Vodafone UK’s latest netbook deal highlights two main differences between the European and American markets. Here we haven’t seen many high-end subsidized netbooks bundled with broadband service. Typically, the deals here include a base model from HP. I’ve called for more choice if we’re going to subsidize netbooks here. In fact, one of the brands I mentioned in that point was Samsung. That’s the brand that Vodafone UK is offering for free. It’s your basic netbook, but the NC10 does offer excellent battery life — upwards of six to seven hours. Just beating out Sprint’s (s) 99-cent deal, this Samsung NC10 is fully subsidized and free, provided you pair it with a two-year data plan. And that illustrates the second difference.
Vodafone UK gives customers two options to gain a free netbook. Both are two-year deals, just like we see here in the U.S. The difference is in the two tiers of pricing and throughput. For a free NC10 netbook, customers can pay 25 pounds ($40.26) a month for 1GB of data or 30 pounds a month for 3GB. We have two tiers here as well, but most folks opt for the second because the first is woefully inadequate. For $39.99 a month, we can nab between 200MB and 250MB a month, depending on the carrier. We can opt for that small sip or we can gulp a 5GB cap for $59.99 a month. There is no in between, and for most folks, it simply makes sense to pay the extra $20 for up to 25 times more monthly throughput.
Not only does the EU have my beloved Tour de France, but it has better mobile broadband deals as well. I think I’m going to move.