LAS VEGASEricsson is doubling its product portfolio in the embedded broadband wireless module space – going from one to two – with the introduction of the F3607gw.

The F3607gw is the second product in its line-up since Ericsson announced intentions to get into the embedded laptop/netbook space about a year ago. The new module, to be released in June, is for HSPA/GPRS/EDGE networks; more modules are expected from Ericsson later this year.

A unique aspect of the newest module is a wake-on wireless feature, according to Jan Backman, director of marketing at Ericsson Mobile Broadband Modules. Ericsson has been working with Intel to incorporate its Anti-Theft PC Protection Technology into products. The wake-on feature allows users to remotely wake up a notebook so that it can be locked down or made unusable, depending on the situation. When the notebook is recovered, an unlock message can be sent to make data accessible again.

Netbooks represent a big opportunity for both Ericsson and the PC industry, Backman says. But Ericsson believes speed of performance and getting a fast connection are not going to be enough to compete over time, so it’s adding these other features, he says.

Besides Intel, Ericsson is working with the likes of Dell, Lenovo and LG Electronics for embedding modules into laptops and netbooks. Ericsson uses chipsets from ST Ericsson, the relatively new venture combining Ericsson Mobile Platforms and ST-NXP Wireless, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the United States, Ericsson’s main carrier channel is AT&T. “The operator channel will be a significant channel for netbooks and notebooks in the future,” he says.

Ericsson’s main competitor is Qualcomm. Both are members of a global GSMA-led initiative that will use a Mobile Broadband service mark to help consumers quickly identify notebooks that are ready to surf straight out of the box.

The F3607gw module most likely will start showing up in models in the second half of this year.

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