Intel outlined its communications road map at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes last week, where new technologies for future phones were on show.
Intel president Paul Otellini claimed that by 2006 the Centrino platform would support wireless broadband standard WiMax and 3G mobile at processor level, and that by 2007 handset chipsets like Manitoba would do the same.
"What we do best is innovate new technologies and integrate them onto silicon over time," Otellini said.
"One standard around the world is not sufficient. Consumers will demand co-existence on products and services as they roll out."
Distributors are seeing robust demand for GPRS cards, with Hugh Symons launching a slew of mobile data solutions, PC World stepping up its sales and Portable recording high sales of cards.
Computer 2000 reported last week that its sales of Fujitsu Siemens laptops had increased, partly as a result of the vendor's deal with Vodafone and Hugh Symons.
"There's a clear focus on mobile data at the moment," said Steve Muttram, managing director of Portable.
"We expect to see laptops with SIM slots some day, but that will come when mobile (data) technology stabilises. We've been through GSM, HSCSD and GPRS, and are now looking at 3G.
"When there's a clear, relatively universal standard, then we'll see SIM-enabled notebooks."
Otellini also gave clues about the future of the Manitoba chipset, which Intel introduced last year as its first chipset for mobile devices. A second-generation chip is expected by June.
By 2006, Otellini predicted, mobile phones will have the power of a Pentium 3 and support multiple radio standards and 3D graphics.
By 2008, he said he hoped to see almost the entire phone package reduced to three chips, which would allow for a range of new mobile phone designs.
Other demonstrations included Zoar, a new phone with 802.11, GSM/GPRS and Bluetooth radio built in, along with a full-motion video camera, enhanced sound and support for various operating systems.
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