updated 12:35 pm EST, Fri February 4, 2011
Chrome OS upgrade allows 3G use beyond Verizon
An update to Chrome OS has quietly upgraded the Cr-48 to give it support for 3G over HSPA networks. The finding has let the Qualcomm Gobi modem connect to more than Verizon's EVDO network. While Hexxeh found it wasn't enabled by default, a shell command can flip it to HSPA and get it online through AT&T or another provider.
Some risks exist in the rough technique. No guarantees exist that the cellular link will keep working. Owners also need to know the carrier's settings if it doesn't work automatically. The service will also be more expensive since it requires paid access; Verizon's special deal for the Cr-48 supplies 100MB of free 3G every month and has discounted rates for increasing the cap.
The update hints that Google may start shipping the Cr-48 to other countries. Initial shipments to the media and other industry luminaries were limited to the US as the 3G wouldn't have worked at all in other countries. Google only has a limited batch and may keep supply in the country if supply demands.
Chrome OS notebooks for the wider public aren't due until mid-2011.