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Intel will work to add SIM card authentication for 3G, Wi-Fi to laptops: They’ll work with the GSM Association to incorporate necessary support to allow this standard module used around the world for network authentication to work in laptops without modification. SIM cards have been used as far back as 2002 in tests in which adapters were authenticated (and billed) across a network by using a SIM module plugged into Wi-Fi cards. (EAP-SIM is the protocol used to incorporate this within an 802.1X framework.)
Cingular becomes first US carrier to offer worldwide card, plan: The insanely named Option GlobeTrotter GT Max LaptopConnect card handles 850, 900, 1800, 1900, and 2100 megahertz (MHz) spectrum bands, covering GSM, GPRS, UMTS, and HSDPA worldwide. The card will be $100 with a two-year domestic or one-year GlobalConnect commitment. The card also includes Wi-Fi.
The service is priced by countries included in a particular plan. A North American plan includes the US, Canada, and Mexico for $110 per month; for $140 per month you get two dozen countries including North America and Australia, China, France, Germany, England, Japan, and others. These two plans include unlimited data in the US and 100 MB of data transfer in the selected other countries.
Data above the 100 MB is $5 per MB in GlobalConnect countries and $19.50 per MB in about 80 other countries. These overages may appear quite expensive in some ways, but having a defined and consistent rate has its benefits, and should allow control.
Other carriers with worldwide plans require two separate PC Cards. The antenna on this card retracts, allowing it to remain in the laptop while in storage or travel.
Bowing to the inevitable, Verizon Wireless lets users access EVDO via certain phones: This PC Magazine article notes the LG VX9800 (an overfeatured but interesting phone I reviewed last year), the Motorola RAZR V3c, Motorola E815, and LG VX8100 can be used as 3G modems with a USB cable. The article notes that Verizon has ostensibly stilled disabled the Bluetooth dial-up networking (DUN) feature, but there are hacks to make it work.
Unlimited usage is $60 per month, not as Verizon says in this article, “in addition to their voice plans,” but rather only if a two-year commitment to EVDO service is made in addition to their voice plan. Quite a difference—nearly $240 per year if you choose to keep your options open. (The article also says EVDO average 700 Kbps; more like peak. The rates I’ve seen in most tests are 200 to 400 Kbps with much higher consistent rates on occasion.)
Sprint Nextel has been offering EVDO for weeks in tethered and PC Card options, which has put the pressure on Verizon for parity.