GSMA-backed group initiates mobile broadband campaign

On the eve of the WiMAX World conference in Chicago, the GSMA, along with 17 mobile carriers and vendors including Qualcomm, Vodafone, Microsoft and Orange, today announced an initiative to promote the use of notebook PCs pre-installed with HSPA mobile broadband technology. Specifically, the group said they will spend about $1 billion to get a graphic service mark that says "mobile broadband" attached to HSPA-enabled notebook computers with the goal of making customers aware of which laptops have the technology.

During an interview with FierceWireless, Michael O'Hara, chief marketing officer of the GSMA, said that although no U.S. GSM operators are named in the press release, the group does believe it will have a big impact on the U.S. market. "We have a working group the represents major operators from across the world that are working on this initiative," O'Hara said.

However, Ovum Research analyst Steven Hartley questioned the need for such an initiative. In a research note, Hartley said, "Mobile broadband uptake is already growing rapidly without it. It could be argued that any promotion is better than nothing, but it looks a lot like the initiative is designed as a defense move against WiMAX branding."

For more:
- see this press release

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