This is a new option to join T-Mobile’s “Mobile Broadband Max” cellular data plan, available wherever T-Mobile reception is found in the UK. You can use up to 3GB/month of bandwidth before T-Mobile throttles you, or contacts you about adjusting your plan. It also includes unlimited access at T-Mobile Wifi Hotspots. Skype and other VOIP calls are permitted using the service.
You can pay £2/day or prepay for a month and surf the web for as little as £.67/day! Compare to Fon Wifi at €3/day. Access is provided by using compatible T-Mobile handsets as a modem, or a USB modem/memory stick costing £49.99.
T-Mobile says a contract is not necessary, but mentions 12-24 month contracts, credit checks, and 30-day cancellation requirements. It’s possible this is simply a try-before-contract deal, but the rates are almost the same under contract.
This is a compelling alternative to Fon and other for-pay wifi providers. Though there may be an up-front cost for the modem, the daily usage fees are far lower, and service availability is guaranteed much higher.
It would be wonderful to have this in the USA. I would not hesitate to join a service like this, to have the freedom to bike out on the trails with my laptop, headset and modem. I’d do a little telecommuting work while sitting under a cedar tree on a cliff top overlooking the river valley. Our beautiful Barton Creek area is surrounded by upscale homes, so cellular reception there is excellent. Of course, i’d experiment with ways to boost my signal, just for the geeky fun of it. 😉
As my eyes rest upon my shelf full of blinking Fon merchandise, I am wondering what Fon will do to respond to this new service? Lower their rates? A new Fon E-Partnership with T-Mobile or AT&T?
I’ve also had my eye on the Fon hotspots in my city. Since I last checked, most of them have gone dead! I’ve been visiting my closest Fonero neighbors and learning why this is. I will blog about this in the near future.
Update: Thanks b250, for pointing out that I used € where actually £ is indicated.