Saturday, October 27, 2007

Qualcomm targets WiMax with 3G technology for laptops

In its strategy to counter WiMax, Qualcomm has announced [InformationWeek] a 3G chipset that provides connectivity to laptops on UMTS HSPA and CDMA2000 EV-DO networks worldwide. Along with 3G connectivity the Gobi chipset also has support for GPS.

Qualcomm claims it is enough that laptops are equipped with the Gobi chipset for 3G connectivity clearly taking a potshot at Intel-backed WiMax.

Qualcomm has the support of laptop maker HP and telcos Vodafone and Verizon Wireless all of whom have come out with statements welcoming the Gobi chipset.

For the telcos the chipset is an exciting prospect with possibilities of tying in the laptops with data plans a la mobile phones. However it has to be seen as to how the chipset will be bundled -with both the HSPA and EV-DO options together or if the users will have to choose one of them.

Intel would have an edge in persuading laptop vendors to bundle WiMax chipsets and Qualcomm would have to forge more deals with laptop vendors to take its Gobi chipset forward.

3G is just happening and if telcos roll out more of UMTS HSPA and EV-DO networks then it is good news for companies like Qualcomm and Ericsson. On the other hand if it were WiMax networks that get rolled out the most by telcos then Intel and Nortel would benefit the most.


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