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News
Issue #2003 - 18 (June 2003)
(Updated June 4, 2003)

TECHNOLOGY

Palm Announces Alliances in Voice Over IP, Wi-Fi & Security For Palm Tungsten C Handheld Users

SAN DIEGO, D:, May 29 -- Palm, Inc. today announced five agreements with technology companies for voice over IP (VoIP), Wi-Fi, and authentication software based on protocol developed by Cisco. These agreements make wirelessly using the Internet or corporate network more accessible, versatile and secure for professionals using the Palm(TM) Tungsten(TM) C handheld while away from their desks or out of the office(1). VLI, Linksys, Wayport, WiFinder and Meetinghouse Data Communications introduced products, services and special offers that capitalize on the integrated Wi-Fi of the Tungsten C handheld for Wi-Fi campus networkers and small office or home office (SOHO) professionals.

The first Palm handheld computer to ship with integrated Wi-Fi, the Tungsten C handheld is the most powerful Palm branded device, with 400MHz of ARM processing power; 64MB(2) of memory to manage data-intensive applications; a built-in keyboard; and a 320 x 320 transflective TFT display, Palm's sharpest screen to date, for indoor and outdoor viewing.

"Given the expansion of Wi-Fi networks in homes, in enterprises, and in public hotspots, it is becoming increasingly important for handheld device vendors to offer compelling Wi-Fi solutions," said Alex Slawsby, analyst, Smart Handheld Devices, at IDC. "As use of VoIP expands through the enterprise and secure wireless corporate data access becomes a necessity, it's not enough to simply deliver a device -- handheld device vendors must partner to offer a compelling solution story." 

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
"VoIP is fast becoming a compelling and cost-effective means of communication for wireless devices," said Ken Wirt, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Palm Solutions Group, today demonstrating VLI's VoIP technology with the Tungsten C handheld live at the D: All Things Digital show.

VLI (www.vliusa.com), a world leader in SIP (session initiation protocol) compliant VoIP software and services for mobile electronic devices, is introducing Gphone for Palm handhelds to enable VoIP for Palm Tungsten C handheld users. Device owners now will have the ability to communicate with other Palm handhelds using corporate wireless networks, public hotspots or wireless home networks. With Gphone, Tungsten C handheld users will be able to connect to online directory services and SIP compatible IP devices, including personal computers and Internet phones, as well as make calls over the switched public telephone network.

Gphone technology can add voice communications to existing data applications where Palm handhelds are used. By inserting the Palm Hands Free Headset(3) in the Tungsten C headphone jack, users will be able to pick up calls forwarded from their desk phone to their Tungsten C handheld and make calls to colleagues on the company network. 

Wi-Fi
With 3,400 hotspots(4) in hotels, airports, cafes and parks in the United States alone, Wi-Fi has rapidly become a popular standard for professionals who need wireless high-bandwidth Internet access while at home or away from the office on business. Linksys, Wayport and WiFinder are working with Palm to drive new interest in Wi-Fi technology by offering customers discounts and free trials. With the purchase of a Tungsten C handheld, customers can take advantage of the following offers:

  • Linksys (www.linksys.com), the leading provider of wireless routers, network cards and USB adapters to SOHO users, will provide a coupon book worth up to $60 in discounts on wireless access points, notebook adapters and PC cards(5);
  • Wayport (www.wayport.com), the world's largest provider of 802.11b wireless and wired high-speed Internet access in hotels, such as Wyndham and Loews, and airports, such as LaGuardia and
    Minneapolis-St. Paul, is offering a 30-day free trial of Wayport's Wi-Fi and wired Internet access; and
  • WiFinder, a free public hotspot locator service, provides directories and information customized for the Tungsten C handheld. Now, Tungsten C handheld users traveling around the world will be able to easily locate more than 5,443 hotspots for high-bandwidth Internet access in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Security
A key consideration in the deployment of wireless handhelds in verticals such as healthcare and government is the ability to secure the wireless LAN (WLAN) from unauthorized access. This can be critically important, because gaining WLAN access often also means gaining access to the corporate network and all of its assets. Businesses and other organizations soon will be able to turn to Meetinghouse's AEGIS WLAN security solution, which supports LEAP (Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol), a standards-based authentication method for Palm Tungsten C handhelds. LEAP, developed by Cisco, requires mutual authentication, which means both the user and access point to which the user is attempting to connect must authenticate one to the other before network access is granted. AEGIS security enables businesses to deploy the elegant and powerful Tungsten C handheld in their WLANs with enterprise-level security.

In addition to LEAP security, an IPSec VPN (virtual private network) client will be available to address the remote access security needs of many Wi-Fi networked professionals. The VPN will provide secure access to corporate networks so Tungsten C handheld users can wirelessly receive and respond to confidential, data-intensive applications from anywhere on their Wi-Fi corporate campus, or from hotspot locations such as restaurants, hotels and airports. 

Availability
Gphone for Palm handhelds from VLI is scheduled to be available in June. The Linksys discounts and Wayport free trial are available today with the purchase of a Palm Tungsten C handheld. Handheld registration also is required for the Wayport offer. AEGIS WLAN Security from Meetinghouse Data Communications ( http://www.mtghouse.com ) and the IPSec VPN client are scheduled to be available later this summer.

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: Palm has been trying hard to establish Tungsten in the enterprise. VoIP, Wi-Fi support and enhanced security (LEAP and IPSec) will help. However, there are a number of additional considerations in selecting a handheld device for mobile applications in the enterprise. We would suggest that mobile infrastructure planners should included Tungsten in the preliminary list and apply comprehensive criteria for selection. 

Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of Securities Exchange act of 1934 in USA. Similar provisions exist in other countries. There is no assurance that the stipulated plans of vendors will be implemented. MobileInfo does not warrant the authenticity of the information. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.


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