Much talk, little evidence of ubiquitous mobile broadband in China or anyplace else, and no mention of 3G ..
Intel talked extensively about its plans for integrated radio communications platforms for mobile devices at its developer forum (IDF) in Beijing today, but whilst the chip maker extolled the virtues of WiFi, WiMax and Ultrawideband (UWB) for the future, third generation (3G) mobile technology appears to no longer have a place at Intel's table.
Getting multiple radio chips to switch from one network to another without blocking each others signal or instantly draining the battery life of the mobile device are just two of the ongoing challenges blocking the Intel vision, however, and the company failed to hazard a guess when tried and tested technology would be commercially available.
Presumably, it will come at a time when current 3G and HSDPA technology no longer cuts the mustard, because there was no mention of either technology.
Any failure to support existing cellular communications in Intel based mobile access devices could have tremendous consequences for the mobile industry. Crucially it could precipitate a clear division between existing mobile operators like Vodafone, 02, Orange and T-Mobile offering GSM voice and data, and a new generation of mobile broadband companies delivering the same thing using IP over WiFi, WiMax and other technologies.
Alternatively, the move may force the mobile operators to adopt new technology far more quickly than they originally planned, at least if they gauge that enough potential subscribers would be interesting in paying to use it.
Widespread consumer demand for ubiquitous Internet access has so far failed to emerge in Europe, though business users struggling to navigate the vagaries of present wireless technology will be urging Intel to come to the rescue in double quick time.
Because in the very room where Intel executives banged on about the future whilst unwisely making their accompanying presentations available for view only on the Internet, IDF delegates wrestled with unreliable 802.11g WiFi access and international roaming difficulties that prevented any attempt to get an internet connection through a 3G data card.
Any company that manages to overcome these lingering wireless connectivity problems for good will certainly get the thumbs up from me, and probably thousands of other grateful roaming workers.
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