AT&T brings prepaid mobile data to netbooks, laptops

Netbooks and laptops get prepaid mobile broaband from AT&T
Netbooks and laptops get prepaid mobile broaband from AT&T

AT&T has just unveiled its prepaid mobile data plans for its netbooks and laptops. While I’m not a big fan of the pricing, I’m happy that you can get mobile data on the go without having to sign an onerous long-term contract.

Over at AT&T, you can check out what type of hardware will work with these plans and this includes Dell and Acer netbooks and laptops. The company also sells PC cards to plug in to your existing hardware.

As for pricing for AT&T prepaid mobile data, I believe it’s a bit pricey. $15 will get you 100 MB a day, $30 will get you 300 MB over the course of a week and $50 will get you up to 1 GB for a month. These all come with free access to AT&T hotspots, although those are already free at any Starbucks.

“Demand for high-functioning, lightweight, mobile computing devices remains strong among consumers and small business customers who want access to the Internet while on the go,” said David Haight, vice president, product development, AT&T emerging devices, in a prepared statement. “By offering the DataConnect Pass Plans, customers receive added value, choice and flexibility to decide when to consume data within the parameters of their personal budget, for a more consumer-centric and convenient experience.”

I say it’s a bit pricey because competitors offer cheaper options. Virgin Mobile recently introduced a plan that will get you unlimited data for $40 a month (okay, you’re probably capped at 5 GB, but that’s still not too bad).

Regardless of the pricing, it’s nice to see AT&T offer some non-contract mobile data plans. I could see this coming in handy if you already have some of the equipment and just need some some connectivity once in a while.

Doing what I do requires a lot of mobile data but I generally can find a WiFi hotspot without going too far. Still, I love having a 3G modem as a backup but hate the idea of another data contract. Let’s hope the other carriers soon follow suit.

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