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Free laptops to promote mobile broadband
Friday 18 July 2008 12:28:22 by Andrew Ferguson

Time for people looking for mobile broadband solutions to get the calculators out to decide whether the next round of free laptop deals that are on the way from 3 are worth taking.

MobileToday.co.uk reveals that in addition to 3 offering a free laptop in an offer starting in August 2008, Vodafone and Orange are not far behind also. There looks to be three price points on the 3 offer of £30, £35 and £40 with a usage allowance of 5GB. The different prices are down to the choice of three HP laptops which apparently includes the Pavilion DV6000. In terms of price per GB this is higher than fixed line broadband and carries a lengthy 24 month contract.

Mobile broadband with a free laptop as an incentive is not new, Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U have both ran schemes as retailers, but now we are seeing the network providers entering the game.

Mobile broadband is great if you are in an area that supports 3G or faster speeds, but our own experience on places like trains or as a passenger in a car is that GPRS speeds are an all too common experience. The biggest concern is what happens once you breach the 5GB allowance, if traditional per MegaByte pricing of £1/MB applies then exceeding your bundled allowance will quickly run up a heart stopping bill.

So while mobile broadband avoids the cost and hassle of obtaining a fixed line contract, for those looking to embrace the growing ability to watch TV shows over broadband or download films, a 5GB data allowance will soon vanish (a 60 minute TV show is around 0.5GB of data allowance). Similar issues occur with some of the cheaper fixed line broadband deals, so while many places are promising to save people £100's a year by switching, be careful that any new deal will support your usage habits.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"The different prices are down to the choice of three HP laptops which apparently includes the Pavilion DV6000. In terms of price per GB this is higher than fixed line broadband and carries a lengthy 24 month contract."
£40 x 24 months = £960
HP pavillion DV6820 (high spec than they offer AFAIK) = 489 quid http://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/HP_Pavilion_DV6820EA_KW103EA/version.asp
so its more like paying for the lappy and £20 a month broadband... not what i call "FREE"
Posted by DWRumble over 8 years ago
It's like most mobile (and some other)
tariffs - you can't tell which is the cheapest until you've actually used it.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
The only advantage to this deal is if you want a cheap laptop but cant afford it outright this will basically allow you to pay for it in installments. The broadband side of things is pretty pointless (certainly shouldnt use it as you main connection) speeds too slow, price too high, caps too low. Nearly every landline deal is better value
Posted by doughnut77 over 8 years ago
The £40 a month tariff isn't simply for the laptop, it's the broadband service plus the laptop, something like an extra £10 a month for the laptop, so £10x24 = £240 for the hardware - not bad actually. Credit limits are also in place on these contracts to prevent 'bill shock' - these limits can also be voluntarily set by the customer themselves.
Posted by doughnut77 over 8 years ago
As a heavy user it wouldn't suit me - but for email/browsy type users I imagine it would be quite good. Since 3's deal to share T-Mobile's UK 3G network at the end of last year, coverage is the best 3G you'll get in the UK, with 90%+ penetration. By 2009, 3's network coverage will have grown to become the largest in Europe.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"The £40 a month tariff isn't simply for the laptop"

Errrr what do you think my first post showed?
Posted by robbieglover2k7 over 8 years ago
This just reminds me of the whole AOL thing, where you get tied into a contract & soon as you are get no help & not a very good service no more.

I think the saying "If it sounds too good to be true then it's probably not right" make sense in these cases.
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