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AT&T, Lenovo and Ericsson Break Down Barriers to Embedded Broadband Service in Notebook PCs

   

DALLAS, Texas, and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, North Carolina, Oct. 30, 2008 – Business PC users now have a new, affordable option to access broadband-speed Internet via their ThinkPad notebook PCs through a new alliance announced today by AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) and Ericsson. The collaboration significantly lowers the price premium usually associated with built-in mobile broadband technology by up to $150 per PC from previous pricing.

Under the agreement, AT&T’s 3G service – the nation’s fastest 3G network – is available on a full range of Lenovo ThinkPad notebooks, which come factory-equipped with Ericsson built-in mobile broadband modules enabled for AT&T LaptopConnect.[1] The service provides extensive broadband access both domestically and internationally.[2]

All three of the ThinkPad SL notebooks and all notebooks in Lenovo’s T and X Series are included in the offering. Customers who purchase the ThinkPad notebooks with the embedded mobile broadband[3] and establish an account with AT&T will receive 30 days of free[4] AT&T DataConnect service. The notebooks are sold directly through www.lenovo.com.

The agreement provides significant opportunity for small and medium businesses, in particular, to meet their needs for wireless PC connectivity:

Exceptional coverage[5] – AT&T 3G service is available today in more than 320 major U.S. metropolitan areas and, by year-end, AT&T expects to offer 3G coverage in nearly 350 major metro areas.  AT&T customers can also use their AT&T-powered notebooks in more than 150 countries, including more than 60 countries with 3G networks. Additionally, Lenovo has designed multiple antennas and maximized their placement in the new ThinkPad notebooks to achieve enhanced wireless performance.  

Fast access – AT&T LaptopConnect subscribers can realize typical download speeds between 700 kbps (kilobits per second) and 1.7 Mbps (megabits per second). Typical uplink speeds range between 500 Kbps and 1.2 Mbps.  Ericsson’s integrated mobile broadband modules for HSPA (high-speed packet access) will enable access to these speeds in the new notebooks.

Upfront IT savings – The new ThinkPad notebooks with AT&T LaptopConnect are available at approximately the same price as a Lenovo notebook without high speed mobile broadband technology, a savings of up to $150 per notebook from previous pricing.

Long term IT savings – Users can enjoy their embedded mobile broadband service throughout the life of the notebook. A recent report by Gartner found “that 3G service offerings are becoming sufficiently stable to enable an embedded notebook solution to last three years without an upgrade[6].”

The announcement comes as wireless data usage and the adoption of high speed mobile broadband connectivity on notebook computers continue to skyrocket. Gartner forecasts embedded modem sales to have a compound annual growth rate of 94.3 percent worldwide from 2008 to 2012[7].  

“We have seen mobile data consumption quadruple every year for the past three years,” said Michael Woodward, vice president, Mobility Business Marketing, for AT&T’s wireless operation.  “Customers recognize the benefits of enhanced connectivity on their notebook computers and this increase in consumption reflects that. The program we’ve developed with Lenovo and Ericsson is a simple, affordable response to this trend that we expect will be welcomed by business customers and mobile professionals.”  

“We’ve engineered our ThinkPad notebooks to provide an exceptional wireless experience,” said Philippe Davy, vice president, Strategic Alliances and Emerging Products, Lenovo. “By working with industry leaders, Ericsson and AT&T, we’ve found a way to package the highest levels of wireless performance into a business model that gives users an affordable connectivity solution.”

“As users continue to demand high performance connectivity solutions, Ericsson mobile broadband modules are an essential building block in providing a simple, secure and superior experience,” said Mats Norin, Vice President Ericsson Mobile Broadband Modules. ”Beyond providing excellent engineering, we are committed to working with industry leaders to shape a complete, end-to-end solution to drive increased mobile broadband adoption.”

This program is the latest in a series of joint initiatives involving AT&T and Lenovo. AT&T and Lenovo are the major technology sponsors of the AT&T Williams team where they have been combining their computing and communications skills to enhance the Formula One team’s performance since January 2007.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s World’s Most Admired Telecommunications Company list and No. 1 on America’s Most Admired Telecommunications Company list. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.

About Ericsson
Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. The market leader in 2G and 3G mobile technologies, Ericsson supplies communications services and manages networks that serve more than 195 million subscribers. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, and broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and developers. The Sony Ericsson joint venture provides consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices. Ericsson is advancing its vision of 'communication for all' through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 70,000 employees generated revenue of USD 27.9 billion (SEK 188 billion) in 2007. Founded in 1876 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm and NASDAQ.

About Lenovo
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is dedicated to building the world’s best engineered personal computers. Lenovo’s business model is built on innovation, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction as well as a focus on investment in emerging markets. Formed by Lenovo Group’s acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets reliable, high-quality, secure and easy-to-use technology products and services worldwide. Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information see www.lenovo.com.

[1]Monthly AT&T DataConnect Plan required.

[2]International DataConnect Plan required.

[3]AT&T mobile broadband service not available in all areas. Check coverage area before purchase. All offers subject to availability. Lenovo reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice.

[4]30 day FREE service offer: Requires activation of qualifying Lenovo notebook on qualifying $60 AT&T DataConnect plan with a two year term.  After activation, a credit equal to the amount of the one monthly recurring charge will be applied to subscriber’s account. Early Termination Fee: None if cancelled in first 30 days; thereafter $175 decreasing $5 for each full month of the term completed by subscriber.

[5]Based on global coverage.

[6]Gartner, Inc. Forecast: Wireless Data Cards and Embedded Modems, Worldwide, 2005-2012 by Hugues J. De La Vergne and Michael J. King, June 25, 2008.

[7]Changes Coming for Embedded 3G in Notebooks, by Ken Dulaney and Leslie Fiering, April 28, 2008.