Ericsson Targets Consumers With Cell Phones That Link to PCs for Free

Ericsson Mobile Phones, Triangle Park, NC, a division of Swedish electronics giant, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, Stockholm, is stepping up its competition in the worldwide mobile-communications market by extending a free PC cable and software connection-kit offer to its new cell phone customers. Ericsson says consumers purchasing its new T18d and T18lx tri-mode phones will receive a mail-in offer for free Paragon FoneSync phonebook manager software, and a special data cable.

The company also touts FoneSync made by Camros Corporation, formerly Paragon Software, Vienna, VA, as the number one phone/computer synchronization software on the market. It says this system will enable users to easily transfer contact information from a PC or laptop into Ericsson's new T18d/lx cell phone product.The offer is obviously a key strategy designed to reign in fence-sitting consumers who have a multitude of product and service options to choose from in the exploding global-cell phone market. But, offering free connectivity through a mail-in offer will not only spur sales, It will help track and seal long-term customer relationship management strategies for new products and services offered by Ericsson down the road.

According to Jeffrey Mandell, vice president of marketing/Region Americas for Ericsson Mobile Phones, “Everyone is extremely busy these days balancing their work and personal lives. The ability to synchronize phone numbers between a computer and a mobile phone will enable consumers to more easily stay in touch with family, friends and business contacts.”

The new customer package announced last week runs through June 30 in the United States and Canada, and will be available through major wireless carriers and retailers. Ericsson will promote the offer through print advertising in major business and flight magazines and point-of-sale displays. A coupon in-packed in the T18d and T18lx packages will include information on how to get the free software.

With Ericsson raising the bar in the increasingly competitive cellular phone market, industry leaders across the electronics spectrum are sure to begin looking over their shoulders at the handheld PDA industry which already has a natural marketing link to the PC world. It's also an industry likely to begin employing similar strategies.

But Ericsson Mobile's parent company seems prepared. Indeed, at the company's corporate headquarters in Sweden, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson made another announced last week: It announced that its subsidiary, Private Radio Systems, Lynchburg, VA, an employer of some 700 people, was being sold to Com-Net Critical Communications, Pittsburgh, PA.

Ericsson says the sale of its PRS operations is simply part of the company's ongoing strategy to focus more on consumer and business products, and services that leverage advantages of the ongoing global convergence of mobile, PC and Web-based communications.

The new company will be named Com-Net Ericsson Critical Radio Systems. Ericsson itself remains an employer of 100,000 people in 140 countries.

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