Toshiba Expands Prepaid Access To Enterprises - InformationWeek

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5/13/2005
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Toshiba Expands Prepaid Access To Enterprises

Toshiba on Tuesday introduced an enterprise version of its prepaid mobile Internet access software product.

Toshiba America Information Systems on Tuesday introduced an enterprise version of its prepaid mobile Internet access software product.

MyConnect Enterprise gives resellers an added feature to sell on top of large, enterprise laptop sales, said Raja Narayanan, vice president of mobility solutions for the Digital Products Division of Toshiba, Irvine, Calif.

The MyConnect service installs and works on any laptop PC, not just those made by Toshiba, said Narayanan. MyConnect delivers high-quality access to the Internet via Wi-Fi, dial-up or Ethernet access points. And like a prepaid phone card service, MyConnect can be sold in prepaid monthly blocks ranging from three- to 24-month usage periods, said Narayanan.

The service is ideal for mobile workers who travel into areas where Internet access can be unreliable, said Narayanan.

"When going into many geographic areas, a prepaid service model is the most reliable," said Narayanan.

Toshiba has arranged an access network for MyConnect users consisting of more than 350 Internet service providers and more than 50 wireless providers, enabling users to access a total of nearly 50,000 access points located in more than 150 countries, he said. Around-the-clock 800-number telephone support is included with the service, he said.

Resellers of the service see their margins increase according to the length of the service contracts sold, said Narayanan. For example, three-month prepaid contracts offer margins of about 8 percent, while 24-month contracts can close in on 15 percent margins, he said. Pricing for MyConnect plans starts for less than $20 per month, according to Toshiba.

A version of MyConnect for SMB customers is also available from Toshiba, said Narayanan.

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