Motorola introduced two new ruggedized mobile computers that are designed to create a complete suite of low-end to high-end devices for the enterprise that likely will be sold through Sprint.

The MC65 and MC959B Windows 6.5-based mobile computers, when added to the ES400 enterprise digital assistant released in June, offer a line-up that caters to enterprises that need a variety of ruggedized devices — from moderately ruggedized to industrial grade.

The ES400, which Sprint will sell later this year, has a smartphone form factor designed for enterprise environments where regular smartphones don't quite cut it in terms of lifespan, as a result of the abuse they receive. The rugged device allows users to easily bring applications to the front, and its return-resistive screen improves the ability to capture signatures. It also enables biometric fingerprint security, image tagging and barcode scanning. Motorola said the battery can provide up to 250 hours on standby and six hours of talk time.

The ES400, which runs on Windows Mobile 6.5.3, has the ability to operate on both CDMA and GSM networks for international use and includes push-to-talk capability that allows groups to talk via Wi-Fi networks, Motorola said.

The MC65 and MC959B mobile computers also feature the ability to operate on GSM/HSPA networks and CDMA EV-DO Rev. A networks. The MC65 leverages what Steve Schmid, director of product management with Motorola Solutions, calls the field-proven form factor of the MC55, whose shipments now number more than 50,000 per quarter. The MC55 incorporates 2.5G mobile technology, but it left customers asking for more bandwidth, Schmidt said. The MC65 includes voice and data while the MC959B is a data-only device that is considered to be industrial class.

The dual wide-area-network (WAN) capability future proofs these devices, said Schmid, because enterprises now can leverage multiple carrier contracts and switch between networks when coverage on one network might be superior to another in a certain area in the field.

"One of the things we've prided ourselves on is having the broadest and deepest portfolio of ruggedized devices and having categories of entry-level, mid-range and premium high-level devices with various price points," Schmidt said. "This suite is taking this to the next level. Now we have that for a suite of products that support dual-3G, which gives enterprises carrier independence."

While Motorola has not announced a partnership with Sprint to sell the two new rugged computers, Schmid said "upcoming announcements will come toward that end."

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