Leading IT and telecoms companies push mobile broadband

01 October 2008 / by Daniela Gieseler
A group of 17 of the world's leading IT and telecommunications companies including Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, Microsoft, Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile, are backing a $1billion marketing campaign for Mobile Broadband as a "ready to run" system which will simplify the process of connecting to the internet after purchasing a laptop.

The campaign is aimed at counteracting the launch of the new wireless broadband network WiMax by Sprint Nextel, starting in Baltimore this week and rolling out in other cities across the US this year.

Mobile Broadband connections are currently available for customers using plug-in devices called 'dongles', but the new service supported by the 17 companies will enable customers to purchase a laptop that comes pre-installed with a SIM card.

With the new embedded technology, people will be able to connect to the existing mobile broadband network straightaway, with a typical speed of one to three megabytes per second.

The laptops can still access WiFi networks which typically offer higher connection speeds, but have limited coverage. With the possibility to switch between WiFi and Mobile Broadband, consumers will be much more flexible as to where and when they connect to the internet.

The service will be launched in 91 countries worldwide, and at the point of purchase customers will be able to choose between different mobile broadband providers who offer these data services. Prices are expected to start at £15 a month.

According to the mobile research company Wireless Intelligence there are currently more than 55 million subscribers to mobile broadband services, a figure which is expected to grow to about 70 million by the end of the year.

With the introduction of mobile broadband embedded on laptops, experts believe that the number of users will reach 1 billion by the year 2012.

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