Ericsson will equip Toshiba's business laptops with integrated support for mobile broadband access using HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), it announced on Tuesday.
The plan is to release the first laptops in the second half of 2008 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Ericsson's module offers data rates of up to 7.2 M bps (bits per second) in the downlink and up to 2M bps in the uplink, using HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) and HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access). The module also features support for GPS (Global Positioning System).
Using an integrated module, as opposed to an external modem, has several advantages.
"The single most important thing is that it becomes easier to use, and you also get better battery time," said Eva Sparr, marketing director at Ericsson's mobile broadband modules unit.
Another advantage is that you can't misplace or leave an integrated module at home. It's one less thing to remember, according to Sparr.
One disadvantage is that you can't upgrade the modem and take advantage of the fast-paced development of HSPA. But that doesn't matter much, according to Ericsson.
"We are convinced that the current bandwidth will be good enough during the three-year lifecycle of a laptop, said Sparr.
Built-in support for wireless broadband has really taken off -- there are currently 84 models that support HSPA in some way, according to the GSM Association's device database.
For Ericsson it's the third deal it has signed with a major laptop manufacturer this year. Besides Toshiba it signed deals with Dell in May and Lenovo in February.
"Since Ericsson entered this market in 2007 the interest has been enormous, helped by the current forward momentum of mobile broadband" said Sparr.