T-Mobile appeals with free 4G in laptops; no-contract unlimited smartphone data

T-Mobile motorcycle girl

T-Mobile is making a bid to get new customers trying its mobile broadband network: The company is including free wireless data services in select new Windows 8 laptops. Dell and HP are the first to partner with T-Mobile to give laptop owners 200 MB of free wireless service per month for two years in the 4G Connect offering. For handset owners, T-Mobile’s 4G Unlimited plan goes contract-free, allowing consumers to use the service without any commitment.

The carrier announced the news on Tuesday at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show, noting that its 4G Unlimited plan is the most popular: 46 percent of T-Mobile customers last month chose the $70 plan that provides unlimited voice, messages and data on T-Mobile’s network. And it’s a busy network. T-Mobile says that each day, 32 million songs are streamed and Facebook is visited 1.8 billion times.

T-Mobile’s new laptop partnerships will offer a taste of that network as well. The new 4G Connect offering will start on the Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook and HP Pavilion dm1 laptop. Qualcomm’s Gobi modem chip enables the connection, which T-Mobile says is easier to use than Wi-Fi because it’s a “walk out working” type of service.

Once the monthly data allotment of 200 MB is used up, customers can opt for additional data starting at $10 for 1 GB of service. T-Mobile expects the 4G Connect program to expand across various other tablets and notebooks priced at $499 or higher, including some future Windows RT products.

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