MacBooks

Sierra Wireless to release EV-DO card for MacBook Pros

Sierra Wireless said it plans to bring its AirCard 597E to market early in 2007. The first AirCard to be made using the ExpressCard/34 form factor, the 597E will work on the Macintosh. Pricing was not announced.

The AirCard 597E is designed to take advantage of EV-DO (Evolution Data Optimized), the fast wireless networking standard promoted by cell phone service providers whose networks utilize Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). Verizon Wireless and Sprint in the United States are two such carriers. Designed to work with EV-DO Revision A networks, the AirCard 597E can achieve downlink speeds of 3.1 megabits per second and uplink speeds of 1.8 megabits per second; it can also fall back to EV-DO Release 0 and CDMA 1x speeds.

A spokesperson for Sierra Wireless confirmed that the new card will indeed support the Mac. Several of Sierra’s existing PC Card solutions already work with the Macintosh, either using Mac OS X v10.4.7’s built-in drivers or through third-party driver providers. More details are available from Sierra Wireless’ Web site.

Cards capable of such connectivity are already available from major wireless service providers, but most are still made using the PCMCIA card standard preferred by many notebook vendors.

Apple adopted the ExpressCard/34 standard earlier this year with the introduction of the MacBook Pro series. ExpressCard/34 provides a smaller, faster expansion interface than the PC card slot featured on PowerBook G4 systems.

Sierra Wireless’ Web site had not been updated with information about the AirCard 597E as Macworld posted this article.

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