Mobile industry to spend $1bn on broadband push

GSM Association and 17 IT and mobile companies to spread the word globally
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Seventeen companies have backed an initiative led by the GSM Association to push mobile broadband connectivity and its integration with hitherto non-cellular devices.

The first target will be notebook PCs with built-in 3G/HSPDA etc connectivity, but will go on to encompass cameras, MP3 players, refrigerators, cars and set-top boxes.

Any devices offering such 'ready to run' mobile connectivity will sport a specially-designed logo, backed by a $1 billion spend to raise awareness. "Several hundred thousand" notebooks will be shipped to stores with the badge this Christmas.

It's a concerted effort by the GSMA to challenge the growing threat of Wi-Fi as a means of mobile connectivity. The companies backing the initiative are 3 Group, Asus, Dell, ECS, Ericsson, Gemalto, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, Orange, Qualcomm, Telefonica Europe, Telecom Italia, TeliaSonera, T-Mobile, Toshiba and Vodafone.

Michael O'Hara, CMO of the GSMA, said: "Today, 17 of the world's largest technology companies have committed to change the way people get online forever. This commitment is manifested in a service mark that we expect to see on several hundred thousand notebooks in the shops by the holiday season.

"The Mobile Broadband badge will assure consumers that the devices they buy will always connect – wherever Mobile Broadband is available – and that they can expect a high standard of simplicity and mobility."

This story originally appeared on PC Retail's sister site Mobile Entertainment.

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