January 17, 2006

Wireless data cards: A giveaway strategy

The IHT reports on a novel giveaway strategy by T-Mobile, Europe's second-largest cellphone operator after Vodafone.

"To lift sales of its high-speed wireless data cards, T-Mobile is planning to package the cards in a sleek, new wrapper: a laptop computer made by Fujitsu Siemens.

T-Mobile will sell the laptops, equipped with built-in data cards that will get subscribers access to T-Mobile's third-generation wireless network, at T-Punkt retail shops in Germany. With such a 3G data card plugged in, a computer can use the mobile phone airwaves to link to the Internet wherever there is a cell signal.

Ramona Stahl, a T-Mobile spokeswoman, would not confirm a report in the German business magazine Capital that the computers would sell for just E100, or $120, compared with a standard retail price of E1,000 to E3,000. She said T-Mobile had not yet determined the price. But as with most mobile phones sold in Europe, the price of the laptops will be subsidized by the carrier, she said"

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