Ericsson Mobile Broadband Modules for PCs, Tablets Unveiled at 2010 IDF

Ericsson introduced a 21Mbps mobile broadband module for notebooks and netbooks at the 2010 IDF conference. Ericsson also demonstrated a 7.2Mbps module for tablets.

Ericsson has unveiled what the company calls the world's first mobile broadband module at 21 Mbps (megabits per second), the HSPA Evolution (HSPA+) F5521gw.

Twice the size of a quarter, the Ericsson F5521gw supports download speeds of up to 21 Mbps and upload speeds of 5.76 Mbps. Ericsson introduced the new broadband module at the 2010 Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco on Sept. 14.

The Ericsson module also features GPS tracking along with version 3.0 of Intel's encrypted SMS antitheft technology. The chip can remotely disable a laptop when the PC is lost or stolen by using encrypted text messages if it finds the operating system is out of band, or not running.

The missing or stolen laptop can be reactivated immediately when found.

Wake-On Wireless allows the device to wake to access content push services and updates.

According to Mats Norin, vice president of Ericsson's Mobile Broadband Modules division, 63 networks worldwide now support HSPA Evolution and an additional 116 networks are planned.

Although Ericsson is offering faster mobile broadband modules for notebooks and netbooks, it's now focused on developing Internet connectivity for smaller devices, Norin told eWEEK. At the IDF show, Ericsson unveiled both the F5521gw and a second-generation 7.2 Mbps mobile broadband module, called the F3307, for tablets and consumer electronic devices with 3G speeds.

The 7.2 Mbps module supports Intel's upcoming "Oak Trail" mobile processors.

"Built-in mobile broadband provides the instant connectivity that tablet computers require to be truly portable," Erik Reid, Intel's director of marketing for its Mobile Platforms Group, said in a statement. "In working closely with Ericsson, we are helping manufacturers get their new products to market faster with the most capabilities with optimization for our upcoming tablet platform, 'Oak Trail.'"

The F3307 uses 50 percent less power compared with previous generations, Norin said. The reduced power consumption allows the device to maintain always-on connectivity and extend its battery life. The F3307 uses first-generation HSPA, while the F5521gw notebook module supports HSPA+.

In addition, the F3307's QuickConnect feature allows a device to reconnect to the Internet seconds after leaving sleep mode.

Although he couldn't share the names, Norin said the module will likely work with tablets from all the major suppliers in Asia, as well as all of the major mobile operating systems.

"Theoretically, it would work with an iPad," Norin added.

The F3307 tablet module is available now, and the HSPA+ notebook module will be available in October.