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Unique sales process enables IT channel to sell GPRS airtime.

Chessington 17th September 2003: IT resellers entered the world of wireless data networking thanks to a unique proposition from wireless networking specialist Airlan, O2 and Ideal which removes all carrier contract and credit checking barriers from channel sales.

Under the process Airlan takes responsibility for the all contract, identity and credit checking issues necessary to purchase services from wireless data networking operators such as O2.
Resellers buy into the voucher based service through Ideal through normal channel processes.
Once the voucher is sold on to an end user Airlan takes over responsibility for finalising credit and identity checks and contracts with the user’s wireless network operator of choice and provides configuration and ongoing support.

For resellers the process enables them to begin selling wireless data connectivity without all the related complexities of dealing with wireless network operators.

“As with any new market, removing complexity from the sales process is the key to success. Since the network operators recently opened up the market by allowing separate contracts for voice and wireless data services, the time is ripe for IT resellers to get into this lucrative and burgeoning market,” says Mark Walker, director Ideal Enterprise Solutions. “IT resellers already sell the data access devices such as notebooks and PDAs and now they can complete the service by offering GPRS data services.”

Nick Whiteway, Manager Business Partners O2 UK Ltd, said, “The obvious supply chain for GPRS airtime is through the IT channel. The GPRS network enables fast wireless transfer of data files. Once the transfer is complete, the data is most likely to be viewed on either a laptop, PDA or converged device, which will typically be purchased from an IT reseller. With total confidence end-users can now purchase the hardware and GPRS airtime required for a wireless data solution from a single source – their favourite IT reseller.”

James Beaumont, director of Airlan, said, “The introduction of the GPRS network has triggered a necessity for the convergence of two market places – the IT market and the wireless airtime, or mobile phone, market. Whilst this is a natural progression, the sales processes for “pay-monthly wireless airtime” and a “single-pay product” differ greatly. Our unique voucher system enables the IT chain to sell “pay-monthly wireless airtime” as if it were a “single-pay product”. ”
For more information contact 020 8444 7649

About Ideal

Ideal is the UK division of Bell Microproducts Europe. Bell Microproducts Europe is a unique channel focused supplier of hardware and software products and services ranging from components to high-level consultancy.

Each Bell Microproducts Europe business operates in the following key technology markets:
Enterprise Solutions - Focusing on high-end storage solutions. Branded as Ideal Enterprise Solutions in UK and Bell Microproducts Solutions in all other European territories.

Systems - Focusing primarily on the Intel based server, desktop and mobile

Software - Focusing on the sales of software, primarily through its on-online licensing tool LDi (Licence Desk internet);

Mass Storage - Focusing on disk drives and storage components;

Professional Services - Storage consultancy engaging with end users to create a market for resellers.
Bell Microproducts Europe is headquartered in Chessington in the UK with operations in France (Paris) Germany (Munich); Italy (Milan); Netherlands (Amersfoort); Belgium (Brussels); and Sweden (Stockholm).

Bell Microproducts Solutions is headquartered in Almere, The Netherlands with operations in Belgium (Brussels), Germany (Frankfurt) and Austria (Vienna).

Bell Microproducts Europe is part of the $2 billion NASDAQ listed Bell Microproducts Inc, one of the world's largest storage focused IT companies operating from more than 40 locations, and employing over 1,100 people across the US, Canada, Latin America, the UK and Europe.

In the UK Bell Microproducts Europe owns and operates Ideal Hardware. Ideal Hardware was voted Storage Distributor of the Year at the Computer Reseller News Channel Awards 2002 for the fourth consecutive year.

About Bell Microproducts

Bell Microproducts is an international, value-added provider of a wide range of high-technology products, solutions, and services to the industrial and commercial markets. The company is an industry-recognized specialist in storage products and is one of the world's largest storage-centric value-added distributors with offices in the Americas and Europe. More information can be found in the company's SEC filings, or by visiting the Bell Microproducts Web site at

Safe Harbor Statement

This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or facts to differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: the ability to successfully integrate the operations of recent acquisitions, industry conditions, changes in product supply, pricing, and customer demand, competition, other vagaries in the computer and electronic components markets, changes in relationships with key suppliers, foreign currency fluctuations and the other risks described from time to time in the Company's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K). Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions. Shareholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.

About Airlan data Limited:

Airlan Data Limited has been trading for almost two years, specializing in the supply of GPRS airtime and technical support for the wireless data transfer. These services are encapsulated within a voucher, which is offered for resale through indirect distribution chains. For more information about Airlan Data Limited, please visit the company’s website at

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