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Summary:

As the PC and communications industries converge, among the biggest impediments to true interactive mobile computing are the carriers’ business models. The current prices and plans for mobile broadband access are expensive and inflexible. If the technology and communications industries want consumers to buy (and use […]

As the PC and communications industries converge, among the biggest impediments to true interactive mobile computing are the carriers’ business models. The current prices and plans for mobile broadband access are expensive and inflexible. If the technology and communications industries want consumers to buy (and use the web via) laptops, mobile Internet devices and/or some type of smartphone, they need to offer a price plan for data that doesn’t involve paying $45-$60 a month for 5GB a month on each gadget.

Using a USB modem is one way to share a data plan between computers, but then you’re still paying for access on a smartphone. But business models look to be changing. Sprint yesterday added a 3G laptop data connection to its Simply Everything plan, which means a user will pay $149.99 per month for data on their handset and on their laptop. Mblox, which processes mobile transactions, is trialing a service in the UK with four content providers to price the cost of the broadband into a download, much like Amazon does with its Kindle product.

And perhaps less exciting is how, as Om pointed out, carriers are attempting to sell your data as an ever-more invasive way to finance the strain all this mobile computing creates on their networks. When it came to the wired web, carriers offered unlimited plans and cheaper access to jump-start demand for broadband over dial-up. As people take them up on that offer of truly unlimited broadband, we’re seeing the carriers pull back with tiered plans and broadband caps. With the mobile web, carriers are weighing as many alternatives as they can before accepting dump pipe status again.

  1. This is the very reason I have decided not to get involved with the mobile craze at this time. My friends spend an enormous amount of time on their mobile devices while paying hefty service fees.

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  2. re: “My friends spend an enormous amount of time on their mobile devices”

    Which is precisely why we love them and are happy to pay for the services. What has our country come to when we heavily criticize company’s for offering serivces for a fee but applaud a socialistic ‘president’ (lower case p is intentional…) for spending trillions of our dollars and putting us even further in debt?

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    1. Wow, way to regurgitate Republican talking points. I didn’t realize this was a political site. Like Obama or not, he is your President (upper case “P” intentional).

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  3. dwit

    doubleYouTeeF? keep you political views to yourself and if you dont like our president, no one is making you stay in this country. keep the discussion to overpriced broadband providers trying to sell your info to mitigate their costs. F them… Do you think the asian countries are paying this price for the same type of broadband access, you moron?

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  4. [...] networks are deployed, carriers are considering how to protect their data services revenue. They don’t want to make the mistakes made in the broadband wireless world that led to ISPs becoming dumb pipes. They also have to [...]

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  5. [...] coming up with a decent integrated service offering, AT&T has listened to my pleas for combined pricing to truly drive mobile broadband adoption. Now it needs to boost capacity and speeds on its network [...]

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