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Pay-As-You-Go Mobile Broadband

12:20 PM -- Verizon Wireless announced on March 29 a pay-as-you-go option for people buying notebooks with integrated EV-DO capability. The cost is $15 for a 24-hour period. This allows the operator to compete on a pricing basis with wireless hotspots and other temporary broadband options such as at hotels.

I applaud this pricing option and believe it will be quite popular. There are many professionals, myself included, who don’t travel enough to justify the $60 monthly unlimited plans that are currently the norm for 3G wireless-data services. Even though the new Verizon plan only takes four days to reach $60, and realizing that $60/month is only $2/day, not having the recurring monthly expense, and having the freedom to pay for the service as you need it is attractive.

With some hotels charging about $10/day for their broadband services, and others offering it for free, the service only makes sense for people wanting connectivity from a wide variety of locations. And the emphasis needs to be on “wide,” because WiFi hotspot service from companies like T-Mobile US Inc. is only $9.99 per day, and, all other things being equal, I prefer a WiFi connection over a wide-area connection from a performance standpoint.

I am curious, however, why the service is only available for notebook computers with integrated EV-DO and not for users with EV-DO PC card modems. Perhaps it’s an interim approach for logistical reasons, or perhaps it's to encourage sales of the laptops with integrated EV-DO capability.

Incidentally, I’m a big fan of integrated 3G because of generally better radio performance, ease of setup, and ease of use. Over time, because the pay-as-you-go type of pricing plan simply makes good sense, I’m relatively confident that it will broaden to other types of devices and that it will be adopted by other operators.

— Peter Rysavy is President of Rysavy Research . Special to Unstrung

sokolov 12/5/2012 | 3:57:59 AM
re: Pay-As-You-Go Mobile Broadband The WiFi-prices are ridiculuos. 15$ for one day! That way, there will never be mass take up.
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