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steps up ti the wi-fi plate

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    Media Release
    2 June, 2003

    GoConnect and XONE first to launch consumer killer application on WiFi


    GoConnect Australia Pty Ltd (“GoConnect”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian listed public company GoConnect Ltd (“GCN”) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Australia’s largest WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) Hotspot operator, XONE Pty Ltd (“Xone”), to jointly promote and deliver GoConnect’s consumer video subscription service, m-Vision. Xone’s WiFi hotspots will provide convenient access for m-Vision subscribers to download and update their m-Vision video content. GCN and Xone believe strongly m-Vision will be one of the first consumer killer applications to be deployed for the WiFi industry. Powered by GCN’s patented GoTrek technology, the m-Vision videos will be of TV quality on the receiving device regardless of the Internet access speed of the subscriber. The GoTrek technology is compatible with Microsoft’s Windows Media technology.

    In July last year, GCN announced its wireless Internet strategy for its GoTrek technology and early this year the company also announced the launch of the m-Vision video subscription service to be delivered over wireless Internet. While initial efforts had focused largely on the mobile phone industry to deliver m-Vision over the GPRS mobile phone network, GCN has since early 2003, added its significant WiFi focus to the development of m-Vision. The agreement with Xone represents the first step in GCN’s business plan in working with the WiFi industry, and in capitalizing on the tremendous expansion in WiFi network capacity around the world.

    m-Vision will be a multi-content channel interactive video subscription service with content including movie trailers, music videos, sports, finance and investment program, video horoscope, weather report, and more. A basic package of the service can be subscribed for on a prepaid 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months basis. Premium content channels will also be available for subscription for additional payment. The m-Vision service will go live at the beginning of June this year. As well as marketing the service through various channel partners, GCN will also provide the m-Vision subscribers with easy online purchase from www.m-vision.tv.

    Receiving devices for m-Vision can either be the Pocket PC Phone such as the O2xda Phone or the Qtek Phone, which runs the Windows Operating System, or any low-end Pocket PC with 2002 Edition and above with WiFi connectivity. Subscribers to m-Vision will be able to convert their Pocket PCs or Pocket PC phones into portable video playing devices with video content regularly updated by the m-Vision service.

    m-Vision subscribers using Pocket PCs in Australia, will be able to visit Xone’s hotspots to update m-Vision content without downloading cost as this cost will be included in the subscription price. With WiFi connectivity and GoConnect’s agreement with Xone, m-Vision subscribers will be able to have their video content updated regularly via Xone’s many WiFi hotspots. While GoConnect and Xone are providing a win-win formula to each other under this agreement for revenue generation, with attractive subscription prices, convenience of access to update content, and with the cost of downloading m-Vision content already bundled in to the subscription price, m-Vision subscribers will be major beneficiaries as well.

    In recent months, the WiFi industry has started to gain significant growth momentum with projected explosive growth rates of up to 1,000 per cent in the number of WiFi hotspots this year globally. Using the unregulated 2.4 MHz radio spectrum, WiFi or the 802.11b technology, offers broadband speed of up to 11 Mbps to online consumers without the need to “wire up” their computing devices to be connected to the Internet. Fueling this rapid WiFi growth is not just the proliferation of WiFi hotspots but also the introduction of mobile computing devices, laptops and Pocket PCs, with built in WiFi capability. For the cost of up to US$100, consumers can now turn their existing laptops and Pocket PCs into WiFi enabled devices by adding plug-and –play WiFi cards to such devices. The recently introduced Intel Centrino chip for the laptop PC, backed up by a reported US$300 million global marketing campaign by Intel, is just part of the giant movement to encourage everyone to go wireless on the Internet and to adopt the WiFi technology. Yet, despite the projected explosive growth in the number of WiFi hotspots this year globally, there has been scant discussion of what kind of consumer killer applications will drive the average consumers to the hotspots, until the arrival of m-Vision.

    Commenting on the signing of the agreement with GoConnect, Mr Paul Pettersen, CEO of Xone, said,

    “Xone is currently one of the largest WiFi hotspot operators in Australia with 38 hotspots in the 4 Australian capital cities of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide. Within 12 months, we expect the number of Xone hotspots to have grown nationally to 100 in 10 Australian capital cities.

    While we are a pioneer in the WiFi industry and have now established a substantial market share with 38 out of the total of about 100 existing WiFi hotspots in Australia, we see the tremendous importance of the consumer sector in underpinning the continuing growth and profitability of WiFi. We are absolutely delighted to have established this working relationship with GoConnect. GoConnect’s m-Vision service provides the first compelling consumer application that we have come across for the WiFi industry. We expect m-Vision to deliver to our hotspots the regular consumer traffic. With the high Internet access speed and the wide spread of our hotspots in already 4 capital cities, m-Vision subscribers will have the best Internet experience and the convenience of access from many of our hotspot locations.

    From now on, having a cup of coffee at one of our WiFi hotspots may take on a whole new meaning for consumers. It may simply be an occasion to update your m-Vision video content.”

    Mr Richard Li, Chairman of GCN, said,

    “We have been very impressed with the phenomenal growth the WiFi industry has generated to-date. We are delighted to have entered into this agreement with Xone. Xone’s founders have been visionary in establishing their early and now strong presence in the Australian WiFi industry.

    From the research we have conducted of the WiFi industry, we know, however, that whatever growth we have seen to-date represents only the tip of the iceberg for the potential of this rapidly growing industry. Our patented GoTrek technology, which powers m-Vision, is network independent. Accordingly, we are able to quickly position GCN strategically in the WiFi industry. With partners like Xone and Microsoft, we will be able to take advantage of the substantial expansion of WiFi network capacity, and the existing large but growing population of WiFi enabled Pocket PC users for conversion to m-Vision subscribers.

    We estimate annual global sales of Pocket PCs to be approximately 10 million units. With the recent large reduction in Pocket PC prices to more mass consumer friendly levels, we believe not only will the number of Pocket PC users grow significantly, but also exciting consumer entertainment application such as m-Vision will contribute further to this growth. We have been fortunate that Microsoft has provided significant support to us in our development effort to deploy the m-Vision service on the Microsoft Pocket PC devices. With their ongoing support, we believe we will be even more successful in expanding the m-Vision subscriber base internationally.”

    Commenting on the signing of this agreement, Mr Peter Davidson, Asia Regional Manager, Digital Media Division of Microsoft said,

    “At Microsoft, we are eager to provide the necessary support to our development partners, such as GoConnect, so that they are able to commercialize their product successfully.

    m-Vision provides a compelling consumer application for the mobile computing and WiFi industries.”

    For further information regarding this Media Release, please contact Mr Richard Li, Chairman of GoConnect Ltd on +61 3 99937000 or Mr Paul Pettersen, CEO of XONE Pty Ltd on +61 2 9267 1374 or Mr Peter Davidson of Microsoft Asia Region on +852 2804 4200.


    About GoConnect Ltd:

    www.gotrek.com.au; http://www.m-vision.tv/

    GoConnect Ltd (“GCN”) is an online media communications company listed on the Australian and German stock exchanges. GCN prides itself on its ability to deliver TV quality interactive audio/video content via the Internet regardless of the connection speed of the user, broadband or narrowband, wired or wireless with the use of its
    patented GoTrek push technology. GCN has already launched multiple video content channels over the past 18 months, http://www.gotrek.com.au/gotrek/now_showing.shtml, while at the same time the company has entered into affiliate agreements with many organizations to promote and to distribute the patented GoTrek technology. See attached link: http://www.gotrek.com.au/gotrek/download.shtml. GoTrek has now enabled the establishment of global television via the public Internet infrastructure by defying the limitations of narrowband, which of course remains the access mode for majority of the world's online population.

    Having successfully introduced GoTrek TV to the fixed line Internet world, GCN is rapidly extending GoTrek as a video subscription service branded as m-Vision (www.m-vision.tv) to the wireless Internet, again defying the limitations of WiFi, GPRS, CDMA1x, or 3G in delivering TV quality audio/video to the mobile device. With GoTrek's push technology and smart traffic control, consumers can finally receive "Mobile Media" in TV quality over wireless Internet regardless of the network or access speed.

    GCN is at advanced negotiations with a number of WiFi hotspot operators, mobile phone carriers and mobile device vendors in Asia and Australia to adopt m-Vision to promote the usage of the wireless Internet network. GCN has already successfully tested GoTrek on the Microsoft Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone.


    About XONE Pty Ltd:
    http://www.thexone.com.au/
    XONE Pty Limited (pronounced “zone”) operates a public broadband wireless local area Internet service enabling the mobile workforce and consumers to connect to the Internet or corporate networks from various “hotspots” throughout Australia called “Xones”. XONE’s service is based on a technology called Wi-Fi or 802.11b. This technology was developed to extend Ethernet local area Intranets wirelessly and is now being widely adopted throughout the world to provide true broadband wireless public Internet access in localized areas.
    XONE’s first location is in a corporate park in Sydney. Several more sites in Sydney have followed this. Xone has commenced a full rollout of several hundred sites around Australia. Initially these will be at “seated locations” in corporate campuses and in small/medium businesses in the CBD’s such as restaurants and cafes. XONE is working with user groups such as Atug, its partners including Cisco Systems and HP, government, and the 802.11 industry to find ways to extend Wi-Fi services to rural and remote communities.
    XONE is one of the pioneers in a new industry that will roll out true broadband wireless Internet to a wider audience than has previously been available in Australia. Public Wi-Fi networks will allow customers to access and purchase broadband Internet immediately, conveniently and affordably, on a "pay as you use" model. The convenience and speed of access will improve their way of life and increase efficiency, information flows and competitiveness of Australian business.

 
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