Ericsson Wants Slice of Netbook Pie

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is introducing its first 3G radio module specifically for netbooks, in anticipation of the tiny computers grabbing much more of the market during the next few years.

The Swedish infrastructure vendor says its F3307 mobile broadband module is an industry first. The High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) module, expected to be available in August, will offer maximum download speeds of 7.2 Mbit/s and uploads of 2 Mbit/s, Ericsson claims. (For more on the actual speeds provided over HSPA, see WiMax & LTE Meet the Real World.)

Mats Norin, vice president of the Ericsson Mobile Broadband Modules unit, says the firm has worked with carriers to get the module certified in 75 countries worldwide and is looking at some of the biggest operator names as potential customers. "AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is, of course, extremely important, but also we have Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) and China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU)," Norin tells Unstrung.

Ericsson has worked with Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) to ensure the module works well with the chipmaker's forthcoming Pine Tail-M netbook processor, due in the second half of this year. The Pine Tail is the follow-up to Intel's Atom, which arguably helped jump-start the whole netbook industry. It will be 60 percent smaller than its predecessor.

Norin says Ericsson has also worked with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) to optimize its chipset for Windows 7.

It is easy to see why Ericsson wants in on the netbook market. The vendor is quoting forecasts saying more than 300 million notebooks will be sold between 2009 and 2014, most of them packed with mobile broadband hardware. By 2011, more than 30 percent of those sales will be through operator channels, Ericsson believes.

This jibes with recent findings from Pyramid Research on the netbook market. The Light Reading-owned research house is recommending that operators do what they can to support netbook sales as the mini-notebooks start to go mass-market in 2010. (See Little Laptops Could Drive Big Data Usage.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

FredStein 12/5/2012 | 4:03:23 PM
re: Ericsson Wants Slice of Netbook Pie

It seems this idea is a reversion to an older business model. More growth and innovation in smart mobile devices, whatever they may are, is coming from outside the Telecom/Mobile equipment makers. Even Nokia, the giant, has lost market share. Motorola has been hurt by it's mobile device business. Ericsson recently took loses in its Sony/Ericsson joint venture.

That said, Ericsson is a great company. I eagerly await news of how their Netbook will change the dynamics, to hear what unique features they bring in their Netbooks.

Sign In