Lenovo Mobile Access brings wireless broadband to ThinkPads in US and Europe, doesn't fuss with contracts

Tired of fussing with touchy phone tethers, expensive MiFi devices and spotty hotspots? Lenovo feels your pain, and wants to take the guesswork out of getting an internet connection when you need it. Say hello to Lenovo Mobile Access, your dongle-free destination for on-the-go broadband -- assuming you're rocking a Lenovo rig with the right hardware, of course. In partnership with Macheen, Lenovo is serving up no-contract broadband access to owners of select ThinkPad laptops. Just need a few minutes to check your email? That'll be $2 -- as long as you keep it under 30 minutes and 30MB. Full day passes (capped at 200MB of usage) are available for $9, and monthly plans (at both 2GB and 6GB) are on the way. 3G equipped ThinkPads will be able to access the service in the United States, UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands on a single SIM, though pricing may vary by location. Looking for the official skinny? Skip on past the break for a pair of official press releases.

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Lenovo Connects ThinkPad Users with No-Contract Mobile Broadband Service

Cloud-Based Solution Simplifies Access and Reduces Cost for Individuals and Corporate Customers

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lenovo (HKSE: 0992) (PINK SHEETS: LNVGY) today introduced Lenovo Mobile Access, a flexible, no-contract mobile broadband service that gives consumers and business users greater choice and flexibility when connecting to valued online services. Lenovo Mobile Access provides pre-connected, always-on, customizable connectivity to the Internet and corporate networks, making it an ideal solution for users who need access to online content, applications and services away from their home, office or public Wi-Fi hotspots. Powered by a scalable cloud-based platform from Macheen Inc., the service is now embedded across select models of the ThinkPad product line and available immediately in the United States and nine European countries.

"We live in world where it's not only undesirable to be without online access, it's often disruptive to businesses. For that reason we wanted to create a flexible mobile broadband solution that would be unparalleled in its ability to help business users stay connected and working"

"We live in world where it's not only undesirable to be without online access, it's often disruptive to businesses. For that reason we wanted to create a flexible mobile broadband solution that would be unparalleled in its ability to help business users stay connected and working," said Dilip Bhatia, vice president and general manager, ThinkPad Business Unit, Lenovo. "Fundamentally, Lenovo Mobile Access gives individual and corporate customers options to determine how, when and where they want to connect with online applications and services, all at a price that fits their budget."

Designed to fit the needs of both individual and "prosumer" customers, Lenovo Mobile Access delivers broadband connectivity that's available anytime, anywhere yet users pay only for the access they need. Flexible, no-contract payment options let casual users buy a "Time Pass" for as little as USD 1.95 for 30 minutes or USD 8.95 for one day1-perfect to quickly sync email or ensure online access during travel. Users with more frequent connectivity requirements, or who work with large media files can purchase monthly plans with 2GB or 6GB of data access, along with the option for automatic monthly renewal. Businesses can leverage the same pay-as-you-go options, helping them reduce the cost of mobile broadband connectivity with right-sized access that can be extended to large numbers of individual employees.

Business customers can also take advantage of intelligent features designed to streamline device management, increase security and productivity for mobile employees, and reduce operational expenses. All ThinkPad laptops with embedded mobile broadband connectivity ship with Lenovo Mobile Access pre-activated as the default configuration. A single SIM is used for global access, enabling mass roll-out capabilities over a secure connection. Web-based policy management tools let IT administrators customize permissions and access options by services or application, for the whole company, specific workgroups, or individual users. Simple payment options allow centralized, single-payer end-of-month billing for corporate arrangements.

"To date, connectivity has been 'off the rack' and one-size fits all-too many mobile users are forced to squeeze into a mobile broadband contract that gives them either more or less connectivity than they need, or they go without entirely," said Richard Schwartz, president and CEO, Macheen. "With service by Macheen, Lenovo Mobile Access lets users trade ill-fitting plans for tailored connectivity featuring pay-as-you-go rates and customized access for any device, application and user. Quite literally, it's access to cloud-based content, services and applications that fits the way users work and live, meaning virtually all ThinkPad users can enjoy the value of true mobility."

Pricing and Availability2

Lenovo Mobile Access is available immediately in select models of ThinkPad Classic and ThinkPad Edge laptops equipped with a 3G module. At launch, the service is available in the United States, UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands. Contract-free time passes are available in the following increments and data allotments: 30 minutes (30MB), 1 day (200MB), 1 month (2GB) and 1 month (6GB). Auto-renewable, bandwidth-specific monthly plans are also available for data allotments of 200MB, 2GB and 6GB. Country-specific pricing information is available on the Lenovo Mobile Access control panel.

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Lenovo Signs on to Cloud-Based Mobile Broadband as Macheen Inc.'s Latest Device Partner

Enhanced Platform Capabilities, Expanding International Footprint Cement Macheen's Lead In Enabling New Connectivity Models

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As a host of new cloud services drive the necessity for anytime, anywhere connectivity, Lenovo has selected Macheen Inc. to power its new mobile broadband service, Lenovo Mobile Access. Available immediately in the United States and nine European countries, Lenovo Mobile Access is now embedded in select ThinkPad Classic and ThinkPad Edge laptops, providing Lenovo customers pre-connected, always-on Internet that offers superior value and flexibility with no contract. For small and medium-sized businesses and large enterprise customers, Macheen has also delivered new policy-based management features designed to help IT administrators easily control and customize connectivity options to particular applications, sites or services according to users or devices.

In a world where the value of a device increasingly is measured by its ability to access online content, applications and services, Macheen's scalable cloud-based services platform enables new business models for always connected laptops, tablets, e-readers and other consumer electronics devices. The white-label solution can be customized to best fit its partners' device, content and service models, whether designed for general consumers, corporate end-users or specialized vertical markets such as tablets in education or healthcare. Backed by a global set of network operator relationships, Macheen manages the entire process, including payments, settlements and customer service, leaving device partners free to focus on new content or service offerings that turn their devices into recurring revenue opportunities with constantly-connected customers.

Transforming Services for Connected Devices

The world of traditional mobile broadband-expensive monthly plans defined by lengthy contracts-is a one-size-fits-all-model that meets the needs and real-world preferences of only a fraction of mobile users. In comparison, Macheen's platform enables a uniquely flexible connectivity solution with tailored access and attractive economics, resulting in greater choice for end-users and new monetization opportunities for device manufacturers, value-added resellers, content and cloud service providers, and network operators. With the ability for selectable cloud applications to be always-connected and available for all devices, the Macheen platform opens the door to a variety of application delivery options including:

Always On Application Subscriptions: Rather than users paying for access to the entire Internet, they pay only for those services or applications that they want anytime, anywhere, such as news, social networking or cloud-based productivity applications including email or sales/CRM packages like salesforce.com.
Spot Access to the Internet: Flexible, no-contract payment options let casual users make spot purchases for as little as 15 or 30 minutes, while power users can purchase one hour, daily and monthly session plans.
Locked down network applications and support for corporate Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD): Any combination of network applications can be pre-defined with a customized service plan. This enables an enterprise account or vertical industry solution to be delivered to the end user with only those applications "hot" and prepaid. A range of built-in policies can be enforced, such as whether the end-user is allowed to buy other Internet access on a different account.
Sponsored Access: Many digital device users gravitate to premium content, applications and services when access is readily available and offered at no cost to the end user. In return for sponsored advertising or other promotional offers, users can gain limited free access to the entire Internet or anytime access at no cost to sponsored sites, services or applications.

As showcased by Lenovo, the Macheen platform flips the one-size-fits-all model by allowing no-contract, pay-as-you-go options that can be customized with specific online access permissions to meet the needs of every user. These customizations not only decrease the cost of connectivity, but also improve security and productivity for business users.

In addition, Lenovo's corporate customers can also take advantage of Macheen's global deployment and centralized policy management tools that allow IT administrators to customize end-user access to a single page, a group of sites or applications or the entire Internet. As a result, administrators can tailor connectivity to grant "always-on" access to business critical applications such as corporate email, CRM or collaboration services, as well as define "time pass" access to social media or news sites. Administrators can set up these policies for entire workgroups, individual end-users or even specific devices.

Quotes

Francis Sideco, Sr. Principal Analyst, Consumer and Communications, IHS:
"From storage to line-of-business and collaboration applications, the growth of cloud services demonstrates that any mobile device without connectivity has one hand tied behind its back. This is driving the push for connectivity to become a standard feature for a growing list of devices. However, current data tariff models are limiting adoption of embedded wireless wide area networking connectivity. Solutions that help solve the current paradigm's problems will be well positioned for growth moving forward."

Dilip Bhatia, general manager and vice president, ThinkPad Business Unit at Lenovo:

"Succeeding in today's business environment requires uninterrupted access to the Internet or a corporate network, which can become extremely costly, especially for road warriors. With Service by Macheen, Lenovo Mobile Access offers ThinkPad laptop users another way to stay productive with cost-effective connectivity that's available virtually wherever they are, one-click access that's exceedingly simple, and robust web-based tools that allow IT departments to easily manage options for a single laptop or an entire fleet of devices."

Richard Schwartz, president and CEO, Macheen:
"Today's announcement by Lenovo is the latest validation of the Macheen platform and its potential to relieve the pent-up demand for all devices to always be connected to the right people and services. With more work than ever being conducted in the cloud, boosting cloud utilization can result in leaps in productivity. Constant connectivity is the final building block to ensuring that cloud services reach their full potential, whether for consumer, prosumer or corporate users. We focused on delivering a magical combination of enabling connectivity without fuss for the user or heavy lifting by others."

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Lenovo Mobile Access bringing contract free broadband to ThinkPads in US and Europe