Sierra Wireless to Equip Cars With HSPA in 2011

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Sierra Wireless is working on embedded modules that will allow car manufacturers to integrate HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) and EV-DO Rev A into their vehicles, the company said on Wednesday.

The speeds offered by the AirPrime AR modules -- up to 14.4M bps (bits per second) for downloads and 5.76M bps for uploads using HSPA -- will be used for telematics, navigation and entertainment applications, according to Sierra Wireless.

To be able to cope with the inhospitable environment of a car, the modules have been developed to handle operating temperatures ranging from -40 to 85 degrees Celsius (-40 to 185 Fahrenheit) and also rapid changes in temperature.

Commercial shipments of the modules are expected to begin in the middle of next year, according to Sierra Wireless.

It's obvious that mobile broadband in the future will be used for purposes other than connecting today's smartphones, tablets and USB-modems, including for machine-to-machine communications, according to Peder Ramel, CEO at 3 Scandinavia. However, the challenge for operators will be how to charge for the new services, Ramel said.

Next week, Sierra Wireless will take part in Telematics Munich 2010, which is Europe's biggest conference and exhibition for the digital in-car, mobile and Web industries, according to its website.

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