If you look to your left, you’ll se our list of wireless Internet providers. Populating the list for the U.S. are the usual suspects: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint. They’re the Big Three, the companies which have by far the most cellular subscribers in the nation. Missing from the list is No. 4 T-Mobile, which lags a bit behind Sprint, though they’re still pretty far apart. T-Mobile, to this point, has not offered mobile broadband services on their newly-minted 3G network. It looks like that will all change on March 25, when rumor has it that the company will launch their Huawei webConnect USB Laptop Stick. Not all is fine and dandy, though, with this launch.
The first and most glaring concern is that only current T-Mo cellular subscribers will be eligible for the mobile broadband plan. Perhaps the carrier wants to intentionally limit the number of broadband connections they make, since they don’t have the largest 3G network right now. Perhaps this is a measure to test the capacity of their network, and they’re bestowing the privilege on their loyal current users. That’s fine and good. However, unless they have expansion plans, this might not work out for them as planned.
That’s because of the second issue: the pricing. It’ll be $59.99 for 5GB of data, same as AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile has the value-add of their Wi-Fi hotspots, but so does AT&T. So it might not matter if they only offer the service to current subscribers — few if any people would be interested in switching to get a similar service for the same price.
Still, it’s good to see the last of the Big Four entering the broadband fray. Maybe, just maybe after T-Mobile establishes their service they can drop the price and gain a wider audience.