Audiovox, Verizon Wireless, Microsoft

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Source: Verizon Wireless

Audiovox Thēra (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 www.verizonwireless.com.

Thēra combines the ease of use and comprehensive functionality of Microsoft Windows Powered Pocket PC 2002 software for versatile and powerful mobile computing applications. Thēra 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.

“Thēra 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. “Thēra 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 Thēra – Maximizing Wireless Voice & Data in a Pocket PC Format

When used on Verizon Wireless’ new Express Network, Thēra 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 Thēra 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 Thēra 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.”

Thēra is powered by Microsoft® Windows Pocket PC 2002 software, running on an Intel® Strong ARM™ 206MHz processor.

“Thēra 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.”

Thēra 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® Media™ 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. Thēra 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 Thēra operate as a state-of-the-art wireless handset.

“Thēra 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 Thēra,” said David Sutcliffe, Chairman and CEO of Sierra Wireless.

Thēra 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.

“Thēra 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, Thēra’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.”

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