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Orange in mobile broadband promotion
Tuesday 19 August 2008 13:53:23 by Andrew Ferguson

The number of people using mobile broadband dongles for internet access when out and about and at home is on the increase. Orange is trying to improve its customer numbers by launching a mobile broadband with laptop bundle for £25 a month.

The mobile broadband is supplied via a USB dongle and comes with 3GB of data allowance, plus 100 free texts. The charges for going over the allowance are high compared to ADSL services at 1.46 pence per MB (£15 per GB). If abroad every MB used is charged at £3 per MB in Europe and £6.46 per MB elsewhere. The laptop is an Asus Eee PC 900 with Windows XP and 16GB of solid state storage, weighing just 0.99kg. Orange value the laptop at £299.

The 24 month contract is lengthy, and while people may find that their Internet access easily fits in the 3GB a month currently, if switching from dial-up the tendency is for people to consume more audio and video eating into the allowance quickly. With the same mobile deal from Orange available for £15 a month, then under this new deal you are effectively paying £240 for the laptop, and a little bit of looking reveals other Eee computers with varying specifications from £160 to £300.

At this time we are aware of only one mobile broadband provider that does not charge extra if you go over the bundled data allowance, and that is T-Mobile who instead restrict usage once over the limit. If mobile broadband is to succeed and not be a flash in the pan, the various providers need to address the massive costs of going over the bundled data allowance, and make it very clear when using the device abroad what the costs of access are. At £3 per MB, just checking your email a couple of times while on holiday could easily set you back £10 to £20.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"The laptop is an Asus Eee PC 900 with Windows XP and 16GB of solid state storage, weighing just 0.99kg. Orange value the laptop at £299."

Orange have obviously been at the crack pipe... Even the top end EeePC900 range with a 20GIG SSD suggested retail price by asus thereself does NOT exceed £269 INC VAT. The 16GIG SSD models have a suggested retail price of £229...
http://uk.asus.com/440/html/share/0/txt/257/EeePCPriceList.xls
As usual a complete sham of a broadband/Laptop deal.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Look around and score the net and you can get one under £200... As for their charges per Mb and 24 month contract... I assume that was just another hit of whatever it is they are smoking
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Smoking? It's a perfectly good scam, Carpet
Posted by Rroff over 8 years ago
On the flipside... for someone who just wants internet access without ties (other than contract) to use email, facebook, check the lottery, etc. etc. they get a handy compact laptop and internet access for £25 a month - its not such a bad deal for someone like my sister who would otherwise have to go out spend £400 or so in one go on a laptop (or do it on finance) and signup for internet at almost the same price anyway.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"...to use email, facebook, check the lottery, etc. etc. they get a handy compact laptop and internet access for £25 a month - its not such a bad deal."
If your sister wants a EeePC i suggest she uses price compare sites and finds on over £100 cheaper than what orange think they cost.... As for facebook lol you better hope she doesnt exceed the cap and have to pay for uploading piccys, widgets and similar.... That 25 quid could soon become 100 quid.
Posted by bosie over 8 years ago
Instead of giving away a free laptop, why didn't they just increase the usage allowance at least 10 fold? Now that would be different.
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
Wrt EEE prices: bear in mind the prices that you see advertised are retail prices for one laptop and Orange will surely be paying out less than that when they buy laptops in bulk?

TANSTAAFL aka There ain't no such thing as a free laptop. Applies whether it be from Orange, CPW, PCW, or whoever's latest broadband deal offers "free" addons.
Posted by Rroff over 8 years ago
I was using it as an example... and yes it would be better to shop around... but for someone without a huge amount of ready cash it could be a good idea without paying out loads on a finance deal.
Posted by rian over 8 years ago
Definitly avoid Orange. I remembered its mobile broadbane is rather slow and the 24 months lengthy contract is unreasonable.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
PC World have them at £299.99 so the price comparison is not unreasonable. Ebuyer have one at the same price - EEEPC901-W007X 8.9IN Intel Atom 1GB 12GB Bluetooth, WLAN N 1.3M Webcam Windows XP (Preloaded) - so you have to look hard at the precise spec.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
The real issue with this mobile broadband for home use is what performance you will actually get as I suspect the contention ratio is in the thousands to 1.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"There ain't no such thing as a free laptop."
Very wise, short and accurate :)
quote"The real issue with this mobile broadband for home use is what performance you will actually get as I suspect the contention ratio is in the thousands to 1."
Not only that Herdwick but its onlu UPTO 1.8Mb anyway a windows xp partition can also range from 5gig to 10gig once you start installing and uninstalling things (throw on MS office and bye bye drive space) The 16gig SSD i imagine for anything near half serious use wont satisfy... EeePc's are not really designed to be a main machine.
Posted by rian over 8 years ago
Got to point out the EPC's SSD speed is rather slow. Very much the same speed as a high speed pen drive. And Intel Atom processor is very slow for multimedia uses.
Posted by Rroff over 8 years ago
The SSD on the Eee is about 4x faster than an average pen drive... around 29MB/s which isn't stunning compared to 60-80MB/s you'd get on the average HDD but perfectly acceptable for most useage. I've not tried the Atom model but my 900MHz Celeron-M version is quite capable of playing back mpeg4/xvid at reasonable resolution and can even play a lot of older games like quake 3, etc. with reasonable performance.
Posted by rian over 8 years ago
Once again, It depends on which spec pen drive u are comparing. I didn't say it's not acceptable but just want to let ppl know don't expecting too much from EPC. The VIA's CPU is much better than the atom
Posted by zebedee over 8 years ago
I am reading this on my eee pc 900 (Linux version w/ 4G/20G Drives) in Bucharest (Romania) atm using a Vodaphone (Huawei) 3G Dongle (included in price of rental of apartment!) with very acceptable speed. This morning I transferred abt 15 mins of video and a shedload of Pics from Panny FZ18 to the eee HDD with no problems and last night my lady friend here and I watched Gavin and Stacey series streamed from external Lacie USB HDD with no probems. Last time I came I had a laptop weighing almost 3Kg in my hand luggage. The eee weighs 1Kg. Don't knock the eee pc until you have tried one :)
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Rroff - Except the battery life dosn't really benefit from the SSD so the tradeoff is simply that it's more expensive than it need to be if it just had the bigger hard disk.
Posted by Rroff over 8 years ago
Thats partly because to be that small the Eee has to have a much smaller battery than many laptops - the new Atoms have much better battery life tho, the older 700 series have pathetic battery life for SSD even taking the smaller battery into account.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Rroff - No, I mean that the Eee with a hard disk has the same battery life as the one with the SSD in the same range.
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