Audiovox, Verizon Wireless, Microsoft and Sierra Wireless Launch Thera, New Audiovox Pocket PC With Integrated CDMA2000 1X Wireless Voice and Data Capabilities
March 18, 2002
Brenda Raney, Verizon Wireless, 908-306-4834, Brenda.firstname.lastname@example.org
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ORLANDO, FL -- Audiovox Communications
Corporation (ACC), a subsidiary of Audiovox Corporation (Nasdaq: VOXX) and a U.S. sales leader in CDMA (code division multiple access) handsets, according to Dataquest, along with Verizon Wireless, Microsoft Corp. and Sierra Wireless, today launched its newest Windows Powered Pocket PC, Thera(TM).
Audiovox Thera (a word that means opening or gateway in Greek) opens a new door in mobile communications and computing by providing fully-integrated CDMA2000 1X wireless voice and data communications capabilities in a single, compact, Pocket PC device about the size of a 3" X 5" file card. Verizon Wireless, with 29.4 million U.S. subscribers, will distribute and market this new wireless Pocket PC, beginning this spring, to enterprise customers through its national sales team, to customers in specially designated Verizon Wireless retail locations nationwide, and on the company's Internet site at http://www.verizonwireless.com.
Thera combines the ease of use and comprehensive functionality of Microsoft(R) Windows Powered Pocket PC 2002 software for versatile and powerful mobile computing applications. Thera uses Sierra Wireless's new SB555 Embedded Module and Watcher modem management software to enable wireless phone calls, Internet and E-mail access anywhere within Verizon Wireless' network. The unit is manufactured for Audiovox by Toshiba Mobile Communications Company.
"Thera represents the culmination of a strategic alliance to develop and distribute the next-generation mobile communications and computing solution," said Philip Christopher, ACC President and CEO, speaking at a news conference at CTIA Wireless 2002. "Thera also renews our commitment to help carriers and technology developers maximize the benefits and opportunities available from the convergence of wireless voice and data technologies. "
Audiovox Thera(TM) - Maximizing Wireless Voice & Data in a Pocket PC Format
When used on Verizon Wireless' new Express Network, Thera will provide mobile data transmission speeds of 40 to 60 kilobits per second, supporting high-speed wireless connectivity for Web browsing, E-mail and mobile E-commerce functions with simultaneous audio, video and text data services. ACC's Thera Pocket PC can also be used as a dual-band (CDMA 800MHz and 1900MHz) wireless phone.
"As the nation's largest wireless carrier, Verizon Wireless is committed to providing the technology and services that leverage our coast-to-coast network to enhance customers' quality of life -- be it business or personal," said John Stratton, Verizon Wireless vice president chief marketing officer.
"The introduction of the Audiovox Thera gives enterprise customers the option of using the high speed data transmission services of Verizon Wireless' Express Network to replicate their office environment while on the go. Together, Verizon Wireless, Audiovox, Toshiba, Microsoft and Sierra Wireless are giving customers the power of technology, the ease of application and the mobility of wireless in one convenient device."
Thera is powered by Microsoft(R) Windows Pocket PC 2002 software, running on an Intel(R) Strong ARM(TM) 206MHz processor.
"Thera is an example of the innovation that's possible with the Pocket PC software. Powerful functionality that comes standard on every Pocket PC like web browsing, instant messaging, and E-mail, are made more compelling by the integration of wireless," said Juha Christensen, vice president of mobility at Microsoft. "We're also very excited about Verizon Wireless' commitment to offer customers smart, Windows Powered devices and we welcome them as the first US CDMA carrier to do so."
Thera comes equipped with all of the rich Pocket PC features and functionality including: Microsoft Pocket Internet Explorer, Pocket Outlook, Pocket Excel, Pocket Word, MSN Messenger, Microsoft Reader and Windows(R) Media(TM) Player.
The unit's wireless phone and Internet access capabilities are enabled by Sierra Wireless's new SB555 high-speed Embedded Module for CDMA2000 1X and Watcher modem management software. Thera represents the first consumer application for the ultra-compact SB555, which supports dual-band CDMA frequencies, high-speed packet data, voice communications and two-way SMS (Short Message Service). Sierra Wireless's Watcher software allows the user to easily configure, control, and monitor the Sierra Wireless modem, making Thera operate as a state-of-the-art wireless handset.
"Thera offers mobile users a new experience in wireless connectivity where a complete wireless data solution is bundled in one integrated device. We are pleased to work with these technology leaders to deliver an industry-first solution with the SB555 Embedded Module as the wireless enabler for Thera," said David Sutcliffe, Chairman and CEO of Sierra Wireless. Thera measures just 3.05" wide by 5.02" long by .77" inches thick and weighs only 7 ounces. The unit offered by Verizon Wireless features 32 MB of SDRAM and 32 MB of Flash ROM and 32 MB of external SD memory and is equipped with an SD card slot and infrared port, among other features.
"Thera takes the Pocket PC to the next generation of functionality and performance," said Philip Christopher, ACC president and CEO. "Thanks to the contributions of our colleagues, Thera's user-friendly features and CDMA2000 1X compatibility make it one of the first handheld computing devices to optimize wireless voice and data communications, and help carriers to advance their voice and data initiatives."
Audiovox Communications Corp. (ACC), a subsidiary of Audiovox Corporation (Nasdaq: VOXX), is one of the leading suppliers of wireless products with more than 15 years of experience in the wireless industry. ACC markets its products under the brand "Audiovox" or private labels for its customer base. ACC has operations and sales offices in 10 countries and through its customer base, markets and distributes product in 42 countries on six continents.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications and Internet services. The company has the largest nationwide wireless network and 29 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Reporters and editors can find more information on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.
About Sierra Wireless
Sierra Wireless, Inc. (Nasdaq: SWIR -- TSE: SW) is a leading provider of wireless data communications products. Sierra Wireless delivers wireless PC Cards for portable computers, wireless adapters for PDA's, OEM modules for embedded applications and rugged vehicle-mounted wireless systems. Sierra Wireless is the founding member of the WirelessReady(TM) Alliance, an alliance of industry-leading hardware, software and service companies committed to the delivery of complete and compelling wireless data solutions. For more information on Sierra Wireless, visit its web site at http://www.sierrawireless.com.
Except for historical information contained herein, statements made by Audiovox Corporation in this release that would constitute forward-looking statements may involve certain risks such as our ability to keep pace with technological advances, significant competition in the wireless, mobile and consumer electronics businesses, quality and consumer acceptance of newly introduced products, our relationships with key suppliers and customers, market volatility, non-availability of product, excess inventory, price and product competition, new product introductions, the uncertain economic and political climate in the United States and throughout the rest of the world and the potential that such climate may deteriorate further and other risks detailed in the Company's Form 10K for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2001. These factors, among others may cause actual results to differ materially from the results suggested in the forward-looking statements.