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« Novatel Revs WCDMA Product Line with HSDPA, HSUPA | Main | Bluetooth Hookups Constrain Cell Data Downloads »

February 14, 2007

Intel Opts to Cut Cell from Centrino's Future

By Glenn Fleishman

Intel will ship the next Centrino platform without an option for the worldwide HSDPA 3G cell standard: The partnership with Nokia was supposed to lead to both Wi-Fi and HSDPA (GSM’s top-speed 3G offering) in a single package. Instead, when Santa Rosa launches in the second quarter of this year, Wi-Fi will ride solo. This is the end of a strategy that dates back to the first Centrino launch when an Intel executive told me that it was inevitable that Wi-Fi and cell would both find their way into the platform. Four years later, no such luck.

The bottom line appears to be dollars. Intel told InfoWorld that laptop makers don’t want to pay to have HSDPA integrated in every machine. Intel will consider adding 3G in future platforms, however. Specific manufacturers have chosen to include EVDO and HSDPA embedded in their laptops, but that increases cost and requires consumers or businesses to order specific models.

The upshot is that the cell networks lost the chance to avoid subsidizing hundreds of thousands or millions more PC Cards and ExpressCards, and gain a new audience that could flip a switch to gain cell data service.

Posted by Glennf at February 14, 2007 4:36 PM

Categories: Future, HSDPA, Integrated laptop


I think that the failure of the laptop makers and the worldwide cellular industry was not to back a chipset maker that integrate both CDMA and HSDPA so that consumers wouldn't have to lock themselves in. But I also understand why it didn't happen - CDMA is now in the throes of an upgrade to 1xEV-DO Rev. A, rev. B is on the horizon, and looming over it all is Mobile WiMAX... but which wave do you pick? :-) So then you buy an outboard card... but which of THOSE form factors do you choose? Even USB is a problem because it turns out it can't source enough power for a cellular modem to operate at full power.

Posted by: Steve Stroh [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2007 6:55 AM

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