AT&T, Lenovo And Ericsson will provide broadband in netbook jointly

By Koushik Saha on 1.11.08

Filed Under: , , , , , , , , ,

Business PC users now have a new, affordable option to access broadband-speed Internet via their ThinkPad notebook PCs by a new alliance announced by AT&T Inc., Lenovo and Ericsson. The collaboration significantly lowers the price premium usually associated with built-in mobile broadband technology by up to $150 per PC from previous pricing.

Under the agreement, AT&T's 3G service — the nation's fastest 3G network — is available on a full range of Lenovo ThinkPad notebooks, which come factory-equipped with Ericsson built-in mobile broadband modules that are enabled for AT&T LaptopConnect. The service provides extensive broadband access both domestically and internationally.

All three of the ThinkPad SL notebooks and all notebooks in Lenovo's T and X series are included in the offering. Customers who purchase the ThinkPad notebooks with the embedded mobile broadband and establish an account with AT&T will receive 30 days of free AT&T DataConnect service. The notebooks are sold directly through agreement provides significant opportunity for small and medium businesses, in particular, to meet their needs for wireless PC connectivity. Among the highlights of the service are:

1. Exceptional coverage — AT&T 3G service is available today in more than 320 major U.S. metropolitan areas, and by year-end, AT&T expects to offer 3G coverage in nearly 350 major metro areas. AT&T customers can also use their AT&T-powered notebooks in more than 150 countries, including more than 60 countries with 3G networks. Additionally, Lenovo has designed multiple antennas and maximized its placement in the new ThinkPad notebooks to achieve enhanced wireless performance.

2. Fast access — AT&T LaptopConnect subscribers can realize typical download speeds between 700 kilobits per second (Kbps) and 1.7 megabits per second (Mbps). Typical uplink speeds range between 500 Kbps and 1.2 Mbps. Ericsson's integrated mobile broadband modules for high speed packet access (HSPA) will enable access to these speeds in the new notebooks.

3. Upfront IT savings — The new ThinkPad notebooks with AT&T LaptopConnect are available at approximately the same price as a Lenovo notebook without high speed mobile broadband technology, a savings of up to $150 per notebook from previous pricing.

4. Long-term IT savings — Users can enjoy their embedded mobile broadband service throughout the life of the notebook. A recent report by Gartner found "that 3G service offerings are becoming sufficiently stable to enable an embedded notebook solution to last three years without an upgrade."

The announcement comes as wireless data use and the adoption of high speed mobile broadband connectivity on notebook computers continue to skyrocket. Gartner forecasts embedded modem sales to have a compound annual growth rate of 94.3 percent worldwide from 2008 to 2012.

"We have seen mobile data consumption quadruple every year for the past three years," said Michael Woodward, vice president of Mobility Business Marketing for AT&T's wireless operations. "Customers recognize the benefits of enhanced connectivity on their notebook computers, and this increase in consumption reflects that. The program we've developed with Lenovo and Ericsson is a simple, affordable response to this trend that we expect will be welcomed by business customers and mobile professionals."

Philippe Davy, vice president of Strategic Alliances and Emerging Products for Lenovo, said: "We've engineered our ThinkPad notebooks to provide an exceptional wireless experience. By working with industry leaders, Ericsson and AT&T, we've found a way to package the highest levels of wireless performance into a business model that gives users an affordable connectivity solution."

Mats Norin, vice president of Mobile Broadband Modules for Ericsson, said: "As users continue to demand high-performance connectivity solutions, Ericsson mobile broadband modules are an essential building block in providing a simple, secure and superior experience. Beyond providing excellent engineering, we are committed to working with industry leaders to shape a complete, end-to-end solution to drive increased mobile broadband adoption."

This program is the latest in a series of joint initiatives involving AT&T and Lenovo. AT&T and Lenovo are the major technology sponsors of the AT&T Williams team, which has been combining the companies' computing and communications skills to enhance the Formula One team's performance since January 2007.

0 comments for this post