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Friday, November 28, 2008

Mobile broadband PCs with embedded 3G - pricing comparisons

Interesting to see that Dell in the US has announced the availability of Mini 9 netbooks with optional embedded 3G.

The optional extra cost is an interesting one though - $125. Of which $120 is refundable through AT&T if you take out a data plan starting at $60/month for 24 months. (The base price of the PC is $349 plus other options and taxes).

Makes the UK plan from Vodafone look pretty good value in comparison, at £25 / £30 (for 1GB or 3GB per month respectively) for 24 months - plus you get the embedded-3G PC for free.

Although it's still better value just to buy the PC and add a separate 3G dongle....

As a side note, the UK Dell site has an advertising banner from Vodafone which offers a free 30-day trial and half-priced optional internal modem. It says "Select the option to include the half price mobile broadband module with your notebook". Initially, all the laptop configuration pages I checked out on the site, didn't give a mobile broadband option, full-price or otherwise. Then I found one which suggested the option would cost £50, but it was unclear whether this was the half-price or the full-price amount. And then when I selected it, it told me "Errors: The selection - Wireless Label (Dell Wireless Cards)- Core 2 Duo is incompatible with Wireless Networking ". Yes, this embedded module approach is so much easier than using a dongle.....

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Separate dongle + non-embedded laptop/netbook is definitely the way forward. I just went to a Vodafone store and upgraded my phone to a Nokia E71. I then literally had a dongle shoved down my throat to go with my contract phone. They offered m half-price line rental over a 12-month contract for 3Gb per month. So instead of £15 per month, I'm paying £7.50. £7.10 x 12 = £90 contract service charge assuming I don't exceed the limit. To top it off, they then gave me a free dongle (not old inventory, but the latest Option 7.2/2.4 HSDPA/HSUPA USB stick) AND £75 of bill credit to take off my future bills. I therefore have a net investment of just £15 over the course of the contract.

I'm not sure how much dongles are wholesaling at, but it's fair to say that Vodafone have come good on their intention to push retention over acquisition.