Your future laptop may soon be able to get online anywhere through LTE, thanks to the Gobi 4000, Qualcomm's latest mobile broadband module. This update to the Gobi 3000, pictured above, adds LTE to a wide variety of other supported networks, including HSPA+, EV-DO, and a variety of earlier standards. This will allow manufacturers to build products that can run on different networks using one module. Of course, just because a vendor can offer access to all these networks doesn't mean its products necessarily will — it simply makes support of multiple networks easier from a hardware standpoint.
The Gobi 4000 is based off of Qualcomm's MDM9600 chipset (which runs Verizon and AT&T's FDD-LTE standard and appears in devices like the HTC Thunderbolt), and the MDM9200, which supports TDD-LTE, something that should interest both China Mobile and Clearwire. As for which types of products will be running Gobi 4000, Qualcomm's initial focus is squarely on laptops, with Dell adding it to the Latitude E6420 and Lenovo bringing it to unspecified Thinkpad models. Qualcomm will also be supporting Android; we wouldn't be surprised to see Gobi 4000 chipsets in the next generation of tablets running on Verizon and AT&T's LTE networks. It should certainly be more elegant than Verizon and Motorola's Xoom LTE upgrade solution.