Tiny new module brings embedded mobile broadband to more devices

In March, Ericsson launched an always-on mobile broadband chip for notebooks which could leverage the power of a persistent HSPA/GPRS/EDGE connection on remote security and monitoring features in addition to standard wireless use.

Today at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Ericsson has announced it has made a similar module that's one third the size, and that consumes 40% less power.

As a leading provider of wireless telecommunications equipment, Ericsson's mission is to provide all devices with a means to communicate with one another.

"Our vision is clear: All devices that can be connected will be connected as the technology required for an all-communicating world is now here," said Ericsson's Vice President of Ericsson's Mobile Broadband Modules, Mats Norin. "This module opens a new realm of possibilities and innovation for the consumer electronics industry as they can now easily and cost-effectively integrate the power and speed of mobile broadband in today's and tomorrow's devices."

Like its predecessors, the C3607w mobile broadband module provides always-on 2G-3.5G radios but in a tiny, self-contained "plug and play" form factor, making it perfect for other consumer electronics devices such as e-readers, personal navigation devices, MP3/media players, and mobile Internet devices.

When Betanews talked to Ericsson last week, the company put a certain degree of emphasis on e-book readers, like the Amazon Kindle and the forthcoming Barnes & Noble reader.

"The whole industry is looking into e-book readers, it's an excellent target for these types of modules," Norin told Betanews. "Following that, it could fit into new types of devices we can't even imagine yet, it may be point and shoot cameras, it may be some other device."

The C3607w will come to market in the first quarter of 2010, and consumer devices equipped with it will turn up later. Ericsson could not formally discuss what companies will be using the module, but it noted that it has won "several major customers" with the new product.

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