16 of the world’s best known IT and
mobile companies have united behind a GSMA-led initiative to create a new
category of always-connected Mobile Broadband devices, delivering a compelling
alternative to WiFi. This will give consumers the freedom to get online on
the move, while enabling operators to address a US$50 billion opportunity in
both mature and emerging markets (Pyramid Research*).

In the first phase of this unprecedented initiative, mobile operators, PC
manufacturers and chipset providers are uniting to pre-install Mobile
Broadband into a range of notebook PCs that will be ready to switch on and
surf straight out of the box in 91 countries across the world.

To support this initiative, the GSMA has created the Mobile Broadband
service mark, a new global identifier which will help consumers easily
identify the array of ‘ready to run’ Mobile Broadband devices. The Mobile
Broadband service mark is backed by a global media spend of more than US$1
billion in the next year — evidence that the industry is serious about this

“Mobile Broadband is like a home or office broadband connection with one
crucial difference: freedom. Freedom from hot spots, freedom from complexity
and freedom from security concerns,” said Michael O’Hara, CMO of the GSMA.

“Today, 16 of the world’s largest technology companies have committed to
change the way people get online forever. This commitment is manifested in a
service mark that we expect to see on several hundred thousand notebooks in
the shops by the holiday season. The Mobile Broadband badge will assure
consumers that the devices they buy will always connect — wherever Mobile
Broadband is available — and that they can expect a high standard of
simplicity and mobility.”

Integrating Mobile Broadband into notebook PCs is the first step in a
wider strategy to deliver wireless Internet access and management to a whole
range of previously unconnected devices — from cameras and MP3 players to
refrigerators, cars and set-top boxes. However, only devices that offer a
truly un-tethered Mobile Broadband experience, such as those offered by the 16
companies announced in today’s program, will qualify to carry the new service

Launch participants include 3 Group, Asus, Dell, ECS, Ericsson, Gemalto,
Lenovo, Microsoft, Orange, Qualcomm, Telefonica Europe, Telecom Italia,
TeliaSonera, T-Mobile, Toshiba and Vodafone — some of the world’s largest
technology brands and operators serving more than 760 million connections
(Wireless Intelligence).

“The Mobile Broadband initiative is a timely one in that it leverages the
increasingly widespread availability of high-bandwidth networks in both
developed and developing economies,” says Shiv K. Bakhshi, Ph.D., IDC director
of mobility research. “While there will always be a place for WiFi
connectivity, the great merit of Mobile Broadband might be that it liberates
the user from the spatial tyranny of the so-called ‘hotspot.’ A Mobile
Broadband solution, informed by close collaboration between PC makers, chipset
vendors and mobile operators, should focus on appropriate optimization of the
services and superior performance on the device, and consequently, a better
user experience,” Bakhshi notes.

Today, more than 55 million people subscribe to Mobile Broadband services
in 91 countries — a number expected to grow by four million per month by the
end of 2008, according to Wireless Intelligence.

The Mobile Broadband mark promises a superior customer experience based
on the latest technology available to deliver the highest standard of fully
mobile connectivity. Products work out of the box and are fully integrated for
maximum simplicity and supported by leading PC manufacturers such as Lenovo
and Toshiba.