SkyNetGlobal escalates wireless access via Acer

In the deal, a SkyNetGlobal subscription and access card will be bundled with all new Acer Travelmate mobile PCs.

Ryan Switzer, SkyNetGlobal's vice president of global strategic alliances, said the subscription and access card will enable users to access SkyNetGlobal's network and service wirelessly to connect with company networks and the Internet.

For SkyNetGlobal, the partnership provides the opportunity for new corporate clients, global exposure and co-branding, Switzer said.

Acer was considered a likely partner for the deal because of an existing agreement with marketing company Leo Burnett, Switzer said. SkyNetGlobal announced last month a worldwide partnership with Leo Burnett for the provision of marketing, advertising and public relations services.

Switzer said opportunities still exist for SkyNetGlobal to partner with other PC manufacturers. "PC manufacturers are an obvious OEM partner, but we are also interested in hotels, network partners and airlines."

Acer will begin shipping the bundled notebooks from August this year, Switzer said. Distribution will follow SkyNetGlobal's network rollout plans, beginning in the Asia-Pacific, before extending to Europe in November and North America shortly after.

Final details of the deal are still under negotiation, but there are also opportunities for SkyNetGlobal access to be bundled on Acer's future products such as Palm Tops and other notebooks.

Unlike Leo Burnett, which has taken a 2 per cent equity stake in SkyNetGlobal, Acer's arrangement is viewed simply as a distribution and marketing agreement, Switzer said.

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Luisa Bustos

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