Intel and Ericsson have said they can protect stolen laptops by sending an SMS to the device, rendering it useless.
The two companies have made Ericsson's mobile broadband modules - which add built-in support for HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) to laptops - interoperable with Intel's Anti-Theft PC Protection Technology, part of the Intel Centrino 2 with vPro package.
Adding support for mobile networks increases the usefulness of Intel's Anti-Theft PC Protection Technology, according to Johan Falk, Strategic Relationship Management at Intel.
For the collaboration to yield useful results the work has to be integrated into what Ericsson calls a theft management service, which will become available during the second half of next year.
The service will be able to send an SMS to the mobile broadband module inside the notebook, which then securely transfers the message to Intel's Anti-Theft function inside the processor, which takes appropriate actions.
The service will also be able to take advantage of built-in GPS support in the Ericsson mobile broadband module. The location function could, for example, be used to lock the computer when it moves outside a predefined area.
Here the two companies are working with Phoenix Technologies and Absolute Software.
The existing version of Computrace for Intel Anti-Theft PC Protection from Absolute Software can remotely delete data, using customized commands that target specific files or wipes the device clean, before disabling the computer.
Currently, it works with select Lenovo ThinkPad T400 models.
In February, Lenovo became Ericsson's first mobile broadband module customer. Since then, Dell and Toshiba have also signed up.