Vodafone today announced a deal that will see its Sims embedded in Lenovo laptops from next month.
The laptops, which will be aimed at small to medium business users, will come with a free 30-day trial connection to Vodafone’s network.
The deal means that Vodafone Sims will now be used in Hewlett Packard, Acer, Panasonic, Dell and Lenovo laptops.
Despite Vodafone’s deals with laptop manufacturers, the operator’s head of laptop connectivity, Alec Howard, said the devices would not be sold in Vodafone stores.
‘All the hardware will be available through traditional IT channels, and we are currently working with IT partners on selling through traditional IT channels,’ Howard said. ‘We won’t be selling these laptops in Vodafone stores.’
Lenovo claims that the initiative with Vodafone and Ericsson will significantly lower the cost of built-in mobile broadband technology across its entire range of upcoming Lenovo ThinkPad notebooks that will be available from 4 August.
Embedded modems used for mobile broadband connectivity are projected to grow at an increasing rate in the next few years, with research firm Gartner forecasting that embedded modem sales will have a growth rate of 94.3% from 2008 to 2012.
‘The USB modem has been successful because it’s easy. When it’s built in, it’s even easier,’ Howard added.