Qualcomm is adding 4G technology to its Gobi laptop modems and expanding its chip offerings that support 3G technologies.
The San Diego-based company announced at CTIA in Las Vegas Tuesday that it will add, for the first time, LTE, or Long Term Evolution 4G technology to the roster of 3G technologies that the Gobi modem supports. 4G technology is expected to offer much greater data throughput than current 3G technologies (see chart below).
Gobi modem technology is significant because it supports more than one type of 3G service. In effect, Gobi allows switching to a different 3G provider in software. The integrated Gobi modem on HP EliteBook business laptops, for example, supports Verizon's EV-DO and AT&T's HSPA 3G services. Before, a user would have to replace the internal modem to switch providers.
And Gobi modems will now be future-proofed by supporting LTE, too. Michael Concannon, senior vice president of connectivity and wireless modules at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, explained how this could play out for PC makers. "A PC supplier, for example, may go with a 3.6 megabit-per-second module on a very low-end laptop, while in the mid-range they may want to go with a 14.4 (Mbps), and at the very high end… Read more