Is this absolutely necessary...?
The GSM Association has announced it has united with 16 of the world's largest IT and telco companies to push embedded 3G modules in laptops and netbooks.
Dubbed - funnily enough - the 'Mobile Broadband Initiative' the group comprises 3, Asus, Dell, ECS, Ericsson, Gemalto, Lenovo, Microsoft, Orange, Qualcomm, Telefónica Europe, Telecom Italia, TeliaSonera, T-Mobile, Toshiba and Vodafone with more expected to join.
An initial $1bn has been earmarked for a global advertising campaign promoting the benefits of the service and a Mobile Broadband logo has been devised to be stuck onto compatible laptops to make it more obvious to customers (more stickers?!).
"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."
Ok, all very inspiring though my primary reservation is simple: is any of this really necessary? Embedded Mobile Broadband is already the hottest trend in new laptops and netbooks (just check the associated article titles) and mobile broadband subscribers are growing at an almost exponential rate while prices are falling just as fast.
Yes we know the public can be pretty slow sometimes grasping new technology but it isn't even exactly new - we had our first 3G data card review in September 2004!
Personally, I can think of better uses for $1bn - some of which are even legal...