16 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, 16 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 16 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, Microsoft, Orange, Qualcomm, Telefónica 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
"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.
Cheers ~ Arne