T-Mobile gets into the game of laptop connections

Mar 25, 2009 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- T-Mobile USA is opening up its new cellular broadband network to laptops for the first time, with Wednesday's launch of a USB "dongle" that lets portable computers get wireless Internet access.

The plug-in device costs $50 with a two-year contract, or $100 if the buyer is signing up for one year. From then, service costs $60 per month for up to 5 gigabytes of traffic.

The prices are similar to those at the three larger cellular carriers. T-Mobile is playing catch-up to , AT&T Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. when it comes to building out a nationwide third-generation, or "" data .

T-Mobile inaugurated the network last year for the use of a few phones, most notably the G1 "Google phone." The network reached about 100 million people by the end of 2008, and T-Mobile plans for it to cover 200 million by the end of this year, said Jeremy Korst, T-Mobile's director of broadband products and services.

The USB dongle is made by Huawei Technologies Co., and represents the first order from a national U.S. carrier for this Chinese manufacturer. Huawei has already sold data cards and phones to regional players like MetroPCS Communications Inc.

T-Mobile subscribers using the dongle will get access to the company's network of 10,000 Wi-Fi hot spots at hotels, airports, and Borders book stores. They will also get free access at Starbucks shops, even though AT&T now operates those hot spots. Wi-Fi downloads are generally faster than 3G, and don't count toward the monthly traffic limit.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Key facts on US 'open Internet' regulation

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Some cell phones to get live NCAA tournament games

Mar 18, 2009

(AP) -- March Madness is in the air. To be more specific, it's on airwaves that certain AT&T and Verizon Wireless phones can pick up, letting them show live NCAA basketball tournament games this season.

Novatel Debuts Their Wireless MiFi Hotspot

Dec 09, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Novatel MiFi portable broadband hotspot card does the job of a 3G modem and wireless router combined. The MiFi can connect to either an EVDO Rev. A or HSPA signal. The connection is then ...

Recommended for you

Putting net neutrality in context

8 hours ago

After much litigation, public demonstration and deliberation, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3 to 2 to adopt open internet rules. While the substantive details of the decision are not yet known, the rules ...

Key facts on US 'open Internet' regulation

Feb 26, 2015

A landmark ruling by the US Federal Communications Commission seeks to enshrine the notion of an "open Internet," or "net neutrality." Here are key points:

FCC allows city-owned Internet providers to expand

Feb 26, 2015

(AP)—People in small communities may get better, cheaper access to the Internet after the Federal Communications Commission ruled Thursday that city-owned broadband services can expand into areas overlooked by commercial ...

Regulators move to toughen Internet provider rules

Feb 26, 2015

(AP)—Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile would have to act in the "public interest" when providing a mobile connection to your home or phone, under new rules being ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

earls
5 / 5 (1) Mar 25, 2009
"service costs $60 per month for up to 5 gigabytes of traffic."

Too much for too little.
VOR
not rated yet Mar 25, 2009
I mostly use home based internet and I have no need for a monthly mobile subscription. If they made a prepaid choice with minutes good for at least a year (like thier cellphone sevice I use in addition to a landline) I would buy it.
earls
not rated yet Mar 26, 2009
Well really, if you could just get a steady mobile internet connection, you could get rid of your cellphone (and all of the excess garbage associated with it) and use a VOIP client on a tablet (netbook sized) computer that supports bluetooth for a headset so you don't have to hold the computer itself up to your ear. ;)

That's exactly why these services are so expensive and so limited - they're dangerous to the current business model of the progenitors.

In time, wireless networks will meet or exceed "landlines" and you will be able to combine all of your services into one device with one access plan.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.