HSDPA continues the march to conquer Europe as Novatel Wireless is working with Panasonic on embedded 3G radio modules in Panny’s European notebook line. The Panasonic CF-18 Toughbook Tablet PC snares the integrated radio which will provide wireless WAN connectivity comparable to EV-DO speeds and up to 1.8 Mbps. Novatel’s Expedite EU740 HSDPA/UMTS 2100MHz radio is also backwards compatible with the slower EDGE, GSM and GPRS networks, so your CF-18 will drop down to speeds in areas where there isn’t any HSDPA coverage.
At this point, the 3G networks are built out enough that it’s becoming a compelling necessity for mobile computing devices to have the embedded data options. We’re starting to see some PC vendors integrate 3G options; my expectation is that by this time next year, you’ll be able to include this option on just about every mid- to high-end notebook and Tablet PC.