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ThinkPad Goes For Speed With Ericsson's HSPA Modules

This is the first time the mobile technology will be included in a Lenovo laptop to provide users with a DSL-like experience.

Ericsson partnered with Lenovo this week to embed HSPA mobile broadband modules in the PC maker's ThinkPad notebook computers starting this year. This is the first time Ericsson's technology will be included in a laptop to provide users with a DSL-like experience.

HSPA, which stands for High Speed Packet Access, is a high-speed cellular technology capable of peak download rates of up to 14 Mbps and peak upload rates of up to 2 Mbps. It's typically referred to as High Speed Downlink Packet Access, but Ericsson wanted to make the distinction that the uplink is becoming just as important as the downlink since people are increasingly uploading more information from their computers to servers, said Eva Sparr, director of marketing at Ericsson's mobile broadband modules unit.

Once the technology is embedded in laptops, users will be able to browse the Internet and use bandwidth-hungry applications in places where wireless carriers have built out HSPA networks.

"We firmly believe that this effort will dramatically change the user mobile experience, allowing ThinkPad customers to more easily search, download, share, and store information and content when they want," said Frances O'Sullivan, senior VP of Lenovo's product group, in a statement.

The mobile broadband modules use Ericsson's HSPA chipset technology, and they're designed for better downloading and uploading performance while consuming less battery power, according to the company.

Ericsson predicts that half of all notebook computers will come with a built-in HSPA mobile broadband module by 2011. The company entered the mobile broadband space a year ago and has set an ambitious goal for itself.

"While we're the new kid on the block, we are determined to speed up mobile broadband adoption in laptops and make it a mass market versus a niche market," said Sparr, in an interview.

In addition to Lenovo, Ericsson is working with three out of the top seven PC makers to bring HSPA technology to laptops. It hasn't yet disclosed the names of the other PC makers.

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