Sprint has released their new 2-in-1 Aircard 402. The card works in both a PCMCIA II slot or the newer ExpressCard slot. For someone that may have multiple laptops to work with, this may be very handy. As I look at my netbook though, an Acer Aspire One, maybe not so much.
Sprint has released their new 2-in-1 Aircard 402. The card works in both a PCMCIA II slot or the newer ExpressCard slot. For someone that may have multiple laptops to work with, this may be very handy. As I look at my netbook though, an Acer Aspire One, maybe not so much.More laptops are coming without card slots, especially those in the netbook class where space is a premium and costs are kept to a minimum. Years ago, the size and number of PCMCIA card slots was critical as you needed those for your modem, Ethernet port and later, WiFi cards. Now all of this is built in and many card slots go unused, especially in consumer based devices. Yes, those that need full time internet access anywhere may opt for a cellular data card from their provider, but many people opt for the USB dongle since it will work with any laptop or desktop.
I am not sure the USB dongle is really necessary though. Phone companies already sell a device that will allow any PC to get online - the cell phone itself. Either via Bluetooth or USB, you can hook many cell phones up and they can be your high speed network link for your computer if it weren't for the fact that many carriers block this feature, known as tethering.
I am not sure why the carriers, rather than blocking tethering, don't embrace it. It could still be an addon feature with a monthly fee similar to what they charge now, or a 24 hour usage fee of $4.99 or similar for the occasional user. Since there would be no hardware to buy, other than possibly a phone upgrade to get one that supports the feature, the usage from people that only needed to get online where no other network was available a few times a month could skyrocket, generating revenues for the carriers that would far surpass whatever profit they make on the hardware cards. An additional benefit for the user is there is one less piece of hardware to carry around, install drivers for or worry about compatibility with the card interface on their laptop.
There is clearly a demand for this from the consumer. Apple has had to banish tethering apps from their App Store at the behest of AT&T, and I see tons of questions from users on how to enable tethering on their phone. Windows Mobile supports it natively through a feature called Internet Sharing. Often though the carrier may either remove the feature before selling the phone or simply block the feature when the user tries to activate it.
That is a shame, because I think there is a huge opportunity here that the carriers are missing out on.
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of October 9, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."