In addition to the new laptops HP announced today, the company also introduced a pre-paid 3G mobile broadband service. The new service, known as DataPass is available in the US on HP’s business notebooks. With DataPass, users will be able to purchase wireless broadband data using major mobile carriers without being tied to a contract. DataPass users will also benefit by avoiding set-up fees.
HP DataPass pricing starts at $5 for 75 megabytes for a duration of 5 hours. Although this pricing may not appeal to heavy users, that’s not the point. The service targets smaller businesses who can’t justify the regular monthly cost of a 3G mobile broadband subscription and who only use the mobile connection occasionally.
Although the pricing won’t compete with a subscription-based plan, the idea of offering more flexibility for customers is definitely something we expect some businesses will appreciate. High speed data coverage is still somewhat limited. Here’s a look at the current coverage map: