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3 Hong Kong launches Merlin U530™ UMTS wireless data card

San Diego - June 14, 2004
  • 3HK offers Merlin U530 UMTS wireless data card, developed by Lucent Technologies and Novatel Wireless, providing up to 384 kbps high-speed wireless access
  • Teaming up with Cisco to offer VPN Connect service for the security-conscious mobile professionals at a monthly access charge of only HK$381
  • Partnering with HP to provide attractive special bundle packages for the purchase of selected HP notebook computers with Merlin U530 UMTS wireless data card
  • Introducing new "Wireless Data Plans". Customers can choose to have their services billed based on the regular "data volume" or a new "connect time" mechanism
3 Hong Kong ("3HK") today announced the launch of the Merlin U530 UMTS wireless data card supplied by Lucent Technologies (NYSE:LU) and Novatel Wireless (NSDQ: NVTL) and a market-leading 3G corporate networking solution with the VPN Connect service. 3HK is also teaming up with Cisco Systems and HP to offer an out-of-the-box, 3G-integrated and VPN-enabled notebook computer solution for security-conscious mobile professionals. With this new offering, 3-3G- users can enjoy up to 384 kbps high-speed wireless access via their notebook computers in a secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) environment to the Internet, their corporate intranet and other secured corporate systems anytime, anywhere.

High-speed Merlin U530 UMTS wireless data card

Merlin U530 UMTS wireless data card, jointly developed by Lucent and Novatel Wireless, is a compact, state-of-the-art, high performance wireless PC data card. It operates on 3HK's 3G network at a speed of up to 384 kbps per second for data download and 64 kbps for data upload, giving users the highest possible bandwidth today on any mobile network in Hong Kong. This is up to about 8 times faster than the typical GPRS connection. The Merlin U530 UMTS wireless data card will be available at 3hops at HK$2,9802.

At a joint media conference, Mrs Agnes Nardi, Managing Director of 3HK, said, "With the launch of the Merlin U530 UMTS wireless data card, we are pleased to be able to team up with Cisco Systems, HP, Lucent and Novatel Wireless in bringing this new wireless data solution to our customers. The faster-speed, the bigger bandwidth, the greater mobility and the higher security bring our customers higher productivity and performance."

"The Merlin U530 cards will enable 3HK's customers to access super-fast mobile data services over the 3G UMTS network," said Roger Derrien, vice president for UMTS product management with Lucent's Mobility Solutions Group. "These services are especially attractive to business users, and will help 3HK to offer even more compelling services to the business marketplace."

"We are pleased to launch the Merlin U530 with 3HK," said Peter Leparulo, CEO for Novatel Wireless. "This launch further expands our market penetration in the Asia Pacific region and builds on our success with Merlin U530 in Australia and Europe."

VPN Connect service offers security and data protection

With the newly-launched VPN Connect service, customers can connect their computers to the Internet via the 3-3G- video mobile phone or the new Merlin U530 UMTS wireless data card with a public IP address. More importantly, with VPN enabled computers, this new service provides a secure and private environment for the customers to access their corporate intranet and databases, and share information with colleagues and business partners on the Internet. The VPN Connect service is offered at a monthly access fee of HK$38 only.

3HK, Cisco Systems and HP teaming up to offer attractive bundle packages

Cisco Systems, the world's leader in networking for the Internet, partners with 3HK to provide the Internet Protocol-based (IP) secure networking solution for the VPN Connect service. "We are pleased to be working with 3HK to launch a secured wireless corporate networking solution to 3-3G- users in Hong Kong," said Mr Frankie Sum, Managing Director, Cisco Systems. "In today's competitive market, gaining productivity and maintaining business resilience are critical to business success. Mobility is one of the key components. Business professionals who can take advantage of mobility will be able to enhance efficiency, flexibility and response to market. This translates to higher cost savings, better customer service and more business opportunities." To promote the use of the VPN Connect service, Cisco provides a bundle offer at HK$18,943 for one Merlin U530 UMTS wireless data card, one Cisco 831-K9 router and a notebook computer3.

HP, the industry-leading technology solutions provider, is partnering with 3HK to offer special bundle packages for the purchase of selected HP notebook computers with Merlin U530 UMTS wireless data cards at prices from HK$17,418. "HP shares 3HK's vision of the mobile world," said Mr Peter Yeung, Managing Director, Hewlett-Packard HK SAR Ltd. "Our mobility expertise ranges from access devices to network infrastructure. We believe a mobile-enabled workforce will have its productivity significantly enhanced, leading to greater economic gains for all. This partnership with 3HK matches perfectly our vision for a wireless environment, where anybody can easily and efficiently access the corporate information they need via mobile devices anytime, anywhere."

New "Wireless Data Plans"4

To support the launch of the Merlin U530 UMTS wireless data card and the VPN Connect service, 3HK offers new "Wireless Data Plans" which introduces a new charging mechanism of billing the customers based on "connect time" duration. Customers will therefore have the choice of having their services billed based on the regular "data volume" or the new "connect time" mechanism.

1 Data usage will be charged based on customers' subscribed 3-3G- tariff plans or wireless data packages. VPN access requires special hardware/software, which is not included in the monthly access fee.
2 Contract terms apply. Original price at HK$3,980 each.
3 Data usage not included.
4 Monthly charges range from HK$198 to $998 with data usage from 30MB or 3 hours to 200 MB or 22 hours. The monthly access fee of HK$38 for the VPN Connect service will be waived when subscribing to any of the "Wireless Data Plans".

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