Sony partners with three WLAN service providers to offer wireless Hotspot access...

Sony partners with three WLAN service providers to offer wireless Hotspot access via CLIE PEG-UX50

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Sony of Canada Ltd., today announced that it has partnered with three of Canada’s leading wireless local area network (LAN) service providers to offer Sony CLIE PEG-UX50 handheld customers wireless Hotspot service across the country.

Under the terms of the partnership, Sony customers who purchase a CLIE PEG-UX50 handheld before October 31, 2003, will receive 30 days of free wireless Hotspot service from three leading service providers — BOLDstreet Inc., Fatport Inc. and Spotnik Mobile Inc. In order to take advantage of this offer, customers must activate, before December 31, 2003, the pre-paid service cards that come packaged with their CLIE PEG-UX50. According to industry research firm IDC Canada Ltd., the demand for WLAN Hotspot service in Canada is growing rapidly.

“The number of commercial WLAN Hotspots in Canada is expected to grow at an annual rate of 143 per cent for the next five years,” said Warren Chaisatien, Senior Telecom Analyst, IDC Canada Ltd. “As the need for wireless connectivity grows, demand for Hotspot service and products that connect users to it will continue to increase significantly.”

“Enhanced by wireless Hotspot service in Canada, the Sony CLIE PEG-UX50 handheld will afford customers even greater freedom to travel about while remaining connected to e-mail and the Internet,” said Samuel Yip, Product Manager, CLIE handheld, Sony of Canada Ltd. “The combination of wireless connectivity and expandability across the CLIE handheld product line empowers our customers to be more productive at home, at work or on the road.”

“BOLDstreet believes in providing wireless Internet access where people want to be, not just where they have be.” said Tom Camps, President and CEO, BOLDstreet Inc. “The Sony CLIE PEG-UX50 complements our strategy by giving users a device that is small, powerful and, most of all, fun. Together, Sony and BOLDstreet are bringing the Internet closer to people’s lives.”

“We look forward to working with Sony to offer its CLIE PEG-UX50 handheld customers our service,” said Michael Kuhlmann, Vice President, Business Development, FatPort Corporation. “The larger than average keyboard makes it an excellent device for not just receiving but also sending e-mails on the go, and the inclusion of Bluetooth functionality to connect to wide area networks via mobile phones will help people stay connected when users are out of range of our WiFi networks. ”

“The Wi-Fi capabilities of the Sony CLIE PEG-UX50 handheld are ideally suited to the needs of the professional on-the-go,” said Murray McCaig, Co-CEO, Spotnik Mobile Inc. “Spotnik’s premium Wi-Fi service and extensive network provide a convenient and easy-to-use way for Sony’s customers to access critical information and stay connected throughout their day.”

Weighing in at approximately 175 grams and measuring just 103 X 86.5 X 18 mm. (millimeters), the Sony CLIE PEG-UX50 handheld is the world’s smallest handheld device with built-in WLAN (802.11b), Bluetooth connectivity and keyboard. The CLIE PEG-UX50 handheld battery enables up to 4.5 hours of Internet access service and up to 16 hours of continuous music playback. This performance can be tripled by the use of an optional extended battery. The Sony CLIE PEG-UX50 handheld also features a series of multimedia capabilities, including built-in camera for digital still picture and video clip, voice recorder and audio MP3 player. The voice recorder is capable of storing approximately 520 minutes (long play mode) of voice memos by deploying an optional 128 MB (megabyte) Sony Memory Stick media.

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