Secaucus, N.J. (October 15, 2001) - Panasonic MSE Battery Business Unit has achieved something never before accomplished: It is delivering reliable valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries that are guaranteed to provide high-quality back-up power for telecom communications systems worldwide.

In today's highly competitive telecom marketplace, which delivers increasingly more and more mission-critical information to customers, service providers cannot afford to lose data and communications coverage and the resulting revenue for a few seconds - when the main electrical AC grid power system fails. In recent years, telecom service providers have turned to VRLA batteries, which offer reduced battery maintenance and replacement costs, in place of conventional flooded wet batteries for their back-up power needs. But network service providers have been disappointed with the performance and quality of VRLA batteries, which have required more maintenance and achieved a much shorter battery life than promised.

Panasonic's MSE batteries break this trend, finally delivering on the promise of VRLA technology by offering high-quality products that offer a long 13- to 15-year life span, simplify installation for network operators and require little to no maintenance. Panasonic also guarantees the high quality of its products by offering a 10-year full warranty - the first of its kind in the industry.

“When it comes to the life span of VRLA batteries, industry players have over-promised and under-delivered, quoting unrealistic life spans while often delivering batteries that didn't even work on arrival,” said Keith Jungerman, Panasonic's MSE Batteries business unit manager. “While other companies promise 10-year to 20-year life spans for their batteries but only back this claim up with a two-year full warranty, Panasonic stands by the quality of its batteries by delivering a 10-year full warranty with our MSE products.”

Panasonic has already installed its MSE batteries in wireless sites and mobile telephone switching offices (MTSOs) since 1995. Of the thousands of cells installed, not a single one has failed in operation.

“Before turning to Panasonic, we had many problems with our VRLA batteries, including seals and terminal posts that leaked electrolyte,” said Mark Williams, Alltel's operational planning technical specialist. “In contrast, our Panasonic batteries arrive in perfect condition and have performed so well that we are considering installing them in many more locations to replace our flooded cell batteries.”

The innovative design of Panasonic batteries offers the following unique benefits to telecom operators:

Panasonic batteries lower maintenance costs for operators through reduced battery failures. Panasonic's batteries are shipped at 100 percent rated capacity, which means they provide full reserve power on arrival. Before shipping, Panasonic tests each battery thoroughly for its electrical continuity, rated Ampere-hour capacity and 100 percent jar-to-cover seal leak air tightness to ensure quality and performance in the field. This eliminates the initial field failures experienced by other standby power batteries - which in turn results in lower maintenance costs for operators.

Panasonic batteries are heat resistant for longer life. The expansion of the wireless telecommunications network into remote regions requires standby batteries to be operated in extreme environments. This has resulted in batteries increasingly being exposed to high temperatures. Panasonic has increased life expectancy - even at elevated temperatures - by reducing float charge current, which substantially reduces a battery's heat generation. The result of this reduction is increased resistance to problems such as thermal run-away. In addition, Panasonic's unique battery rack design has cooling channels to provide increased cell ventilation, thus extending battery life by reducing heat build-up around cells.

Panasonic's batteries are modular with front access design, thus simplifying installation for network operators. The modular, stackable design of Panasonic MSE batteries makes it faster, easier and safer for network engineers to install Panasonic batteries in existing sites. The ability to stack them as many as eight modules high saves valuable floor space and allows flexibility to meet floor loading demands. In addition, the batteries' front access design provides for simplified maintenance by enabling fast, easy access to all cells. The color-coded epoxy post seals allow easy identification of positive and negative posts, which helps install crews identify module polarity for assembly, and cell terminal posts and inter-cell connectors are protected to prevent accidental shorting by a clear, flame retardant plastic safety shield. Each shield has access ports so that individual cell voltage readings can be taken without removal of the safety shield.

Panasonic's batteries are scalable, enabling network operators to cost-effectively grow their standby power systems to meet increased demands. The basic MSE is a 2-volt cell, which can be connected in series or parallel modules. MSE battery modules are scalable from 24 volts to 480 volts and from 150 Ah to 1440 Ah at the eight-hour discharge rate. Multiple strings of batteries can be paralleled for higher capacity, making it easy for network operators to grow their reserve power capabilities as their networks expand. In addition, because these systems share many of the same parts, Panasonic can deliver batteries both large and small with short lead times.

About Panasonic MSE Battery Business Unit

Panasonic's MSE Battery Business Unit supplies Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) batteries for DC standby power to telecom service providers such as Qwest, Level 3, Verizon Wireless, Cingular and AT&T Wireless as well as OEM market leaders in telecom DC back-up power systems. Designed to keep service providers on the air when electrical main AC grid power fails, Panasonic's modular, scalable MSE batteries simplify installation, reduce maintenance and enable cost-effective system expansion. With a reputation for quality and reliability, Panasonic MSE batteries achieve a long 13- to 15-year life span - backed by an industry-leading 10-year full warranty - by painstaking design, manufacturing and quality standards that result in a battery with superior reliability and performance.

Panasonic Industrial Company-Battery Sales Group, a division of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America (MECA), markets Panasonic MSE VRLA batteries in the United States. MECA is the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., (NYSE:MC), one of the world's largest producers of electronic and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use. Consumers seeking more information on Panasonic MSE batteries can call the Panasonic Battery Customer Call Center at 800-793-3772, or access the Panasonic home page.