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Multi-Mode Software Based Wireless Modem

The cellular modem market is not in its infant stage anymore. Cellular modem shipments will exceed 5 million units this year and embedded cellular modems are starting to emerge in the market.

According to In-Stat, embedded cellular modems, a substitute to PCMCIA cards, should represent 10 percent of total cellular modem shipments this year and about 45 percent in 2011. Dell, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic and Toshiba are the first computer manufacturers to offer this technology to the public.

PCMCIA cards have become very handy for business travelers. However, the recent launch of embedded cellular modem PCs is changing the way people look at cellular modems while raising challenging questions on compatibility and price. Currently, cellular modems - PCMCIA and embedded - represent a significant investment for users. The card and subscription costs are still very high and people need to own two different cards and subscription plans to have a full geographic coverage.

The major regions where cellular modem shipments are substantial are North America and Europe. For the first time in 2005, European shipments exceeded shipments to North America. Asia-Pacific emerges as the third region with the highest demand for cellular modem cards.

Some U.S. service providers such as Sprint and Clearwire are choosing other technologies like WiMAX and WiFi. However, we are still in the early stages of technology development and the deployment of one technology versus another will have a direct impact on the cellular modem card's appeal. The PC world is evolving into a multiple modem environment.

Perhaps there is an increasing need for a multi-mode software based modem in the marketplace. A flexible solution that wouldn't require a consumer to make a "leap of faith" commitment to any particular de facto technology standard, and associated hardware vendor, and/or wireless network service provider.

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