BlackBerry Desktop Manager will soon have a new feature, IP Modem, which will allow you to tether your BlackBerry to your laptop as a wireless IP modem. (Actually already available in a leaked version of BDM 126.96.36.199)
Tethering your BlackBerry to your laptop to be used as a wireless modem is not a new or novel idea. Verizon, with their Mobile Broadband Connect has supported this (with an additional monthly fee) on various BlackBerry devices for years. Other carriers do as well and there are programs like TetherBerry that make this a reality without the extra fee from the carrier.
What will be interesting to see is what kind of model RIM implements (or is forced to implement) based on edicts from the carriers on that often charge for tethering. Carriers, for the most part, have left subscribers using applications like TetherBerry alone. Will carriers, however, take the same hands off approach when wireless tethering opens up to the masses as just an upgrade to BlackBerry Desktop Manager?
I am guessing probably not…