Companies Come Together To Promote Mobile Broadband

    September 30, 2008

A group of 16 major IT and mobile companies have united behind a GSMA-led initiative to promote mobile broadband.

The companies include Dell, Ericsson, Lenovo, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Toshiba and Vodafone. The group’s goal is to help people easily identify laptops that have built in access to the Internet via high-speed networks. The marketing initiative is worth more than $1 billion over the next year.

The group will label laptop computers that meet their standards for mobile broadband access with a badge that identifies the laptops as ready for mobile broadband connections.

"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. "Today, 16 of the world’s largest technology companies have committed to change the way people get online forever.

"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. 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."

According to research commissioned by the GSMA and conducted by Pyramid Research, there is demand for $50 billion worth of such laptops this year.

The group says that integrating mobile broadband into notebook PCs is the first step in a wider strategy to deliver wireless Internet access to a number of previously unconnected devices, including cameras, MP3 players, cars and set-top boxes.

"While there will always be a place for WiFi connectivity, the great merit of Mobile Broadband might be that it liberates the user from the spatial tyranny of the so-called ‘hotspot," said Shiv K. Bakhshi, Ph.D., IDC director of mobility research.