back to article Intel's announced PCs packing 5G, and that's just plain wrong

Intel's breathlessly announced that Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft will deploy its 5G modems in their portable PCs sometime in the second half of 2019, and that it will show off prototypes of said laptops at Mobile World Congress (MWC) next week. Which is actually pretty bad news, because laptops with built-in-modems never …

Silver badge
Big Brother

"Microsoft's eSIM-Based Always Connected PCs May Unlock Untapped Segment Growth"

Translation : "Microsoft's eSIM-Based constantly spying PCs May Unlock Untapped data slurping"

8
7
Reply
Silver badge

Re: "Microsoft's eSIM-Based Always Connected PCs May Unlock Untapped Segment Growth"

Translation : "Microsoft's eSIM-Based constantly spying PCs May Unlock Untapped data slurping"

Should have gone full hog and thrown a "just install Linux" line in there too.

4
4
Reply

Re: "Microsoft's eSIM-Based Always Connected PCs May Unlock Untapped Segment Growth"

Actual translation:

"Microsoft's eSIM-Based Always Connected PCs won't create any more segment growth than the last 20-odd Intel innovations that fundamentally misjudge what has with happened with commoditisation in the x86-based hardware markplace rather and push premium features that never become mainstream"

6
0
Reply
Anonymous Coward

"Which is actually pretty bad news, because laptops with built-in-modems never became a big market "

They have about 25% of the corporate laptop market. I wouldnt call that small.

"Translation : "Microsoft's eSIM-Based constantly spying PCs May Unlock Untapped data slurping""

Yawn. So just turn it off if you dont want it. Or use a corporate Windows version as they dont slurp. Anyway the slurp is stored until it has a connection (there is now a slurp data inspection tool!) so always on doesnt make a difference.

4
10
Reply

Source for the 25%

6
0
Reply
Silver badge

re: about 25% of the corporate laptop market

Really? Where?

Also notoriously bad and over priced extra compared with a USB stick.

Also the entire idea of a so called "5G" modem / radio for consumer space is laughable.

~

Perhaps the master plan is to have revenue for mobile operators by an in Office femto cell for so called 5G (i.e. on a band higher than 2.1GHz and thus useless outside) instead of WiFi.

Unless these properly work with GSM, 3G and LTE worldwide, properly, it's stupid. I've a Lenovo with Intel's ill fated Wimax as well as WiFi and 3G in it. Only the WiFi is any use.

1
0
Reply
Anonymous Coward

modems 25%

As others have said: citation welcome.

I'm wondering here if someone is confused between:

Option A: classic landline modem - every corporate laptop used to have them till Apple reinvented thin and light and Intel tried to rebrand it to UltraBook (?). How many of them were used? Back in the day, quite a lot. Nowadays? Less so.

Option B: late 20th century 2G/3G/4G (and allegedly now 5G) cellular modem: every corporate laptop I've seen for the last decade or more has a slot for them, not exactly customer installable (not tool-free ie not PCMCIA etc). And none of the ones I ever saw actually had the slot populated never mind actually in use. Presumably for reasons of cost and coverage which will be very familiar to those with open eyes. That's in the UK. Elsewhere, is the situation any different?

So I reckon the 25% number is a high probability (say 75%) of being fake news. That adds up to 100% so it must be right, OK?

0
0
Reply
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: modems 25%

"And none of the ones I ever saw actually had the slot populated never mind actually in use."

I've seen plenty of corporate laptops with integrated 3G/4G. Usually factory installed but I've also installed plenty of them - the procedure is practically identical to installing a Wi-Fi card, and HP at least provides the screw driver and tool to snap those tiny antenna connectors securely.

I'd still say WWAN models account for less than 25%, and those models are usually reserved for people who need them since most companies just won't splash for no reason. The extra cost for the kit is about €100 for the module and then the extra SIM card adds a bit more to the equation.

4G coverage here in Finland is excellent and prices low so perhaps the OP lives somewhere with great coverage or only has clients who like to buy expensive things.

1
0
Reply
Silver badge

Re: modems 25%

"And none of the ones I ever saw actually had the slot populated never mind actually in use."

And how many actually had a SIM card in them...

1
0
Reply
Silver badge

>"Which is actually pretty bad news, because laptops with built-in-modems never became a big market "

Well, when netbooks were the in thing, and hence portability and usage on the move was a selling point, it was surprisingly difficult to actually procure a netbook with a built-in mobile broadband modem and UK keyboard, even though vendors listed such configurations for the UK market - in the end I had to purchase one from another EU country along with a UK keyboard which I fitted myself...

So I suspect one of the reasons laptops with built-in modems didn't become a big market is because vendors didn't readily supply devices either with built-in modems, or with the capability for users to install modems (ie. spare internal slot and 3G antenna pre-installed).

1
0
Reply
Anonymous Coward

Windows CE Mobile Devices...

The device my UK Postman still uses for signatures, still looks and works (well doesn't being the point) like a Windows Mobile 6.5 Device with stylus, as do the ones some airlines still use. They're clunky and slow, and the stylus requires lots of pressure. Ryanair, I think are now Android.

Is that the issue here?, MS don't currently have a enterprise product to replace those end of life customers?

A cellular iPad mini is great in the UK to fill in the gaps between wifi, so I don't see a use case of a locked down Arm based (emulating X86), always connected laptop.

Well not for me, but there is an end of life Window CE market here for the taking, for the right device.

1
0
Reply
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Consumer use in the UK?

As far as I know tablets in the UK generally don't ship with a SIM slot, although it is a few years since I bought one.

The consumer laptops I have helped purchase also don't seem to come with one as standard.

This is possibly because most usage is at locations with Wifi and/or wired networks.

Things may be diffetent in other parts of the world.

Whatever, PCs have had cellular capability since whenever (including my old Dell XPS) but I've never seen the need to get and fit the extra chippery.

This looks more like a solution looking for a problem.

3
0
Reply
Silver badge

Re: Consumer use in the UK?

This looks more like a solution looking for a problem.

I think it's a desperate search for a market - particularly with WIndows 10 heading into ARM territory.

Why would anyone want two mobile data subscriptions when they can turn their phone into a wireless hotspot? And if you want those urgent notifications to go to your PC when it's not online? Well, there's bluetooth for that

And I doubt there's any demonstrable necessity for 5G rather than 4G: having silicon to flog does not translate into a consumer requirement.

6
0
Reply
Silver badge

Two mobile data subscriptions instead of one

That's because mobile providers have chosen to do their plans that way. It won't be long before MVNOs compete by offering plans that give you a bucket of X data across as many devices as you want (with perhaps a small per device fee, to handle the per-SIM processing details) Once they do the big ones will eventually be forced to follow.

Perhaps there's still little reason to include an expensive LTE/5G baseband in your laptop when you've already paid for one in your phone though. Especially if patent holders like Qualcomm want to charge as a percentage of the sale price of the device. If I could add on 5G for $20 when I buy the laptop I'd probably do it because you never know when it might come in handy. If it cost me $80 that would be the first option I'd delete (OK, the second after the "free one year subscription to Norton AV")

2
0
Reply

Re: Consumer use in the UK?

This looks more like a solution looking for a problem.

I don't think its a solution to a problem, more like taking advantage of a future opportunity.

At the moment we have fixed lines going into every home and then breaking out to a local Wi-Fi network, at the same time we have a mobile phone network broadcasting a wireless network across the country. They are different solutions but fundamentally they are both giving my device access to the internet.

As a consumer I've got to pay for both of these services - How long will it be before these services converge? Giving me one bill that allows me to access X GB of data from Y devices from anywhere.

2
1
Reply
Silver badge

Re: Consumer use in the UK?

It's handier to have a "bar of soap" Mobile to WiFi hotspot. Can sit on windowsill for FAR better mobile signal, allow more than one device / user. Often has far better & easier to configure firewall than tablet / laptop.

Built in mobile is near dead except on phones, maybe also a thing on Amazon Kindle eReaders for people with no wifi / laptop etc.

0
0
Reply
Silver badge

Re: one bill that allows me to access X GB of data from Y devices

Only with broadband operators selling mobile packages. No way at all can 5G or any mobile ever compete with speed, capacity, cap etc of real broadband. Fantasy.

3
1
Reply
Silver badge

Re: Two mobile data subscriptions instead of one

> It won't be long before MVNOs compete by offering plans that give you a bucket of X data across as many devices as you want

Vodafone offered a multi-SIM with one phone number contract years back, not sure if it is still available.

Orange and now EE allow you to have multiple SIMs and provided you are on the right plan (£££) you can share the data on the master plan.

>Especially if patent holders like Qualcomm want to charge as a percentage of the sale price of the device.

Suspect this is the main reason for Intel et al wanting to bundle the chipset in a laptop.

1
0
Reply
Silver badge

Re: Consumer use in the UK?

I don't think its a solution to a problem, more like taking advantage of a future opportunity.

Yes, I remember the articles from a few years back that very clearly positioned LTE femtocells as replacements to WiFi. This seems to be a continuation of that strategy.

1
0
Reply

Re: Two mobile data subscriptions instead of one

>Orange and now EE allow you to have multiple SIMs and provided you are on the right plan (£££) you can share the data on the master plan.

We have plans like that in Canada but the carriers still require an obligatory extra device connection fee on top of the shared data plan. For example, it's $10 per month connection fee for the Apple LTE Watch from Bell Canada. It makes sense for the Watch as it's a highly mobile device but for a notebook that will be used most of the time in a WiFi, it is not cost effective for most consumers. Some road warrior professionals may go for it but this is a niche. 5G won't change anything. Intel has good publicity machine but it's likely to remain a niche product IMO.

1
0
Reply

Re: one bill that allows me to access X GB of data from Y devices

@Mage - Think you're missing the point, I'm not saying that mobile will replace broadband. What I'm saying is that both of these capabilities will be offered by a single service provider, as a consumer you'll seamlessly transition from one to the other.

1
0
Reply

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018