Qualcomm standard helps Compaq go wireless

The PC maker dives deeper into the wireless market, announcing plans to let some of its laptops work with CDMA, a wireless standard popular in North America.

Ben Charny Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Ben Charny
covers Net telephony and the cellular industry.
Ben Charny
Compaq Computer dived deeper into the wireless market with plans to let some of its laptops work with a wireless standard popular in North America.

The company on Monday announced plans to include wireless standard CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) into its Evo C series of notebook computers.

CDMA was invented by Qualcomm, which has licensed the associated software and hardware to mobile phone handset makers around the world. The wireless format is commonly used in North America. GSM, another wireless communication standard, is more commonly used in Europe.

Compaq is the latest computer maker to take bigger steps into the wireless world. The company's announcement followed IBM's decision to make its entire line of ThinkPad laptops capable of interacting with a wireless network.

Dataquest analyst Paul Dittner said Monday's decision gives Compaq a boost in the North American wireless market.

CDMA is the second wireless standard with which Compaq will make some of its gear compliant. Charles Dittmer, Compaq's director of communications technology for commercial notebooks, said the company is already selling some products capable of interacting with the GSM wireless standard.