Nokia comes late to booming 3G dongle party

Once again, Nokia has lagged behind the technology curve and has only now announced it will start shipping a 3G mobile broadband dongle early next year. Huawei has already grabbed a lion's share of this fast-growing sector, with Sierra Wireless and Novatel Wireless trying hard to overtake the Chinese leader.

According to Nokia, the company intends to follow the marketing strategy already adopted by the three leading vendors by selling its products to mobile operators for rebranding and bundling with laptop-based products and services. A company spokesman said the market for HSPA modems was expected to grow rapidly during the coming years. But the question must be asked as to whether Nokia has left it too late, again...

Perhaps Nokia is somewhat wary of this niche market--given the failure with Intel in 2006 to jointly develop a 3G modem for laptops--which Intel agreed to sell as part of its next-generation Centrino Duo mobile technology platform. Less than a year later, the relationship faltered and the project was aborted.

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