This weekend I ran the results of a poll suggesting that respondents in the United States were more interested in potential netbook features touchscreens, dual core processors, and discrete graphics cards than integrated 3G modems.
Some people were surprised at the results, but not me. You know why? Because 3G data plans in the US are expensive, costing $40 to $60 a month. And that’s typically on top of the money you already pay for home internet service and a mobile phone voice plan. In other words, you could wind up paying a $100/month to your wireless service provider (for your mobile phone and 3G netbook plan) and $50 or so a month to get broadband internet access at home.
I think as long as customers have to pay full price for each internet service plan, it’s going to be hard to convince them to add new services. But what if you could get 3G service letting you use your netbook on the go for $10 above and beyond the price of your home DSL or cable modem plan? Or as an extra charge tacked onto your existing mobile phone bill?
That’s what the analysts at Light Reading Insider think could happen. They’ve put out a $900 report on the impact of netbooks on mobile broadband, but you can read some of the highlights for free. What do you think? Do you expect mobile carriers to bundle services and bring down the costs in the hopes of signing up new customers? Or do you think they’ll try to milk the separate revenue streams for as much as they can?