Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR) (TSX: SW) and Panasonic today announced that Sierra Wireless will provide 4G LTE internal modems in the new rugged Toughpad™ A1 (#Toughpad), Android™-powered business tablet. The purpose-built slate, scheduled to start shipping in the spring of 2012, targets mission-critical and highly mobile workers in markets like aviation, construction, field sales and the public sector, where exposure to extreme environments is a constant challenge and the consequence of a failure is significant.
The 10” Toughpad A1, which features embedded security, enhanced device-management features, and integrated GPS, allows government and commercial enterprises, as well as small and medium businesses, to realize the true potential of tablet computing without sacrificing security and while delivering a high return on investment.
With integrated 4G LTE connectivity, Panasonic customers will be able to access stored online information and file reports from the field, share photos, stream video, and perform other high-bandwidth applications. For example, a technician addressing a particular problem on a piece of equipment would be able to use the Toughpad A1 tablet to access a training video stored on a corporate intranet, potentially saving considerable downtime and travel costs for multiple trips.
Integrating LTE into a mobile device presents challenges for manufacturers. These may include the design and placement of the wireless module within the device for optimum performance, the integration and placement of the antenna, the interaction of the wireless module with the device software, and ensuring that testing and certification go smoothly to meet scheduled market launches. Sierra Wireless customers benefit from the company’s considerable experience and expertise in wireless integration and in reliably getting new technologies to market quickly.“We have been collaborating with Sierra Wireless for many years to integrate new wireless-broadband technologies into our Toughbook mobile computers and provide our customers with fast and reliable mobile-broadband connectivity,” said Victoria Obenshain, VP, wireless strategy, Panasonic. “Extending this collaboration to our Toughpad A1 tablet ensures our customers can enjoy the same freedom and productivity they enjoy with their Toughbook devices. The end result is that our customers will be able to count on their wireless connection to help them share and access information wherever they are.”