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People in France, Germany, and the UK can buy Dell laptops with cell modems built in: Following on the heels of partnerships in the US, Dell is now incorporating a cell modem into high-end laptops sold in those three European countries. Service will be provided via Vodafone on their third-generation cellular network using HSDPA (high-speed download packet access). HSDPA offers speeds of a few hundred kilobits per second.
By incorporating the modem into the laptop, Dell increases its costs slightly, but reduces the cost of a PC Card cell modem for the consumer by $100 to $300 when purchased separately. It also dramatically reduces the subsidies required by cell operators to provide said PC Card.
While only some fraction of customers with the cell modem will actually sign up for service, the integration and scale makes it a more sensible option. It also leaves a PC Card slot free on these laptops (or PCI Express in future models) while avoiding an ugly external antenna.
Posted by Glennf at January 25, 2006 6:36 PM
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