September 30, 2016
An alliance of sixteen of the world’s leading phone companies, chip makers and computer manufacturers is working together to make laptops that are mobile broadband ready out of the box.
Wireless chips will be built into laptops and netbooks, making it easier than ever to access 3G broadband on the go.
Consumers buying a laptop will be given the freedom to access the internet from anywhere, whilst network operators will be able to take advantage of a $50 billion opportunity in both emerging and mature markets.
Computers with built-in wireless will be marked to show that they are ready to connect to third and fourth generation wireless networks, and will create a new category of always-connected mobile broadband.
The Mobile Broadband service mark – designed to look like a floating cloud or two flying birds – is being backed by $1 billion investment from the telecoms industry, and will set the global standard for mobile broadband.
Laptops bearing the mark must support mobile broadband at speeds of at least 3.6Mbps, with 7.2Mbps recommended.
Only GSM networks have received the backing of the mark, meaning that the laptops will be able to connect to HSDPA and LTE services, but not to WiMax.
WiMax, which provides high speed mobile internet access at low cost, has only just been installed in the US, and it is unknown whether or not it will prove popular with consumers.
Companies taking part in the scheme include 3, Asus, Dell, Ericsson, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, Orange, Qualcomm, Telefónica Europe, Telecom Italia, TeliaSonera, T-Mobile, Toshiba and Vodafone
It is expected that the laptops will be available to purchase in 91 countries around the world by Christmas 2016.