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New smart phones with ultra fast 4G wireless broadband are making headlines this week, mainly Sprint’s slick HTC EVO 4G handset. But laptop manufacturers are receiving in on the 4G action too.
Lenovo ThinkPad laptops in the U.S. will currently support Sprint 3G and 4G (WiMax) wireless, the companies announced today. ThinkPad models are by now 3G-ready, and Lenovo will now offer 4G-enabled laptops like the business-oriented ThinkPad Edge.
Clearwire, the WiMax carrier backed by Sprint, says extra than 30 computers now come with a 4G modem that works with its network.
In linked news, Qualcomm today announced that its newest Gobi modem chipsets would support LTE (Long Term Evolution), a challenging 4G technology favored by leading U.S. wireless carriers AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Major laptop makers, as well as Acer, HP, Dell, and Lenovo, already offer Gobi 3G modems, and the progression to 4G should happen soon.
Muddled 4G
User uncertainty may slow the adoption of 4G broadband in laptops, though. In the U.S. market, two next-generation wireless broadband technologies–WiMax and LTE– are “4G.” Life would be many simpler with one global spec for high-speed mobile broadband, a goal advocated by not any other than Clearwire chief manager Bill Morrow, Reuter’s reports.
What’s so confusing? Here’s an instance: Lenovo’s ThinkPads support Sprint 4G, which uses WiMax. A 4G-enabled Dell laptop with a Qualcomm Gobi modem will hold up LTE, a nascent technology that AT&T and Verizon Wireless plan to roll out over the next two years. However, several Dell laptops, as well as the Inspiron Mini 10 netbook, offer WiMax 4G modems also.
4G 101
Of course, if you’re buying a 4G-ready laptop from your wireless supplier, the problem is solved. The carrier would certainly sell merely 4G laptops that are compatible with its service. But lots of home and business clients are used to buying laptops directly from PC manufacturers or client electronics retailers. For the latter group, a 4G collide course is essential.
There’s plenty of time for home and business users to learn up on the finer points of LTE vs. WiMax, though. Both 4G networks are in their premature stages of build-out, although WiMax has an important head start. Sprint has rolled out its 4G service in 27 U.S. cities, and plans to add 15 more this year. But mainly AT&T and Verizon Wireless users won’t see 4G accesses waiting sometime next year.


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