Sierra Wireless adds Wi-Fi to AirLink™ MP rugged in-vehicle modems

The new MP 595W, MP 881W and MP 880W increase flexibility and versatility by eliminating additional wires and creating a “hotspot” in and around vehicles
Las Vegas (Nevada, US)-April 01, 2008

Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR - TSX: SW) today announced a significant enhancement to its line of AirLink™ MP rugged in-vehicle modems. The new MP 595W, MP 880W and MP 881W modems, which are scheduled for commercial shipments later this quarter, include an 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi hotspot and full routing capabilities to simplify installation and communication between the modems and peripheral equipment. This addition will also allow customers to access their mobile broadband coverage while outside the vehicle, providing additional freedom and flexibility.

Designed for use in the public safety, field service, and transportation industries, Sierra Wireless MP rugged modems have been the in-vehicle modem of choice for public safety agencies since 1995. Known for their reliability and durability, they have been trusted by hundreds of police forces, fire and rescue teams, and emergency responders to provide fast, secure access to information from dispatchers and centralized databases.

The MP 880W and MP 881W are the first modems in the Sierra Wireless AirLink product line to support HSUPA networks, offering significantly improved uplink speeds. The MP 595W supports EV-DO Revision A networks. The faster uplink data speeds provided by HSUPA and EV-DO Revision A technology improve the user experience for those who need to send large files such as photos or video over their wireless connection, enabling applications such as video monitoring to improve the personal security of the vehicle operator.

“The MP modem has been at the cornerstone of the public safety community for over a decade,” said Dan Schieler, senior vice president of Worldwide Sales for Sierra Wireless. “The addition of Wi-Fi marks a significant milestone, allowing our customers to ‘cut the cord’ between their MP modems and the notebook computers or handheld devices they use. This ability to maintain the data connection from outside the vehicle will provide an enormous benefit to first responders.”

Each of the MP modems includes MP Modem Manager, a feature-rich web-based diagnostic software management tool that enables remote monitoring and configuration of an entire fleet of MP modems. With MP Modem Manager, an administrator can control settings, diagnose and troubleshoot field issues, and upgrade firmware from a central location without taking units out of the field, avoiding costly downtime.

Sierra Wireless AirLink MP Product Line
MP products are in-vehicle modems built to withstand the rugged environments of the public safety, transportation, and field service industries. To ensure reliable performance in a variety of conditions, MP rugged modems:

  • Meet U.S. Military 810-F and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1455 specifications for vibration, shock, drop, rain, splash, sand, dust, humidity, and salt fog;
  • Operate in extreme temperatures (-30 C to +70 C);
  • Support various options for interfacing with infrastructure equipment, including serial, USB, Ethernet, and 802.11 b/g  host connections, offering customers a variety of installation and configuration choices, as well as compatibility with legacy systems;
  • Are equipped with enhanced WiFi security options, such as WEP, WPA and WPA2;
  • Offer NAT capability along with routing functions for setting up static routes and port forwarding giving users flexibility in directing traffic to specific clients;
  • Include an integrated high-precision, standalone 12-channel GPS (global positioning system) receiver for vehicle tracking;
  • Offer both analog and digital input/output ports, allowing vehicles to be comprehensively instrumented to provide dispatchers additional actionable information such as speed and airbag status, thereby providing additional security for employees and company assets.

The MP 881W and the MP 880W are designed for use on HSUPA networks, offering connectivity on three UMTS frequency bands (850/1900/2100 MHz), and supporting peak data speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps on the downlink and 2.0 Mbps on the uplink. For use in areas where an HSUPA or UMTS network is not yet available, both modems are also fully backwards compatible with EDGE and GPRS networks in four worldwide frequency bands (850/900/1800/1900 MHz). The MP 881W is optimized for network performance in North America, while the MP 880W is optimized for network performance on networks outside North America.

The MP 595W  provides connectivity to EV-DO Revision A networks, with peak data speeds of up to 3.1 Mbps on the downlink and up to 1.8 Mbps on the uplink. The MP 595W is also fully compatible with legacy EV-DO Release 0 networks and CDMA 1X networks, for use in areas where an EV-DO Revision A network is not yet available.

Sierra Wireless AirLink MP rugged wireless modems carry a three-year platinum warranty with technical support.

For more information about Sierra Wireless AirLink MP rugged wireless modems, please visit http://www.sierrawireless.com/product/mobile.aspx. To contact the Sierra Wireless Sales Desk, call +1 (604) 232-1488 or e-mail sales@sierrawireless.com. Sierra Wireless is exhibiting at CTIA Wireless in the Las Vegas Convention Center from April 1 to 3. Attendees are welcome to drop by the company’s booth, at #249 in Central Hall Section 1.

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About Sierra Wireless
Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR – TSX: SW) modems and software connect people and systems to mobile broadband networks around the world. The Company offers a diverse product portfolio addressing enterprise, consumer, original equipment manufacturer, specialized vertical industry, and machine-to-machine markets, and provides professional services to customers requiring expertise in wireless design, integration, and carrier certification. For more information about Sierra Wireless, visit www.sierrawireless.com.

“AirLink” is a trademark of Sierra Wireless. Other product or service names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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.