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The Internet Communications

Dell Strikes Deal For High-Speed Wireless 37

Jason Jardine wrote to mention a C|Net article describing a new Dell deal with Vodafone to provide high-speed wireless access. From the article: "Dell said Tuesday that it plans to embed Vodafone's High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) technology into laptops built to order and sold in Europe. The technology will be backwards compatible with earlier 3G, or third-generation, wireless technologies including UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), the company said."
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Dell Strikes Deal For High-Speed Wireless

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  • Woohoo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Realistic_Dragon ( 655151 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @05:09PM (#14551566) Homepage
    Now we can be locked into paying more for wireless because of the laptop provider we chose.

    One of the shitty features of the US market that the UK cellphone market has been picking up recently is longer contracts (now up to 18 months) and higher and higher fees to unlock your device at the end of the term. Orange are up from £free to £20.

    And now they want us to pay this on a laptop as well? Sure, fine, throw in a 3G/GPRS data card if you want - but FFS don't cripple it by making it work only with one service. No one would accept a wireless card that only worked with T-Mobil hotspots after all.
    • Presumably you can still use other services, but you'll have to have the PCMCIA or USB2 external modems. I don't think Dell or anyone else can dictate to the phone companies how their network SHOULD be set up, although it's clearly broken. Uncle Sam (or whatever the UK equivalent is) can do that but consumers aren't screaming loudly enough.
    • Re:Woohoo (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BattleRat ( 536161 )
      Oh Jesus H. Christ, cry me a river. If a company attempts to add functionality to a product line by OPTIONALLY including a radio and now you "have to" buy it or subscribe to it? Nope, you will still be able to buy Dells without that radio, just as you can buy Dells today without Bluetooth radios. Saying that you'll be "locked in" is like saying you HAVE to drink Guiness if you're Irish. Gimme a break...
    • Re:Woohoo (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anne Thwacks ( 531696 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @05:36PM (#14551826)
      the UK cellphone market has been picking up recently is longer contracts (now up to 18 months) and higher and higher fees to unlock your device

      I don't know how well the 18 month contracts are selling. No one I knows has signed any of these deals. They all think - hang on, my phone will be obsolete in 12 months, even if it still works. As for unlocking, that nice man in the market does it for £ 6 anyway. And if he tries to charge more, there's another in the next street. Round here, even the meat stall in the market offers phone unlocking. I did my own with a file downloaded from the internet.

      Personally, I would like to see the whole business of locking challenged in the European court as an illegal restraint of trade.

      • I have one of those 18 month contracts with T-Mobile UK. Paying £13 for 12 months and £28 for 6 months works out less than the actual purchase price of the handset overall and comes with a nice data and voice allowance.

        Even though the handset I got (Nokia N70) will be obselete shortly when the N80 comes out, it's a good deal and I'll probably end up purchasing the latest and greatest Nokia smartphone after 10-12 months SIM free anyway, and giving my existing N70 to my dad as a Christmas present

    • I say Woohoo, too. For the integrated antenna.

      I am already subscribed to to Cingular's HSDPA service. If I can buy a new Dell/Lenovo laptop, my expectation is that I will be able to pop the SIM card out from my Sierra Wireless AirCard 860. Pop the SIM card into the laptop, and get online without the PC card.

      Wifi access using laptop integrated antenna, in my personal experience, have better reception than PC card using same WiFi chipset. The reason is not a mystery, either. The intergrated antennas usua
  • by levik ( 52444 )
    One more reason for europeans to feel snooty supperiority over their vaunted consolidated cell phone system :)
  • SIM Cards. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    These notebooks will take the sim card you use in your cell and allow them to be used in your notebooks. I wouldn't be surprised if you saw this feature in the USA. It's just another option. You can use the PC Card slot, EC Card slot or the SIM slot. It just makes it easier. I don't see why such negativity abounds amongst the slashdot crowd for such feature. You don't like the price offered by the service carrier, pick up a new carrier or wait til you get to a landline.
    • FYI: HSDPA needs a 3G SIM to work. The cingular SIM here used in a Sierra 860 cards says on the front "64K smartchip" and on the back has the 3G logo on it and is made by Gemplus. Regular Cingular SIMs won't authenticate to the 3G system.
  • Does anyone know if Dell is planning to offer this in the US?
    • Re:In the US? (Score:2, Informative)

      by QuessFan ( 621029 )
      Yes. IF you read TFA, it says:

      "In fall last year, Dell announced it would embed 3G access technology from Verizon Wireless and Cingular Wireless in its products."

      As an existing Cingular Broadband Access(HSDPA) subscriber, I am looking forward to get a new laptop with build in HSDPA capabilities.

      I am mostly satisified with the signal reception I currently have with the SierraWireless Aircard 860.
      However, the signals can be marginal in many areas.

      Just as I observed significant improvement when W
      • I did read the article.
        In my opinion, just because they use devices made by American companies, doesn't mean they are using them in America, since the Article specifically states that Dell has these deals in other countries.
    • Probably not for awhile. Our cell phone system is pretty pitiful compaired to those in Japan and western europe, plus our system is not as consolidated as in Europe, meaning that hardware that works with one carier may not work with other cariers.
  • by Sierpinski ( 266120 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @05:28PM (#14551742)
    I can see the marketing ploy in 2015 now....

    Dude! You're gettin' 15 year contract with a 5-figure penalty for early termination!

    • Dude! You're gettin' 15 year contract with a 5-figure penalty for early termination!

      Steven: No way dude, I got busted for weed that I bought online and now they say I can't even use the internet.
      It's like - totally harsh!
  • by timmyf2371 ( 586051 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @05:40PM (#14551864)
    Whilst I'm not totally au-fait with how the HSDPA technology works, the fact that it comes with backwards compatibility for UMTS and GPRS suggest some sort of SIM/USIM; whether the SIM will be built in or be supplied by the mobile network as a plug-in module isn't totally clear. Furthermore, if it's an external module the user would plug in, would the actual device be SIM locked solely to Vodafone or would SIMs provided by other networks be compatible?

    This deal might bring mobile broadband to the masses, but with the mobile phones available these days - and the fact that most new laptops include bluetooth as standard, is it really necessary?

    I have a Nokia N70 [nokia.co.uk] handset which uses 3G technology and provides me with connection speeds of around 400Kbps in 3G-enabled areas - 115Kbps in GPRS (2.5G) areas - and even though it's a separate device, I can simply hook it up to my laptop using bluetooth (or USB if I'm using a machine without bluetooth built in) and connect to the Internet anywhere. However, the flexibility of having a small handset allows me to sit in bed, on the couch, on public transport - ie, anywhere a laptop can be somewhat inconvenient - and check my email, logon to IRC, access web-pages and catch up on the latest news.

    Even most non-smartphone devices these days are bluetooth enabled and allow this sort of wireless hookup to laptops and allow for the flexibility I mentioned earlier.

  • I guess the big loser here is French carrier Orange. Dell has been heavily advertising a built-in Orange 3G connection lately here in France. It is an interesting plan -- unlimited minutes for 50 Euros/month BUT you can only connect to a corporate vpn. Unfortunately for Orange, I have found their 3G coverage spotty at best and slow when compared to Vodafone's service. (Which, however, costs an arm & a leg.) The Vodafone network outside of Europe is massive, so this partnership makes sense for Dell. So,
  • by devilsandy ( 556014 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @09:36PM (#14553623)
    Cellphone service in India has NO contracts. Either you take the "prepaid" where in you buy certain amount of currency which is valid for certain days OR "postpaid" where in you get a bill at the end of the month. The best part is there is no airtime charge for receiving a call, your airtime is charged only for the calls you make from the cellphone. I am now in US and I miss the Indian cellphone system along with the tasty home food :-) .
    • That's how cellphones should be. I bet they have better battery life over there, too. An actual pay-as-you-go system would be ideal, even if it is some sort of tiered thing (for ex., 10c/min for the first 100min, 5c/min for the next 200, 2c/min thereafter, so 500min would cost $24 if I did that right). Get a bill at the end of the month, or prepaid minutes that don't expire FFS! I use my cell for emergency calls and recieving "pick up some milk while you're out" and that's about it; so why should I be s
    • The reason you get charged for incoming calls in the USA (at least I think) is that the cellphone numbering system is different.

      In New Zealand, cellphones numbers start with 027, 021, 025 or 029. The person knows that they're calling a cellphone, and to what network they're calling.

      In America it seems that cellphone numbers are indistinguishable from regular phone numbers, they have an prefix which is the same as the area code the phone was sold in.

      It costs more for a phone company to connect a cellph

  • Where do cell phone companies get their pricing tarifs from?

    Orange were nice enough to offer me a try 3G for 3 months free when I took out my contract, so I've been a pretty heavy user over that period. Being able to freely check my emails, read slashdot and ssh into my various boxes has been a delight. On average I used 50-75MB a month, which I though was a reasonable, if not execesive amount, I mean my cable connection gets taken for 1GB a day.

    They want around £1 a MB. As useful as that service was,
    • On average I used 50-75MB a month, which I though was a reasonable, if not execesive amount, I mean my cable connection gets taken for 1GB a day.


      I'm pretty sure most 'home' connections from any of the big UK providers would want to be having strong words with you if you were using a gig a day on legitimate purposes; either that or you have one MONSTER of a pr0n archive...

      Can I assume this is a corporate connection

  • wi-fi migrates from laptops to mobiles and 3G does the opposite. 3G and wi-fi duke it out in dominance? nah... I think telecom professionals are deluding themselves with wi-fi getting into the voice domain and being a part and parcel of the 'GSM family'. Wi-fi, being more local/hot-spot oriented, is less ubiquitous than 3G. So, it was a good yet expensive to try the tested 3G market, before beating it with Verizon's HSDPA(that translates as 3G to me). Verizon together with Cingular sure feel alienated:( But

Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?

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