The Best Buy 4G WiMax will be called Best Buy ConnectSM and it will be compatible with 23 computing models it sells. This includes units from Asus, Dell, HP, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba. It’s unclear if this will be integrated in the computer itself or if it will be a USB dongle (more likely the second option).
“We’re finding that customers increasingly want choice in service providers for mobile broadband,” said Jed Stillman, vice president of Best Buy Connect, in a prepared statement. “Best Buy Connect is an end-to-end option that gives them the freedom to connect virtually, whenever or wherever, and the convenience of one point of contact – Best Buy – for selection and service.”
The Best Buy Connect 4G WiMax service will come with unlimited data for $45 a month and you’ll have the option of signing a two-year contract or going month-to-month. With the contract, the $35 activation fee will be waived and you can save up to $150 on some hardware.
In many ways, the retailer is working the carrier model with this 4G WiMax offering, as it will subsidize some of the hardware to extract a long-term revenue stream from the customers. This does kind of make sense for many laptops too, as more and more customers want Internet access wherever they go. The month-to-month option is actually pretty appealing for those who just want to check it out without paying for another long-term contract.
We should expect more of these types of offerings from Best Buy, as it has also inked deals with LightSquared for mobile data services. That satellite-based network will deliver 4G LTE services in the future, so look forward to the retailer offering all types of connected devices.