HP unveils DataPass pay-as-you-go, contract-free mobile broadband

HP is launching a new contract-free mobile broadband service called DataPass. At first it will be available on a handful of HP business laptops including the new HP ProBook 5330m and EliteBook 2560p and 2760p models launching today. Eventually you’ll be able to use DataPass on any HP consumer or business notebook configured with a 3G modem.

Here’s how it works. You can sign up for between 5 hours and 30 days of access with prices ranging from $5 to $30. While the service currently runs on Sprint’s network, you don’t have to sign up for any sort of Sprint service. Instead you pay HP directly and manage your service using the HP connection Manager on your notebook. Eventually HP is likely to branch out to offer coverage from other service providers in addition to Sprint to help flesh out its network.

Each service tier offers time and bandwidth limits. For instance, when you pay $30 you get either 30 days of access or 1GB of data transfer, whichever comes first. That’s not necessarily the best bargain around — but when you consider the fact that there are no signup or cancellation fees, it’s not bad for users who only occasionally need 3G access.

You can find the complete pricing rundown after the break:

Price Bandwidth Time
$5 75MB 5 Hours
$10 150MB 3 Days
$20 450MB 14 Days
$30 1GB 30 Days