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Padcom & Panasonic Announce Static IP Solution, Lifting a Major Obstacle to Public Safety Adoption of Next Generation Wireless Networks.

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

BETHLEHEM, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 22, 2003

Software Offer Gives Public Safety Agencies the Ability to Easily Migrate from CDPD to New, Faster CDMA and GPRS Networks While Maintaining the Security and Operational Consistency of Current Networks Which Use Static IP Addressing

Padcom(R), Inc., an established leader in mobile data solutions for enterprises, today announced as a service to help public safety agencies meet their changing wireless network needs, Padcom's TotalRoam(R) Connect mobile data software will be offered at no charge to law enforcement agencies transitioning from Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) networks to next-generation networks such as Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). In conjunction with Padcom's "Proud To Serve" program, geared to maximize network effectiveness for public safety agencies, the "Proud to Serve" free static IP offer provided by TotalRoam(R) Connect will help ease the transition from CDPD. By managing the dynamic IP addressing used by both CDMA and GPRS, allowing agencies to take advantage of benefits associated with next-generation networks and by enabling customers to maintain the software and processes in which they have already invested, the software reduces agency dependency on constraints set by CDMA and GPRS networks that have not yet integrated static IP addressing.

Beginning November 17, 2003 Padcom(R) will introduce the "Proud to Serve" free static IP offer through Panasonic, the leading provider of ruggedized portable computers for professionals. Panasonic was chosen for this offer because of its long-standing relationships and strong reputation within the public safety market. Additionally, when the integrated wireless options of the Panasonic Toughbooks(R) are combined with Padcom's TotalRoam(R) Connect software, an ideal comprehensive mobile data platform is created for officers in the field, increasing productivity and improving public safety.

"With this announcement, Padcom(R) is directly addressing one of the major obstacles faced by public safety departments as they move from CDPD to other public data networks", says Iain Gillott, principal and founder of iGillottResearch, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry. "Recent research on the public safety sector clearly shows that the majority of departments consider the need for 128-bit encryption and static IP addressing to be major requirements for their new networks".

Last year, carriers announced a phase-out of the analog CDPD networks, some of which will take effect June 30, 2004. Important to note is that a great majority of customers using the eight-year-old network are public safety agencies that rely on CDPD to distribute data to officers on patrol. One obstacle to transition for the typically tight-budgeted agency IT departments is that CDPD networks provide a static IP address for each user. The CDMA1xRTT and GPRS networks that agencies are typically transitioning to use dynamic IP addressing, rendering much of agencies' software, hardware, and daily processes difficult, or impossible, to operate on the new networks.

By incorporating TotalRoam(R) Connect into the Toughbook(R), Panasonic and Padcom(R) can help public safety agencies reduce costs and increase officer confidence levels during the transition from CDPD. In addition to providing access to high speed networks and to software currently in use, TotalRoam'(R) Connect's static IP addressing also allows agencies to push information to field officers in real time and maintains access to NCIC and federal databases that require a constant, trusted IP address.

"We see the Proud To Serve free static IP offer as a 'win-win' for everyone involved," said Scott Stone, senior VP of marketing, sales and services, Padcom, Inc. "Customers can take advantage of recently announced carrier free service offers, plus enjoy the benefits of our free static IP software offer, allowing them to preserve capital for mobile infrastructure enhancements like 802.11 build-outs and private RF upgrades. Program resellers can offer customers a high-value solution at no charge, and carriers can fill a critical missing piece for the success of their next-generation networks - without incurring any expense."

Agencies that require enhanced information access and better bandwidth management can later choose an easy and affordable upgrade to other TotalRoam(R) solution packages that will enhance the utility of both the Panasonic Toughbook(R) and the TotalRoam(R) software. The TotalRoam(R) upgrade builds on the Toughbook's(R) capabilities, such as ruggedized, on-the-go access to information and embedded wide-area network (WAN) and wireless local area network (WLAN) transceivers, by providing roaming between multiple active networks. Officers in the field will be able to effortlessly draw on the speed of WLANs with the access of WANs and even make private RF networks a seamless part of their mobile virtual network. Also, they can benefit from data interoperability between departments using different communications technologies and database.

"We look forward to working with Padcom to develop solutions that will assist law enforcement agencies improve emergency response times, protect first responders, and take full advantage of all available resources," says Kevin Martin, Wireless Business Development Manager for Panasonic Computer Solutions Company.

Public safety agencies that would like to take advantage of the "Proud To Serve" free static IP offer should contact Padcom(R) or Panasonic to locate a Panasonic reseller for details.

About Padcom(R)

Padcom is an established leader in providing mobile virtual network solutions to enterprises, enabling wireless data and applications to work seamlessly across multiple networks. Padcom's TotalRoam(R) platform helps clients benefit from advanced wireless functionality such as static IP addressing for next-generation networks with dynamic IP addressing, seamless roaming between dissimilar networks (e.g., IP, non-IP, and wireline), and high-value administrative control over mobile devices and applications. TotalRoam(R) MCS software helps clients overcome the shortcomings of wireless data communication by bridging the gap between wireline and wireless data communication, simplifying information flow, and providing greater control for IT departments.

About TotalRoam(R)

Padcom's TotalRoam(R) MCS is a software platform that helps clients manage all aspects of wireless data communication, from security to the integration of multiple infrastructures to the control over individual applications. TotalRoam(R) enables roaming by creating a mobile virtual network capable of supporting any combination of RF, CDPD, GRPS, and iDEN networks, as well as CDMA 1xRTT, and 802.11 hotspots. The software helps users stay connected to departments' servers and databases, while roaming between dissimilar networks. The mobile virtual network created by TotalRoam(R) MCS enables clients to improve coverage and capacity for enterprises, enabling mobile workers to focus on their job, free from worrying about when and how they will remain connected. For more information, visit Padcom's Web site at www.totalroam.com.

About Panasonic Computer Solutions Company

Panasonic Computer Solutions Company is the leading provider of ruggedized notebook PCs for mobile professionals. The company is a unit company of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. of Japan (NYSE:MC), which recorded annual sales of $61.70 billion in the most recent fiscal year. Matsushita Electric is one of the only manufacturers today that directly controls the process of design, manufacture, and quality assurance of its portable PCs. Many key components, including LCD panels, Lithium Ion batteries, DVD and CD-ROM drives, and board-level electronics are the products of its divisions. The products, people, and business of Panasonic Computer Solutions Company are entirely dedicated to the needs of the professional user, including Fortune 1000 business and government professionals. Panasonic also supplies mobile computing solutions to over 3,000 police departments in the United States.

Panasonic is a registered trademark of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Toughbook is a registered trademark of Panasonic Computer Solutions Company.

Padcom and TotalRoam are registered trademarks of Padcom, Inc.
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Date:Oct 22, 2003
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