HP Mini 1101
HP Mini 1101

HP is hardly the first company to pack a modem into its netbooks that will let users connect to the internet over a cellular connection. But while most of these 3G-enabled netbooks are sold through telecoms that require customers to sign up for a multi-year service contract, HP has announced plans to offer wireless computers contract-free in Japan starting next month.

According to Business Week, users who purchase the laptops, netbooks, and touchscreen tablets will get 100 minutes of free airtime. For more, you’ll be able to pay-as-you-go. The computers could sell for as low as $50 to $100 in an attempt to attract customers.

The move means that HP won’t have to split revenue with the company’s existing wireless carriers, and that could lead to a whole new business model for PC makers like HP. Right now, the company sells hardware and support services. But this move could open HP up to new ongoing source of revenue.

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One reply on “HP becomes wireless carrier in Japan, will offer no-contract wireless PCs”

  1. Now that sounds like communications history repeated . . .
    I do not have any figures, but HP most likely has a world-wide
    high capacity digital network in-place for the company’s use.

    Selling a few bits and bytes to people who want to talk over it. . .

    The “history repeated” part . . .
    In the US – after MCI lead the way with their “shared private” system
    from Chicago to St. Louis – –
    Companies with communications networks already in place jumped on
    the bandwagon of selling long distance telephone calls. Using available
    communications capacity.
    Western Union and Southern Pacific Corporation (SPC, where the Sprint
    tradename comes from) where two of the notables.

    So it would not be an unprecedented business move to put VoIP on your
    existing capacity digital network. Just wait for GM to get the idea. 😉
    (GM’s private network is second in capacity to only the Defense Comm. Agency).

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