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Phone firms, chip makers and PC manufacturers are uniting to push mobile broadband on laptop computers.
The alliance will build wireless modules into laptops to make it much easier to use the gadgets on future high-speed services.
Laptops with the wireless chips built-in will bear a service mark which shows they will work with the third and fourth generation wireless technology.
The branded laptops should be on shop shelves in 91 nations by Christmas.
I had to do a lot of arithmetic to decide if I wanted expensive mobile broadband with a "free" laptop or if I should buy my own and have a cheap, capped, connection for when I would use it away from home.
When it works, it's great - but if you are out of 3G reception (say on a train heading through countryside) you often find you're also out of GPRS reception too - aargh! Had that situation the last time I was on a train - a fortnight ago and was webless for around an hour... I nearly broke out into a cold sweat. I looked into the networks before signing up and they all have big holes in them (99.9%+ of the population coverage does not translate to 99.9% of land mass...).
Having said that, I'd not be without it now - but don't rely on it.
was webless for around an hour... I nearly broke out into a cold sweat
Yeah, but it's easier than wiring those remote locations I bet (not even counting the moving train). I think if we're ever to see true synchronous broadband (i.e. not satellite, which is challenging anyway given limited view of the souther sky) in our home, this is how we'll get it. So even though I can't really use it, I see this as good news. It means that when they finally add a cell to serve our area, it's just that much more likely to be able to provide broadband.
Perhaps this step is one of those little tipping points (I hope so anyway).