Lenovo and Cingular Wireless plan to integrate wireless wide area network (WWAN) technology from Cingular in upcoming versions of ThinkPad notebooks. ThinkPad users will have built-in, immediate high-speed Internet access via the Cingular BroadbandConnect service without needing a separate PC card or additional hardware.
Through this agreement, ThinkPad notebooks will be preconfigured for BroadbandConnect, which delivers average mobile data connections between 400-700 Kbps on the downlink and bursts to more than a megabit per second using Cingular’s third-generation (3G) network based on UMTS/HSDPA technology. With Cingular BroadbandConnect services, users can connect anywhere they receive Cingular Wireless data service and will no longer need to be centrally located near wireless hubs, or WiFi “hot spots”.
“Cingular Wireless helps us extend the mobile computing environment for ThinkPad customers, giving users access to a high-speed wireless network when and where they need to do business,” said Marc Godin, vice president, notebook marketing, for Lenovo. “In addition, our new Access Connections 4.1 software works with Cingular BroadbandConnect, enabling users to move seamlessly from one available network connection to the next without downtime or costly help desk calls.”
“Cingular is working closely with Lenovo from a research and development standpoint to wirelessly enable its products with a technology that is based on a global 3G standard. We look forward to jointly offering to Lenovo notebook customers wireless broadband access on both a domestic and an international scale,” said Jeff Bradley, vice president, business data services, for Cingular Wireless.
In the U.S., Cingular BroadbandConnect currently is available in 52 communities, with a commitment to extend the service to most major markets by the end of this year. In areas where UMTS/HSDPA is not available, ThinkPad owners will be able to use their notebooks seamlessly on Cingular’s EDGE service, the largest national wireless data network in the U.S. with availability in 13,000 cities and towns at typical speeds of 70-135Kbps. ThinkPad users also will have wireless access abroad in more than 90 countries where Cingular has data roaming agreements.
ThinkPad notebooks with integrated WWAN capabilities will enable IT departments to ensure consistent hardware compatibility across their users and with the internal, embedded module the ThinkPad casing provides the higher level of protection to reduce the risk of damage during transit. They can also expect less hardware to troubleshoot and replace as well as improved data security for employees who frequently travel.
Cingular-enabled ThinkPad notebooks are expected to be available beginning in the second quarter of this year.