Lenovo and Vodafone have released SIM-ready notebooks for wireless internet connectivity, in a move which looks set to be followed by other vendors and another telco.
Some of Lenovo’s Thinkpad T60 and X60 notebooks now come with an inside-the-box SIM card, which users place behind the battery as with a mobile phone. They then select a plan for connection to Vodafone’s 3G network.
Jeremy Foster, head of Vodafone’s business products and services division, says data cards will still have a place in the market, but expects that modems for wireless network connection will increasingly be embedded into notebooks. “It’s one more step along the line of ubiquity. The 3G platform will be available across lots of devices, and laptops are the next natural thing.”
Foster says Vodafone could offer 3G connection through other notebooks in coming months.
“In New Zealand we’re a small player compared with Telecom, but this is an opportunity to leverage our global footprint,” he says.
Vodafone’s Mobile Connect software, which is already used with wireless data cards for connection to its 3G and GPRS networks, manages the connectivity when using Lenovo’s notebooks.
Lenovo product manager Matt Huntington says the latest version of its Access Connections — 4.1 — is not required for network connection but allows users to easily switch between different types of wired and wireless networks.
Inside 3G coverage areas, download speeds of up to 384kbit/s are offered.
However, Vodafone says it plans to incorporate high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) into its network, allowing firmware upgrades and download speeds of between 1.8 and 3.6Mbit/s.
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