HSPA-compatible always-on protection for laptops released by Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent has introduced a new version of its OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian (NLG) that supports HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) , it announced on Monday.

The OmniAccess 3500 NLG is a battery-powered PC card. It has its own processor, memory and operating system, which makes it possible for the IT staff to communicate with the card anytime they like, even if the laptop is turned off, according to Peter Tebbutt, marketing and business development director at Alcatel-Lucent.

For example, patches and other security updates can be forwarded to the card and installed as soon as the laptop is turned on. The card can also keep track of the software installed on the laptop and wipe it if necessary, according to Tebbutt.

The IT staff can communicate with the card using either the built-in HSPA modem, or using the laptop Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection.

Alcatel has also developed a joint package with McAfee, also announced on Monday, that integrates the OmniAccess 3500 NLG with McAfee’s Endpoint encryption software. “The encryption keys are stored on the card, so if the two are separated the laptop is locked,” said Tebbutt.

SingTel of Singapore, Magyar Telekom of Hungary, and broadband carrier IIJ (Internet Initiative Japan) have announced they plan to offer the HSPA version of OA3500 NLG as a service. Sprint already offers the CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) version of the products to its customers in the U.S.

Alcatel-Lucent has also signed a distribution deal with VCOMM in the U.K. The deal is the first in a push to broaden geographic availability.

Tebbutt expects the HSPA version of the OmniAccess 3500 NLG to cost about the same as the existing CDMA card, which is priced at US$250 for the card plus a $10 monthly fee.

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