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Panasonic and Cingular join to benefit public safety

Panasonic Computer Solutions Company has joined with Cingular Wireless to introduce Panasonic’s Toughbook CF-29 as the first Toughbook targeted to public safety with built in Cingular’s 3G BroadbandConnect. Panasonic Computer Solutions Company is a unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America. Cingular Wireless, the largest wireless carrier in the United States, is a joint venture between AT&T Inc., and BellSouth Corporation.

This joint effort allows officers to wirelessly access agency databases and other critical information while in their squad cars and in a UMTS/HSDPA-based BroadbandConnect coverage area. For those not familiar, UMTS refers to the Universal Mobile Telecommunication System and HSDPA is the High Speed Downlink Packet Access. The UMTS/HSDPA is the accepted global standard.

According to Laura Johnson, senior director, enterprise solutions, for Cingular Wireless, “Law enforcement officers typically are involved in situations that require quick thinking and quick access to as much pertinent information as possible to ensure that the outcome is a safe one for them as well as the general public. The groundbreaking Panasonic Toughbook CF-29 integrated with Cingular BroadbandConnect gives these officers a reliable and fast way to get this mission critical information at their fingertips right in their patrol cars. And the fact that these devices can withstand rough treatment and harsh environments is important not only to public safety, but also to our customers in the transportation, utilities, and telecommunications industries.”

Users of the rugged Toughbook computers can now opt for mobile broadband access in more than 60 cities with BroadbandConnect areas; the high-speed EDGE network provides coverage in an additional 13,000 U.S. cities outside the Broadband Connect areas. EDGE is the Enhanced Data Rate for Global Evolution network, and Cingular’s EDGE network is the largest national high-speed wireless data network in the United States.

“Thanks to our close relationship with Cingular Wireless, we are able to quickly deliver high-performance mobile computing solutions designed for mission-critical applications like law enforcement,” added Victoria Obenshain, director of wireless strategy, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company. “Based on this solid foundation, we look forward to achieving many more joint HSDPA/UMTS certifications across the full line of Toughbooks.”

Panasonic Toughbook has also announced two new units, the CF-19 convertible tablet PC and the CF-30 clamshell notebook that join their popular CF-18 tablet and CF-29. The CF-19 and 30 were developed with input of public safety customers and feature improved GPS accuracy, touch screens, several options for wireless connectivity, new security features, enhanced processing speeds and the brightest mobile notebook screens. The 19 has a bright Nit (candelas per square meter—a measure of brightness) and the 30 boasts a 1,000 Nit, leading the industry with a notebook screen that is twice as bright as most rugged notebooks. This amazing screen was introduced at the 113th annual International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Boston, October 14-18.

According to Panasonic, “the new CF-19 and CF-30 rugged Toughbook® models incorporate a wireless-ready design that allows users to purchase or upgrade to embedded access to next-generation data networks from all major wireless carriers. The notebooks will ship with optional integrated radio modems to access UMTS/HSDPA-based solutions from Cingular Wireless and the EV-DO networks of Sprint or Verizon.”

Rance Poehler, president of Panasonic Computer Solutions Company said, “These next generation Toughbooks are the result of close collaboration between our R&D labs, engineering teams, Panasonic component divisions and, most importantly, our customers, who depend upon us to meet the needs of their business by supplying mobile devices they can rely on and trust. Our customers have asked us for brighter displays that can be used in any environment. Delivering a 1,000 Nit screen is a major accomplishment for Panasonic’s engineers, who are unparalleled in their ability to strike a balance between form and function in rugged devices. This is clearly the brightest LCD in any battery-powered computer in the industry today and another first for Panasonic.”

Poehler continued, “We will continue to push ourselves to deliver increased CPU power, integration of next-generation wireless, security enhancements and ever-increasing battery life to meet the needs of users in extreme environments—from war fighters to field technicians.”

The CF-30 and CF-19 will be available in December. The CF-30 estimated price is $4,699. The CF-19 will be $4,199. Visit for more information.

Kevin Gordon spent 25 years in law enforcement and retired as a chief of police. He is a national and regional officer of the International Police Association. He can be reached at

Published in Public Safety IT, Nov/Dec 2006

Rating : 10.0

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