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Ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) manufacturers need to add support for wide-area wireless networks in order for the devices to fulfill their full market potential, according to In-Stat market tracking firm.

“The challenge is which of the broadband options: WiMAX, EV-DO, HSPA, or LTE, will be most successful in a UMPC,” says Frank Dickson, Vice President, Mobile Internet group. “Each has pros and cons.  There is no ‘best’ wide-area wireless technology.” said Frank Dickson, vice president, mobile internet group.

UMPCs will increasingly add support for wide-area wireless to supplement Wi-Fi. The connect rate for wide-area wireless will grow from 20% today to almost 50% by 2012.

In-Stat’s end-user survey revealed that 44% of notebook PC users express frustration with coverage when using Wi-Fi, compared with just 15% using a cellular broadband service.

Competitors are experimenting with business models and subsidies.  AT&T Mobility and RadioShack recently initiated a consumer offer for a subsidized Acer Aspire UMPC coupled with a broadband service plan

Tags: 3Wimax, 3G

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