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How long before PC desktop CPUs are sold, with 3G or better internet, built-in?

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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I know that it is already rumored that modern Intel CPUs or chipsets, have a secret, "hidden" 3G antenna, and that they can "phone home" using cell-phone internet. Whether this is currently true or not is up for debate, but I don't think for long. I think that if they have that capability, if they don't already, that they WILL implement this.

One way that I think that they can get people to accept this, is if their PC gets "free" or nearly-free (ad-subsedized?) 3G cellular internet. It won't be as fast as wired broadband (in areas where that is still offered), but it will make internet for people's PCs ubiquitous, no matter where they have it plugged in, and eliminates what can be a costly bill for those less fortunate or seniors on a fixed income.

What do you think? Pie-in-the-sky (remember, tablets already have 3G or better internet, most of them, so they are always-on connected. Why should desktops be any different?), or paranoia? (If there's a pipe in, there's a pipe out...)

What with what Windows 10 is already doing, this wouldn't suprise me to see this in Icelake and supporting chipset. That is, if Intel's cellular modem isn't already chipset-integrated. Remember, all they need is a strip of wire, for an antenna. How would you know if one of the traces on your mobo was used for 3G cellular internet?

Edit: Or, they could handle it just like tablets do today, with a cell-phone plan "line" for each device. So, if you owned three desktop PCs, you'd have to pay for "three lines" on your data plan, to get each of your PCs online. Heck, maybe Intel would cut a deal with some of the major cellular carriers, and get kick-backs.
 
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Feb 4, 2009
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We wouldn't but I'm skeptical that data would cost money, a lot of money also the antenna would stand out especially if its going to work inside a metal box. Also what would it's purpose be?

Regardless some nerd will have an RF detector(?). I forgot its name but back in my early cellular days there was a hand held device that could track down signals and devices before the GPS days. I'm sure they still exist.
 

turtile

Senior member
Aug 19, 2014
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Why would anyone need this for a desktop? You'd already have Wi-fi in most cases for internet and you could simply add in a 4G card/USB stick.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
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I've been thinking for quite a while that premium laptops should have that as an option. Doesn't make a lot of sense for a desktop though.
 

Valantar

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2014
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Reception inside a desktop case would be absolutely horrendous - if possible at all. You'd have to look pretty hard for a place with more rf interference (unshielded motherboard traces don't exactly make for low rf noise), and then you'd have to take into account that the entire thing (most likely) is housed inside a metal box.

Considering cell phone manufacturers pour millions into reducing various interference metrics on metal bodied phones (where the frame is the antenna, not around it), spend precious board area on various amplifiers and ICs to fight interference and signal attenuation - and still are far from perfecting this - I'd say the chances of this working are zero in practice.

Not to mention that for desktop usage, the practical value of this is zero. When >99, 9% of PCs have an Internet connection, why spend millions and millions integrating a worthless feature? All for "phoning home" from airgapped PCs? And what kind of pressure would it take for Intel to convince motherboard makers to implement "antenna" traces (which would seriously constrain motherboard design and wreak havoc on RAM and PCIe signaling) without this ever leaking to the public? Intel is a corporation, not the Illuminati. Don't be daft.
 
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Valantar

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Aug 26, 2014
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I've been thinking for quite a while that premium laptops should have that as an option. Doesn't make a lot of sense for a desktop though.
Mobile data is an option on a range of professional laptops. It's been tried in premium lines like HPs Envy line, but never caught on as nobody wants to pay for expensive modem hardware plus a data plan they might use once a week or less. Not to mention that WiFi is available EVERYWHERE.
 
Mar 10, 2006
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The reason that 3G/LTE modems are not included standard in notebooks is that the OEMs would need to pay royalties/licensing fees to the tons of wireless patent owners just to be able to sell those devices. Those costs would be passed on to the consumer, making the laptops even more expensive than they currently are.

Very few people would buy them.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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The reason that 3G/LTE modems are not included standard in notebooks is that the OEMs would need to pay royalties/licensing fees to the tons of wireless patent owners just to be able to sell those devices. Those costs would be passed on to the consumer, making the laptops even more expensive than they currently are.

Very few people would buy them.
And which would be pointless anyway since notebooks already have WiFi.
 

Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
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Rural people who need high speed internet and don't have access to cable, dsl, FIOS would be the driver of such sales.

Because, city and suburban people have...phones, WiFi, libraries, and other points of access rural people do not. The businessfolk would be more interested in have data where there isn't WiFi, and that is when they travel. Which means, portable objects would likely be bought first, such as laptops and tablets like the IPad Air.

Plus, these would make desktop chips systems on chip, and who knows what complications and cost increases that would bring.

Free internet will not be subsidized by the private sector on a large scale. Taxpayer dollars will, like with those kiosks in New York. Lots of dollars for lots of flash and cultural snobbery.

Also, I doubt that rural people will be granted any favors like that.
 
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Feb 25, 2011
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Rural people who need high speed internet and don't have access to cable, dsl, FIOS would be the driver of such sales.
In two weeks I'm going to drive from Minneapolis to Milwaukee, and unless something changes since last Christmas, I'm not going to have LTE or, for that matter, cell service at all, for about 1/2 the trip.

Most of the uber-rural folks I know about end up with Satellite or WiMax or something.
 

Valantar

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2014
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Rural people who need high speed internet and don't have access to cable, dsl, FIOS would be the driver of such sales.

Because, city and suburban people have...phones, WiFi, libraries, and other points of access rural people do not. The businessfolk would be more interested in have data where there isn't WiFi, and that is when they travel. Which means, portable objects would likely be bought first, such as laptops and tablets like the IPad Air.

Plus, these would make desktop chips systems on chip, and who knows what complications and cost increases that would bring.

Free internet will not be subsidized by the private sector on a large scale. Taxpayer dollars will, like with those kiosks in New York. Lots of dollars for lots of flash and cultural snobbery.

Also, I doubt that rural people will be granted any favors like that.
People in rural areas would still be better off getting a separate 4G modem/router, as this would both improve signal quality and speeds. Also, it lowers costs through not needing redundant modem hardware in every single device in the house. As well as the simple fact that implementing this solution requires zero effort, as everything has WiFi and thus would have no problem connecting to the modem/router.

Also: replacing every device you own each time there's a new mobile data tech launched or proliferates, versus replacing just one unit? That's a no-brainer.

As for subsidizing rural Internet in the US on a large scale? Considering that you guys can't even figure out that universal healthcare is a good thing, I can't see it ever happening.
 

Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
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In two weeks I'm going to drive from Minneapolis to Milwaukee, and unless something changes since last Christmas, I'm not going to have LTE or, for that matter, cell service at all, for about 1/2 the trip.

Most of the uber-rural folks I know about end up with Satellite or WiMax or something.
Yeah, here in Maryland, some rural areas are 3G only but can get cable from Comcast. Since cable is available, then 3G on a desktop becomes a lolno. For places in which there is no tower, like where you will be traveling through, cell internet is also a no-go.

Picking between subsidizing data, which is going to be charged per gigabyte by the carrier, or high-speed internet broadcast from a WiFi router, which is charged monthly and with a much higher "cap" high-speed internet is simply the more economical choice for a desktop for all parties involved, which are the government, the recipient, and the taxpayers.
People in rural areas would still be better off getting a separate 4G modem/router, as this would both improve signal quality and speeds. Also, it lowers costs through not needing redundant modem hardware in every single device in the house. As well as the simple fact that implementing this solution requires zero effort, as everything has WiFi and thus would have no problem connecting to the modem/router.

Also: replacing every device you own each time there's a new mobile data tech launched or proliferates, versus replacing just one unit? That's a no-brainer.

As for subsidizing rural Internet in the US on a large scale? Considering that you guys can't even figure out that universal healthcare is a good thing, I can't see it ever happening.
Yep, not much demand from anywhere, which is why it will never happen on a desktop. Heck, people are not buying laptop or IPads with the cellular option either.

Here's the thing though. Democrats will not be helping the rural base any time soon and a portion of the rural base often votes Republican. Neither would approve of such welfare to that particular group.
 

Valantar

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2014
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Here's the thing though. Democrats will not be helping the rural base any time soon and a portion of the rural base often votes Republican. Neither would approve of such welfare to that particular group.
Ah, US politics. Where solidarity is considered a necessary evil at best (but mostly plain evil), and most seem to wish for the law of the jungle to take over as guiding principle. And people wonder why US society is struggling.


And you're compeltely right, people aren't buying 4G iPads. Modems and related parts are expensive, and add significant cost to devices. Separate modem/routers cost essentialy the same - but one time, rather than for each device you buy.

Suggesting that Intel would swallow the (enormous) cost of "hiding" 3G modems in their chipsets (let's see: design cost, cost of getting motherboard makers on board quietly, cost of integrating radios and amplifiers into the chipset without f*cking over signaling, cost of convincing PCI-SIG and everyone else to implement protections to make this not kill hardware (without actually telling them why), vastly improving shielding on every single component inside the PC, negotiating a secret universal data roaming deal (hah!) and then come all the patents they'd have to license ...) is absurd. Plain and simple.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
52,635
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And you're compeltely right, people aren't buying 4G iPads. Modems and related parts are expensive
Hmm, I'm not sure that I buy that, when you can get $30-40 pre-paid Android phones with 4G LTE on them. I would be more willing to believe that the reason that the 4G iPads are expensive, is "Apple Mark-up". Not that the hardware is somehow inherently expensive.
 

hojnikb

Senior member
Sep 18, 2014
562
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91
Nope, desktop pcs will never be standard with 3G, just like they're not standard with wifi (only a select motherboards come with built in wifi).

There is no reason to have this. If someone needs it, it will buy it separately or ISP will give one.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
52,635
7,321
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Picking between subsidizing data, which is going to be charged per gigabyte by the carrier, or high-speed internet broadcast from a WiFi router, which is charged monthly and with a much higher "cap" high-speed internet is simply the more economical choice for a desktop for all parties involved, which are the government, the recipient, and the taxpayers.
Well, a fixed-line broadband subscription, gives better performance, but it's not neccesarily cheaper than 4G LTE internet. I signed up for $10/mo 4G LTE that is provided by Sprint. It's "unlimited", but "de-prioritized" after using 23GB in a month.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
52,635
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just like they're not standard with wifi (only a select motherboards come with built in wifi).
I thought that there was a slide posted in the Skylake thread, that showed that Kaby Lake or Cannonlake chipsets were going to include WiFi in the base chipset now? Which is going to require an antenna. Which, conceivably, could allow 3G access as well.
 

hojnikb

Senior member
Sep 18, 2014
562
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I thought that there was a slide posted in the Skylake thread, that showed that Kaby Lake or Cannonlake chipsets were going to include WiFi in the base chipset now? Which is going to require an antenna. Which, conceivably, could allow 3G access as well.
PHY interface and antenna will still be needed and quite sure intel will restric this to more expensive cheapsets.

So budget boards will still be without wifi
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
9,534
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I know that it is already rumored that modern Intel CPUs or chipsets, have a secret, "hidden" 3G antenna, and that they can "phone home" using cell-phone internet. Whether this is currently true or not is up for debate
No, it really isn't.
 

Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
7,631
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Well, a fixed-line broadband subscription, gives better performance, but it's not neccesarily cheaper than 4G LTE internet. I signed up for $10/mo 4G LTE that is provided by Sprint. It's "unlimited", but "de-prioritized" after using 23GB in a month.
Hmm, Mobile Beacon does provide Sprint's 4G LTE at that price to low income individuals who qualify, so I admit prior ignorance. The individual buying their service must buy a hotspot from them though.
But it still makes more sense to use their hotspot for portability and allowing multiple devices to use it. I mean, you could turn a desktop into a makeshift WiFi hotspot in Windows, but that means leaving the computer on and manually restarting the hostednetwork in case devices suddenly can't access it or the computer had to be booted up again. The computer can't be taken into the car either.

.
 

teejee

Senior member
Jul 4, 2013
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I did a quick filter at a Swedish price comparison site: 275 out of 3915 laptops have 4G/LTE (and even more are 3G only). So it is a pretty common option already today.
 

Valantar

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2014
1,792
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PHY interface and antenna will still be needed and quite sure intel will restric this to more expensive cheapsets.

So budget boards will still be without wifi
I agree. If the rumors are true, I'd assume they apply to mobile chipsets first and foremost, then possibly high-end desktop chipsets or business/OEM chipsets like the Q series.

Making WiFi a standard feature on desktops simply doesn't make sense financially. It's still an added cost with no tangible benefit.

I did a quick filter at a Swedish price comparison site: 275 out of 3915 laptops have 4G/LTE (and even more are 3G only). So it is a pretty common option already today.
And how many of these are consumer models? From my experience, business laptops come in more SKUs than consumer models, and thus are slightly overrepresented in quick checks like this. And sure, anyone can buy a business laptop. They just don't.

I thought that there was a slide posted in the Skylake thread, that showed that Kaby Lake or Cannonlake chipsets were going to include WiFi in the base chipset now? Which is going to require an antenna. Which, conceivably, could allow 3G access as well.
They might end up doing that. But that would just be the modem/adapter itself. You'd still need a SIM card (or eSIM, which most providers don't yet support), external antennas and all the hardware required for these, especially 3G/4G, which (at least in phones) requires complex signal amplifiers and far higher transmit power than WiFi.

Also,with regards to the $40 Android 4G phone argument: those are feasible based on a few things.
1) Cheap SoCs with integrated modems - that are produced in the hundreds of thousands to millions to keep costs low.
2) Economies of scale in terms of phone production costs.
3) Lower prices due to not giving a sh*t about signal quality, software support, or anything outside of sticking it together and making it work.
4) Ad support and paid inclusion of software on the phone.

Very few/none of these would apply to a PC chipset. Sure, this would cost less than a 4G mini PCIe/m.2 card. But not that much less.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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I agree. If the rumors are true, I'd assume they apply to mobile chipsets first and foremost, then possibly high-end desktop chipsets or business/OEM chipsets like the Q series.

Making WiFi a standard feature on desktops simply doesn't make sense financially. It's still an added cost with no tangible benefit.
Isn't WiFi pretty much a feature on Mini-PCs? Even for home use, WiFi is much easier and cheaper to setup then running and installing Ethernet cables all over the place.
 

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