More 3G options for HP, Lenovo laptops

The news out of GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona isn't all cell phones. Qualcomm announced that HP will ship several business laptops this year using its Gobi 3G chipset. Meanwhile Sony Ericsson said it will provide the HSPA modules for "select Lenovo ThinkPads" beginning this year.

The news out of GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona isn't all cell phones.

Qualcomm announced that HP will ship several business laptops this year using its Gobi 3G chipset. Gobi is notable because it is a single chipset that works with both types of 3G networks, CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. A (Sprint and Verizon) and UMTS HSPA (AT&T and T-Mobile). You load the necessary firmware from the laptop, which means you can choose a laptop now and later decide what network you'd like to use, or even switch carriers and networks.

Meanwhile Sony Ericsson said it will provide the HSPA modules for "select Lenovo ThinkPads" beginning this year.

EV-DO Rev A has theoretical peak throughput of 3.1Mbps down and 1.8Mbps up; HSPA has theoretical peak throughput of 14Mbps down (HSDPA) and 5.7Mbps up (HSUPA), though existing networks max out at 7.2Mbps down. Some 200 operators currently offer EV-DO and HSPA mobile broadband services to 100 million subscribers worldwide, according to Qualcomm. By comparison, competitor WiMax has a long way to go (Sprint is currently offering limited trials of its Xohm service in a few U.S. cities), though it will get a boost when Intel begins offering wireless chipsets that support 802.16e later this year.

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