41 billion. The company offers its wide range of apparel, home and automotive products and services to families in the U.S. through Sears stores nationwide, including approximately 870 full-line stores. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through its Web site, www.sears.com . In June 2002, Sears acquired Lands' End, a direct merchant of traditionally styled, classic Lands' End clothing offered to customers around the world through regular mailings of its specialty catalogs and online at www.landsend.com .

About Itronix

Itronix is a global supplier of ruggedized computer systems with integrated Radio Frequency and cellular modems, which allow field service organizations to achieve break-through results in the reduction of costs and the improvement of productivity and service quality. Itronix serves mobile workers in markets such as commercial field services, telecommunications, utilities, government, public safety, geographical surveying and meter reading. Itronix is a subsidiary of Acterna Corporation, a Germantown, Md.- based global communications equipment provider focused on leading-edge communications technology solutions. Itronix worldwide headquarters are located in Spokane, Wash. The corporation's European operations, Itronix Ltd., are located in Coventry, UK. Additional information is available on Itronix's web site at http://www.itronix.com/ .

About Wireless Matrix

Wireless Matrix is a leading developer and provider of enterprise-class wireless data services for business-critical operations involving mobile workforces and remote assets. Wireless Matrix mobile and telemetry services are deployed in major corporate industrial markets including oil and gas, utilities, transportation and field service. The Company operates a multi- network wireless gateway service that interfaces to proprietary hosted or third party applications to provide end-to-end wireless information services to key enterprise markets. Its products include specially designed multi-mode mobile and telemetry modems that uniquely satisfy its target market demands. Wireless Matrix is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, and has offices in Reston, Virginia and Burnaby, British Columbia.

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CONTACT: Willy Medina of Sears, Roebuck and Co., +1-847-286-1624, wmedina@sears.com , or Marie Hartis of Itronix Corp., +1-509-742-1244, hartism@itronix.com , or Mark Weder of Wireless Matrix Corp., +1-403-250-3949, mark.weder@wrx-ca.com

Web site: http://www.sears.com/ http://www.itronix.com/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 30, 2002
Words:712
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