Computer Makers, Cell Carriers Band Together for Mobile Broadband

Just as how the innovation of Wi-Fi has freed laptop users from being tethered to an Ethernet cable to roam freely within the proximity of a wireless router, a new initiative by 16 companies hopes to make laptop users connected online nearly everywhere they go.

The new initiative, dubbed “Mobile Broadband,” is mastered by the GSM Association and will help ensure a hopefully uniform experience to those looking for connected computing in a laptop.

“Mobile Broadband is like a home or office broadband connection with one crucial difference : freedom. Freedom from hot spots, freedom from complexity and freedom from security concerns,” said Michael O’Hara, CMO of the GSMA.

The 16 companies currently a part of Mobile Broadband include : 3 Group, Asus, Dell, ECS, Ericsson, Gemalto, Lenovo, Microsoft, Orange, Qualcomm, T-Mobile, Telecom Italia, Tellasonera, Toshiba and Vodafone.

In the first step in of the plan is to have mobile carriers and PC makers pre-install Mobile Broadband into a range of notebook PC will be ready out of the box. Such computers will be identified by Mobile Broadband branding, which will also be promoted by a global media spend of more than $1 billion in the next year.

“This commitment is manifested in a service mark that we expect to see on several hundred thousand notebooks in the shops by the holiday season,” added O’Hara. “The Mobile Broadband badge will assure consumers that the devices they buy will always connect – wherever Mobile Broadband is available – and that they can expect a high standard of simplicity and mobility.”

With the growing infrastructure for high-speed wireless coverage, it’s only a natural progression that a network that can now supply data will serve more than just cell phones. The real question will be capacity, as users of the iPhone 3G on the AT&T network are already experiencing congestion.

Should Mobile Broadband prove to be a success, the technology could be extended to consumer devices, such as digital cameras to instantly upload photographs, or to MP3 players to download new songs.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • nekatreven
    So basically they are committing to keep working on and to advertise things that have been in existence for years. I'm excited.

    I'm sure they're only acting like they've found something new to work so they can cram it down peoples throats...i mean it like its the latest and greatest.

    Oh that may not be ATT and the 3g network. It might just be that the phone sucks. :)