Under an initiative led by the GSM Association (GSMA), 16 major mobile network operators, computer manufacturers and chipset developers have agreed to use the worldwide Mobile Broadband service mark for laptops and other devices pre-installed with 3.5G HSPA technology, and in the future, Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G connectivity. The range of ‘ready-to-surf’ devices is aimed at delivering a ‘compelling alternative’ to Wi-Fi wireless internet access, according to a GSMA press release. ‘Mobile Broadband is like a home or office broadband connection with one crucial difference: freedom. Freedom from hotspots, freedom from complexity and freedom from security concerns,’ said Michael O’Hara, CMO of the GSMA, who added, ‘This commitment is manifested in a service mark that we expect to see on several hundred thousand notebooks in the shops by the [Christmas] 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.’ Integrating Mobile Broadband into notebook PCs is the first step in a wider strategy to deliver wireless internet access to a whole range of previously unconnected devices – from cameras and MP3 players, to cars, set-top boxes and even refrigerators. The 16 launch participants are: 3 Group, Asus, Dell, ECS, Ericsson, Gemalto, Lenovo, Microsoft, Orange, Qualcomm, Telefonica Europe, Telecom Italia, TeliaSonera, T-Mobile, Toshiba and Vodafone Group. The GSMA defines the Mobile Broadband service mark as representing the global standard incorporating HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), HSPA Evolved and LTE.
‘Integrating HSPA into the mass market notebooks is strategically important for TeliaSonera’, said Claes Nycander, Vice President of Common Development, TeliaSonera Mobility Services. ‘Mobile Broadband inside notebooks can provide our customers with superior ease of use. The Mobile Broadband service mark helps customers choose devices that are able to connect to services wherever they have cellular coverage. This initiative will definitely support the continued rapid growth of the mobile broadband market.’