3G Broadband To Bring High-Speed Internet To Emerging Markets

Dec 12, 2008 4:19 PM, MD&D News Staff

Qualcomm has announced a PC alternative designed to make high-speed Internet access more widely available and affordable in emerging markets. The Kayak PC alternative leverages the widespread availability of 3G wireless broadband to bring Internet connectivity to markets where wired Internet access has often been difficult to access or unaffordable. According to Qualcomm, Kayak fills the niche between desktop PCs, which normally require landlines or separate accessories for connectivity, and Internet-capable wireless devices.

Kayak’s reference design and recommended software specifications will be available to device manufacturers. The reference design uses Qualcomm’s dual-core Mobile Station Modem MSM7xxx-series chipsets to provide computing and connectivity. Devices based on the reference design will offer a full-featured Web 2.0-capable browser from Opera Software than can perform at desktop resolutions, as well as access via the browser to Web 2.0 productivity applications.

“Web-based applications open up new possibilities for people in emerging markets for whom packaged software can be expensive,” said Rod Hamlin, senior vice president of sales, Americas, at Opera Software. “Combining the Opera browser with Qualcomm’s chipset is a great way to help bring the power of connected computing to millions of new Internet users around the world.”

Also, devices using the reference design will support televisions and computer monitors used as display. And, they will provide compatibility with a standard keyboard and mouse for input as well as a music player and/or 3D gaming console functionality. Future commercial Kayak-based devices also may be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon solutions. Initial Kayak units manufactured by Inventec Corp. will be used to initiate user trials during the first quarter of 2009 in Southeast Asia on cdma2000 and WCDMA (UMTS) networks.

“The broad footprint of 3G networks means that wireless is the answer to Internet access for worldwide markets—especially in emerging regions,” said Luis Pineda, senior vice president of marketing and product management for Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. “The Kayak PC alternative is a great example of how Qualcomm is leveraging cloud computing over wireless broadband networks to help bring new areas of the world into the global online community for the first time.”

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