Coca-Cola to deploy 28,000 Symbol mobile computers

Symbol Technologies introduced a new family of rugged, mobile computers with built-in tri-mode wireless capabilities Tuesday and announced that Coca-Cola Enterprises plans to deploy 28,000 of the units to route drivers in North America and Europe.

The deal is valued at roughly US$30 million.

Both of the new Symbol handheld computers are based on the Intel Corp. XScale PXA255 processor and run Microsoft Corp.'s Windows CE.Net Mobile 2003 operating system as well as the Pocket PC phone edition for communication over cellular networks. They include built-in 802.11b Wi-Fi, optional Bluetooth short-range wireless access; built-in Global System for Mobile Communications/General Packet Radio Service radios; and Code Division Multiple Access radios for WAN cellular communications.

The new MXC9000-K offers a choice of 28-, 43- or 53-key keyboards, measures 9.2-in. long by 3.6-in. wide by 1.7-in. deep and weighs between 22 and 25 ounces, depending on configuration.

The MC9000-S is smaller (7.6 by 3.6 by 1.7 in.) and comes with a 28-key keyboard only. Both models have a 3.8-in. screen, available in color or monochrome. Data-capture options include one-dimensional and two-dimensional laser-scan and imaging engines. Symbol said the new devices are targeted at a variety of vertical markets, including field service, manufacturing, route accounting, transportation and logistics and wholesale distribution. They are priced between US$2,895 to US$3,595, depending on the wireless configuration.

Steve Schmid, senior director of product marketing at Symbol, said Coca-Cola Enterprises, the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the world, will deploy the compact MC9000-S to help drivers in Europe and North America manage deliveries and take orders. Coca-Cola Enterprises operates in parts of 46 states in the U.S., all 10 provinces in Canada and in parts of Europe including Belgium, continental France, the U.K., Luxembourg, Monaco and the Netherlands.

Christopher Koterski, program manager for mobile computing at Coca-Cola Enterprises, wasn't available for comment today but said in a statement that the new mobile computers will "enhance productivity and maximize customer value." Schmid said Coca-Cola plans to configure its handhelds depending on the market, with units in the U.S equipped with built-in cellular connectivity.

Coca-Cola also plans to use Bluetooth to communicate with Bluetooth-equipped vending machines. Jeff Kagan, an Atlanta-based telecommunications analyst, said this will allow route drivers to remotely check the inventory levels of vending machines and quickly bypass those that don't need restocking.

Kagan added that multimode wireless devices would eventually become the norm for mobile workers who such devices, which can sniff out the best signal in different areas. He added that pioneering users of wireless technology such as Coca-Cola stand to reap a competitive advantage until their rivals deploy similar systems.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Bob Brewin

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?