HP & Cingular Push 3G Notebook

Faster wireless notebooks for business users, early corporate FMC, and WiMax chips in 2008 make up this week's pre-Christmas new-product roundup.

H-S-PC-A:HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) this morning claims to have introduced the first notebook computer with integrated support for the latest flavor of GSM-based 3G networking -- High-Speed Data Packet Access (HSDPA).

The vendor is marketing the $1600 nc6400 notebook in conjunction with Cingular Wireless , which is rolling out HSDPA upgrades to its network in the U.S. The operator is clearly eyeing the enterprise market with this model. It is offering the notebook with a $60 a month unlimited data plan in the U.S. Cingular, however, is also looking further afield with a North American plan of 100 Mbytes for $109 per month for use in Canada and Mexico, as well as unlimited domestic data. Cingular’s global plan of 100 megabytes for $139 a month covers data usage in more than two dozen countries worldwide, including unlimited use in the U.S.

Cingular’s UMTS/HSDPA network is currently available in 145 major cities in the U.S., as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The network offers average download speeds of 400 to 700 Kbit/s per second, with maximum bursts of 1Mbit/s.

Sotto Voice: While there's plenty of talk about fixed/mobile convergence in the enterprise, Sotto Wireless out of Seattle, Wash. appears to be one of the first operators to aim such a service directly at corporate users.

Sotto says that it is starting to offer a service that will let businesses manage their office, cellular, and wireless applications over the Web. The firm says that it plans to start deploying the service round the U.S. next year.

The firm is using the E70 "hybrid" phone from Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) to support VOIP-over-WiFi calls in the office and cellular outside. The firm claims that its "Sotto Service Manager" gives managers a Web-based interface to control overall telecommunication usage and services, which should result in lower costs for business users.

WiMax Inside: Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) demonstrated its first combination WiMax/WiFi chipset at the ITU Telecom World 2006 show in Hong Kong last week. The firm demonstrated a Connection 2300 chipset running in a laptop supporting WiFi, WiMax and 3G connectivity.

You won't, however, be seeing Intel WiMax products in the stores any time soon. The firm plans to begin sampling cards and modules in late 2007, which likely means they won't be on the market until 2008.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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