BARCELONA, Spain Intel has joined forces with the GSM Association to enable laptops to connect seamlessly to high-speed 3G broadband data and Wi-Fi networks using the same SIM card technology currently deployed in cellular phones.
The initiative was announced at the 3GSM World Congress here Tuesday (Feb.14). Jeff Krisna, director of marketing development at Intel's wireless communications group, told EE Times the partners hope to attract support among operators, PC makers and network infrastructure providers, saying, "The key could be to attract as many platform providers as possible to adopt common standards.”
"Our goal is to ensure that in the future, every notebook will be SIM-ready," said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association. “As 3G network rollouts accelerate across the world, with additional media-rich capabilities added through HSDPA [High-Speed Downlink Packet Access] upgrades, laptops with in-built connectivity to the 3GSM world will enable PC users to enjoy seamless access to mobile broadband wireless services with secure authentication."
The project builds on work already done by GSMA members on seamless roaming among networks of mixed technology infrastructure and on the use of SIM cards to provide wireless-LAN access control and billing.
The initial focus will be on developing guidelines to include the GSM family of technologies—including HSDPA, the high-data-rate 3G wireless broadband standard—in laptop computers. Some major operators are already on board and will provide technical support as the project evolves, said Krisna.
"Embedding 3G technology into laptops will deliver an unparalleled wireless experience for people who need broadband access to information," said Kris Rinne, chief technology officer for Cingular Wireless.
Alan Harper, group strategy director of the Vodafone Group, said that through the initiative and Vodafone's existing relationship with PC manufacturers, the operator will be able to offer laptop users better ways to bring mobile broadband to subscribers, with automatic connection to 3G, HSDPA and Wi-Fi networks.