Industry Giants Unite to Deliver Mobile Broadband Future



    
    GSMA partners with leading companies to deliver range of ready to run,
easy
    to use Mobile Broadband devices

    
    LONDON, Sept. 30 /CNW/ -- Today, 17 of the world's best known IT and
mobile companies have united behind a GSMA-led initiative to create a new
category of always-connected Mobile Broadband devices, delivering a compelling
alternative to WiFi.  This will give consumers the freedom to get online on
the move, while enabling operators to address a US$50 billion opportunity in
both mature and emerging markets (Pyramid Research(*)).
    In the first phase of this unprecedented initiative, mobile operators, PC
manufacturers and chipset providers are uniting to pre-install Mobile
Broadband into a range of notebook PCs that will be ready to switch on and
surf straight out of the box in 91 countries across the world.
    To support this initiative, the GSMA has created the Mobile Broadband
service mark, a new global identifier which will help consumers easily
identify the array of 'ready to run' Mobile Broadband devices. The Mobile
Broadband service mark is backed by a global media spend of more than US$1
billion in the next year -- evidence that the industry is serious about this
proposition.
    "Mobile Broadband is like a home or office broadband connection with one
crucial difference: freedom. Freedom from hot spots, freedom from complexity
and freedom from security concerns," said Michael O'Hara, CMO of the GSMA.
"Today, 17 of the world's largest technology companies have committed to
change the way people get online forever. This commitment is manifested in a
service mark that we expect to see on several hundred thousand notebooks in
the shops by the 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 and management to a whole
range of previously unconnected devices -- from cameras and MP3 players to
refrigerators, cars and set-top boxes. However, only devices that offer a
truly un-tethered Mobile Broadband experience, such as those offered by the 17
companies announced in today's program, will qualify to carry the new service
mark.
    Launch participants include 3 Group, Asus, Dell, ECS, Ericsson, Gemalto,
Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, Orange, Qualcomm, Telefonica Europe, Telecom Italia,
TeliaSonera, T-Mobile, Toshiba and Vodafone -- some of the world's largest
technology brands and operators serving more than 760 million connections
(Wireless Intelligence).
    "The Mobile Broadband initiative is a timely one in that it leverages the
increasingly widespread availability of high-bandwidth networks in both
developed and developing economies," says Shiv K. Bakhshi, Ph.D., IDC director
of mobility research. "While there will always be a place for WiFi
connectivity, the great merit of Mobile Broadband might be that it liberates
the user from the spatial tyranny of the so-called 'hotspot.' A Mobile
Broadband solution, informed by close collaboration between PC makers, chipset
vendors and mobile operators, should focus on appropriate optimization of the
services and superior performance on the device, and consequently, a better
user experience," Bakhshi notes.
    Today, more than 55 million people subscribe to Mobile Broadband services
in 91 countries -- a number expected to grow by four million per month by the
end of 2008, according to Wireless Intelligence.
    The Mobile Broadband mark promises a superior customer experience based
on the latest technology available to deliver the highest standard of fully
mobile connectivity. Products work out of the box and are fully integrated for
maximum simplicity and supported by leading PC manufacturers such as Lenovo
and Toshiba.


    
    Supporting quotes:
    3 Group
    
    Christian Salbaing, Managing Director of European Telecommunications, 3
Group commented:  "This is a logical step forward for Mobile Broadband. It
supports our drive to make the mobile internet easier to use and better value
for consumers.  Our experience in selling over one million dongles in Europe
is clear evidence of demand for well-priced, convenient Mobile Broadband. To
grow the market we, as an industry, must continue to make Mobile Broadband
more accessible, both through clear labeling such as this, and by reducing the
charges consumers may face when roaming away from their own network so they
can enjoy a truly mobile service."
    
    ASUS
    
    Eric Chen, Corporate Vice President, ASUS says: "With mobile broadband
technology, ASUS can deliver its promise of borderless one-day computing with
the EeePC and Notebook better than ever before, no longer bound to Internet
hotspots. With 3.75G-built in technology, users will be able to enjoy low
latency Mobile Broadband Internet access at high downlink and uplink speeds
regardless of where they are-ensuring a seamless connected experience on the
go. Frequent travelers will particularly welcome the timely addition of 3.75G
support, which comes as service providers around the globe are ramping up
their adoption of 3.75G HSUPA. This means that they will be assured of a
reliable, high-speed mode of Internet access in many destinations around the
world."
    
    DELL
    
    "Dell offers one of the widest portfolios of Mobile Broadband-ready
devices because consumers demand technology that allows them to connect any
place, any time. The GSMA Mobile Broadband initiative will make it easy for
digital nomads to identify devices that allow them to surf the Web, chat with
friends, keep updated on the latest news, share photos or connect with their
social networks anytime, anywhere," said John Thode, Vice President Small
devices, Dell Consumer Group.
    
    ECS
    
    "For more than 20 years, ECS has been led by its 'simply smart'
philosophy -- making complex design simple and simply designed products smart.
The GSMA's Mobile Broadband initiative delivers a brand mark that will empower
consumers with a simply smart choice of communication in new PC era, and we're
very proud to be associated with this unprecedented initiative," said Robert
Tsay, General Manager of Mobile Product Business Unit, ECS.
    
    Ericsson
    
    Torbjorn Possne, Senior Vice President and Head of Sales and Marketing at
Ericsson says: "We are excited about the current development in the area of
Mobile Broadband.  Many have started to enjoy the benefits of fast spreading
HSPA networks and this cross-industry initiative forms a real 'dream team'
that will help consumers around the world to identify the right devices for
true Mobile Broadband."
    
    Gemalto
    
    "We at Gemalto support the GSMA's Mobile Broadband initiative for the
simple reason that it is in line with our strategy of helping operators open
up their services to the PC/Internet environment.  The use of the SIM within
the individual's PC serves to securely connect users to their operator's range
of services, thereby opening up new revenue streams such as VoIP, web services
and advertising," commented Michel Canitrot, Senior Vice President, Telecom
Business Unit, Gemalto.
    
    Lenovo
    
    "Since the beginning of Mobile Broadband, we've been leading its
integration into our ThinkPad business-class notebooks," said Philippe Davy,
vice president, strategic alliances and emerging products, Lenovo. "Mobile
Broadband connectivity is critical to more and more of our customers who rely
on it to conduct their business anytime, anywhere. Supporting one global brand
just makes sense in helping customers easily identify ready-to-go Mobile
Broadband notebook PCs and other devices."
    
    Microsoft
    
    "A global brand for Mobile Broadband-enabled notebooks will eliminate
confusion for consumers and increase the market opportunity for industry
stakeholders," said Michael Rawding, Vice President, Unlimited Potential
Group, Microsoft. "Microsoft supports this cross-industry initiative as it
will help to enable greater access to technology and mobility for our
customers."
    
    Orange
    
    Olaf Swantee, Executive Vice President of Orange Personal Communication
Services, commented: "At Orange we have witnessed a surge in appetite for
Mobile Broadband. Ensuring that Mobile Broadband delivers on its promise of
simple, reliable and efficient internet access on the move is an industry-wide
challenge that this initiative tackles head-on. The Mobile Broadband label
will deliver that quality assurance that customers' demand, making access to
Mobile Broadband and the freedom and flexibility that it delivers, a reality
to many more."
    
    Qualcomm
    
    "The consumer desire to be connected all the time is driving the
evolution of Mobile Broadband," said Mike Concannon, senior vice president
connectivity and wireless modules, Qualcomm Incorporated. "Having one common
identity will aid consumer understanding and accelerate the adoption of this
powerful technology.  Qualcomm is delighted to work with these esteemed
industry leaders who share our dedication to providing consumers with the best
Mobile Broadband experience possible."
    
    T-Mobile
    
    "T-Mobile believes it is vital that consumers recognize Mobile Broadband
as a reliable service that is easy to buy, set-up and use. This starts with
one brand across the widest range of devices, which spells out the promise of
Mobile Broadband, and illustrates the freedom and flexibility consumers expect
from broadband on the move."
    "We fully support today's GSMA initiative to create a common and easily
recognizable brand mark which identifies notebook PCs and other portable
devices that are Mobile Broadband-ready," says Christopher Schlaffer, Product
Innovation Officer, Deutsche Telekom & T-Mobile.
    
    Telecom Italia
    
    "Mobile Broadband notebooks are devices delivering full mobile Internet
to consumers and enabling a convergent experience, innovation and
affordability dynamics will be key as with mobile phones. The new Mobile
Broadband brand mark is a milestone towards this new market and Telecom
Italia's TIM is at the forefront of this promising service opportunity," said
Luca Tomassini, EVP Business Innovation at Telecom Italia.
    
    TeliaSonera
    
    "Integrating HSPA into the mass market notebooks is strategically
important for TeliaSonera," says 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."
    
    Toshiba
    
    "This GSMA initiative is going to make it much more straight-forward for
consumers to immediately see what connectivity solutions are supported by the
laptop they're buying," said Thomas Teckentrup, General Manager, Toshiba
Computer Systems EMEA. "At Toshiba, our focus is on making life easier for the
consumer. We've been doing this through features such as ConfigFree that make
finding an online network and getting connected extremely simple. A harmonised
brand approach to Mobile Broadband is a significant step forward in reducing
customer confusion."
    
    Vodafone
    
    Andrew Sangster, Director of PC Connectivity, Vodafone commented: "We
have seen enormous uptake of Mobile Broadband and see this initiative as a
further boost to its popularity.  Initiatives that unite the Mobile Broadband
community under a common identifier can only be good for the customer.
Providing a single, simple point of reference for Mobile Broadband will ensure
that the appropriate buying decision is made every time."
    
    Notes to Editors: About Mobile Broadband
    
    The Mobile Broadband 'service mark' represents the global standard for
Mobile Broadband incorporating HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), HSPA Evolved
and LTE (Long Term Evolution).
    
    Key research findings(*)
    
    The comprehensive study was commissioned by the GSMA and Microsoft and
implemented by Pyramid Research. It involved more than 12,000 consumer
interviews, as well as extensive input from manufacturers, component
suppliers, chipset producers and over 200 field trials with mobile operators.
    
    The key findings include:
    
    (*) In 2008, the survey estimates total demand of 79.5 million notebooks,
worth some US$50 billion in 2008, for notebook PCs in the high growth, mass
market $500 -- $1,000 price range with built-in Mobile Broadband.
    (*) The survey indicates 88% of consumers planning to buy a notebook in
this price-range would prefer Mobile Broadband built-in to notebooks to their
original choice.
    (*) In 2008, OEMs are planning to ship some 33 million notebooks in this
price range, only a fraction of which will be Mobile Broadband ready.
    
    Other research highlights:
    
    (*) While most usage is in the home, the majority (78%) of respondents
citied at least two other locations where they regularly used their notebooks.
    (*) 75% of consumers plan to buy notebooks in 9" to 15" range -- very small
or very large form factors are not driving purchasing influences.
    (*) 60% of consumers now want to buy a voice and data package from an
operator with a Mobile Broadband notebook.
    (*) 57% of the demand comes from emerging Asia Pacific geographies, 15%
from North America and 11% from Western Europe.
    
    About the GSMA:
    
    The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade group representing more
than 750 GSM mobile operators across 218 countries and territories of the
world. The Association's members represent more than 3 billion GSM and 3GSM
connections -- over 86% of the world's mobile phone connections. In addition,
    more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association's
initiatives.
    The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless
services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to
individual customers and national economies, while creating new business
opportunities for operators and their suppliers.




For further information:

For further information: Matt Simmons of GSM Association, press@gsm.org;
or global media and analyst inquiries, Richard Fogg, or, Paul Nolan, or Daniel
Lowther, all of CCgroup, +44 (0)118 9207650, mobilebroadband@the-cc-group.com,
for GSM Association

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