BT Group introduced packages earlier this week that add mobile broadband to home services such as voice, web and video that it provides to customers. By coming out with a combined mobile and fixed broadband package, it’s mirroring a trial plan offered by AT&T and recognizing that mobile broadband can be a good complement to wired broadband, especially as consumers start adding netbooks and other mobile devices to their lives.
If such offerings take off, AT&T and Verizon have an obvious advantage, but smaller carriers such as T-Mobile and Sprint could stand to benefit if other ISPs want to resell time on their networks. For example, BT is reselling mobile access from Vodafone to create its package.
The trend may also push the cable companies to offer combined fixed and mobile broadband packages using WiMAX through their partnership with Clearwire. If ISPs adopt a variety of different mobile broadband services for their packages, it underscores the need for consumers to carefully evaluate what type of mobile broadband works for them.