Unpaid bills? Good luck starting future laptops: Wireless carriers are subsidizing the cost of little netbooks. So, if a customer stops paying his wireless bill, they are introducing technology to remotely kill the machine.
LM Ericsson AB, the Swedish company that makes many of the modems that go into laptops, announced Tuesday that its new modem will deal with this issue by including a feature that’s virtually a wireless repo man. If the carrier has the stomach to do so, it can send a signal that completely disables the computer, making it impossible to turn on.
“We call it a ‘kill pill,’” said Mats Norin, Ericsson’s vice president of mobile broadband modules.