Broadband Wireless Modems


More than 600 million people in the world are using a 3G network, explains Wireless Week.

Most people who use a laptop currently use a PCMCIA or PC Express card. That’s rapidly changing, however, as USB modems gain popularity. Novatel’s USB727 modem, for example, features an integrated Micro SD slot, allowing for storage and transport of up to 4 GB of files, photos and videos.

In a few years notebooks with embedded modems may be the rule.

But notebooks with embedded cellular modems are not likely to be in stores because have to carry nearly identical notebook models with different radios scemes for AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Embedded Wi-Fi/WiMAX modems, on the other hand, will work on both Clearwire and Sprint networks — as well as any Wi-Fi network — and are more likely to provide global connectivity.

Wireless Week reviews some 3G options;

Broadband Reports compares EV-DO from Sprint and Verizon and the pre-WiMAX offering of Clearwire.

Data cards from Novatel Wireless, Sierra Wireless, Kyocera Wireless and Sony Ericsson are about to get serious competition from players like AnyData, Huawei, ONDA, Pantech, Sungil Telecom, Suntech Technologies and ZTE, says Wireless Week. But cellular data service is pricey and slower than DSL.

Laptops with built-in wireless broadband can include much better MIMO antennas embedded into the back of a laptop screen and electronically matched to the radio. That will be especially true with the combined WiFi/WiMAX (Echo Peak) modems, due in the first half of 2008.

Sprint’s Mobile WiMAX service is expected to go live in Chicago, Washington DC and Baltimore within a few days, but will be staging a bigger launch in the second quarter of 2008, when several WiMAX-equipped laptops become available.

Dell’s much-awaited Latitude XT tablet PC is ready to ship next Tuesday in the U.S., according to a document posted on the company’s Web site. The Core 2 Duo machine uses an Ultra Low Voltage 1.2Ghz chip, with a 12.1-inch display and WiMax capabilities built-in, according to the document. A separate antenna component enables an internal WiMax card to function.

Is that public service, or what?

Dan Shey, an analyst with ABI Research, is forecasting that cellular modem shipments will rise from 5.2 million units in 2006 to 68 million units by 2012. He expects the cellular modem market to grow at a compound annual rate of 53% with sales of $10 billion by 2012. ABI Research also forecasts almost 200 million Wimax mobile subs worldwide by 2012.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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