Panasonic Canada announces Canada’s first certification of Toughbook notebooks for high-speed EVDO network

Mississauga, Canada-April 06, 2006

Panasonic Canada announced at the CTIA Wireless convention in Las Vegas today that its ruggedized CF18 and CF29 notebooks will offer Canada’s first integrated Sierra Wireless EM5625 embedded modules, operating on the TELUS Wireless High Speed network.

Based on the CDMA 1xEVDO standard, the newest Third Generation (3G) wireless data technology available, TELUS' Wireless High Speed network offers clients mobile access to the Internet, e-mail servers and other data networks at speeds similar to broadband desktop access. Clients using the Sierra Wireless embedded module will experience typical download speeds of 400 to 700 kilobits per second, and possible speeds of more than 2 megabits per second.

“When TELUS announced Wireless High Speed last year, Panasonic customers began asking us if this was a possibility for ruggedized notebooks,” says Thom Leiper, Director, Communication and Computer Products, Panasonic Canada. “As we have done so many times in the past, Panasonic reacted to its customers’ requests. And once again, we continue to lead the ruggedized notebook market by offering next-generation, high-speed mobile data access.”

Adds Robert Blumenthal, TELUS’ senior vice president of products and services: "By uniting the broadband data access speeds of our Wireless High Speed network with the newest ruggedized portable computing products from Panasonic, TELUS continues to provide Canadian business with the most powerful mobile data solutions available.”

TELUS Wireless High Speed network coverage in Canada is already available in major urban centres across Canada, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City.

The dual-band Sierra Wireless EM5625 embedded module provides a powerful, reliable, wireless engine that offers "always-on" voice, data, and messaging functionality. The embedded module is designed to be fully backward compatible with TELUS' 1X network, which covers more than 90% of the Canadian population, and offers mobile data service where Wireless High Speed is not yet available.

"Having an integrated, always-there connection to TELUS’ Wireless High Speed network offers Toughbook customers a simple-to-use tool to help them remain responsive and work efficiently with colleagues from wherever they need to be,” said Dan Schieler, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Sierra Wireless. “We are pleased to work with Panasonic and TELUS to bring these benefits to the Canadian market.”

Both of the Panasonic notebooks feature full magnesium alloy casing (20 times the strength of ABS plastic casing); protection from drop, shock, vibration, water, dust, heat and cold; and Ultra Bright 13.3" 1024 x 768 XGA TFT colour direct sunlight viewable displays.  Both the CF18 and CF29 come with a three-year limited warranty including parts and labour and are available now at a manufacturer’s suggested price of $4,595.00 and $5,495.00, respectively (re-seller price may vary).

About Panasonic

Panasonic Canada has been the leading name in ruggedized notebooks in Canada for the past eight years.  There are currently more than 40,000 Toughbook users in Canada.  All Toughbook® models are designed, engineered, and manufactured in Panasonic’s operated factories.  The company has a large investment in people, factories, robotics, environmental and wireless testing chambers, quality-control processes, and a broad range of end-to-end service offerings to ensure that the company will continue to be the leader in the ruggedized computer market.

Panasonic Canada Inc. (PCI) is the principal sales company in Canada of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (MEI) of Japan, which recorded annual sales of $80.0 billion in the most recent fiscal year.  Panasonic Canada’s home page is


TELUS (TSX: T, T.NV; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $8.1 billion of annual revenue and 10.2 million customer connections including 4.5 million wireless subscribers, 4.7 million wireline network access lines and 1.0 million Internet subscribers.  The company’s strategic intent is to unleash the power of the Internet to deliver the best solutions to Canadians at home, in the workplace and on the move.  TELUS provides customers with a wide range of wireline and wireless communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment and video services.  For more information about TELUS, please visit

About Sierra Wireless

Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR – TSX: SW) develops and markets reliable, high quality wireless communications products that provide mobile professionals with data and voice access to wide area wireless networks. The Sierra Wireless product portfolio includes the award-winning AirCard® line of wireless PC cards, embedded modules for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and the MP line of rugged, vehicle-mounted wireless modems. Sierra Wireless also offers professional services to OEM customers during product development, leveraging the company’s expertise in wireless design and integration to provide built-in wireless connectivity for notebook computers and other portable computing devices. For more information about Sierra Wireless, please visit “AirCard” is a registered trademark of Sierra Wireless. Other product or service names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.*

For information:
Trell Huether
Marshall Fenn Communications
416-962-3366 ext. 233
[email protected]

Julie Smithers
[email protected]

Sharlene Myers
Sierra Wireless
(604) 232-1445
[email protected]

* Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, plans and timing for the introduction or enhancement of our services and products, statements about future market conditions, supply conditions, channel and end customer demand conditions, revenues, gross margins, operating expenses, profits, and other expectations, intentions, and plans contained in this press release that are not historical fact. Our expectations regarding future revenues and earnings depend in part upon our ability to successfully develop, manufacture, and supply products that we do not produce today and that meet defined specifications. When used in this press release, the words "plan", "expect", "believe", and similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current expectations. They are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, changes in technology and changes in the wireless data communications market. In light of the many risks and uncertainties surrounding the wireless data communications market, you should understand that we cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release will be realized.