Free Laptop mobile broadband

October 22, 2008 by  

Please read this post for guidance on receiving a free laptop with your mobile broadband. If you think this mobile broadband offer is for you then please visit PC World.

Post summary: Nothing in life is actually free, but, if you don’t currently have a laptop and would like to have mobile broadband on the go then do try the PC World offer. The deal works out to be just under £1.50 per day (over a 2 year period) for you to have a laptop capable of receiving mobile broadband. On this mobile broadband offer you will be able to surf the web for about 3 hours per day just about anywhere – the local cafe, the park, even on the train or bus.

Somethings aren’t as good as they sound

I read in the news yesterday that the sales of free laptop mobile broadband, or, broadband deals where you get a free laptop when you sign up to mobile broadband. Apparently, the laptop offers are going to be huge sellers on the way up to Christmas. I guess it does make sense if you want to give a loved one a laptop this Christmas (especially during le credit crunch) that you get to give them a gift on Christmas day and then pay for the ongoing costs of the mobile broadband for as long as you want to.

Now – getting a free laptop sounds like a great deal to me. But. And there is a very big BUT. Do you really get free laptop or is this too good to be true?

Free laptop? Too good to be true?

If there is anything to be learned from the credit crunch is is that sometimes things appear to good to be true but so so long as you read the small print you are less likely to get a nasty surprise

Intrigued by the offer of a free laptop I popped into my local PC World today. It took a while to get served but I felt that getting advice from their in-store ‘mobile broadband expert’ should be waited for – else I might miss out on the free deal of the century!

The PC World member of staff was actually pretty helpful. He said that I could get online with a mobile broadband dongle and my existing laptop for £10 per month on 3 broadband, and for £15 per month on T-mobile and Vodafone. If I signed for a contract for 18 or 24 months then I would likely get the mobile broadband dongle for free and I would receive 1 gig of data transfer per month (or according to the technician, “about 3 hours of surfing per day”).

But what about my free laptop?

Aha! There’s nothing free about this free laptop offer. No, in order to get the free laptop with mobile broadband you would need to be on a whopping £45 per month contract. By the time you get up to this level, you will get a “free” laptop if you sign up to a 24 month contract on one of the provider mobile broadband deals.

Is the Free laptop with mobile broadband a good deal?

No – Not when you first think about it.

So for a 24 month mobile broadband contract at £45 – which is a staggered, 2 year outlay of £1,080 – I could have walked out of the shop with a laptop worth £400 and a mobile broadband connection for 2 years – GREAT! But then how much is that mobile broadband costing me? After you take away £400 for the laptop that works out to be £680 over 24 months or £28.33 per month. Now £28 per month sounds pretty expensive to me (I can get broadband at home for around £10 per month).

Yes – its a bargain at £1 per day.

But. When you break it down into a daily cost of £1 to have access to the internet anywhere I can get a mobile reception, and, I get a free laptop! Now when you put it like that, the mobile broadband laptop offer sounds pretty tempting.

What are the mobile broadband alternative options?

If you already have a laptop and want to keep it.

If like me, you already have a laptop, what do you make of this offer? Well assuming your laptop is serviceable, you could just go out, sign a 12-month contract with 3 mobile broadband and pay £15 per month (or £180 for the year). You would have £900 cash still in your pocket and no tie-in to the same mobile broadband provider for the following 12 months.

If you already have a laptop and fancy creating you own ‘free laptop’ offer.

If you laptop is a bit worn out or you just fancy a shiny new one, you could tell your other half that you got a “free laptop with your mobile broadband contract”… but gloss over the true reality.

In reality, you have seen the laptop of your dreams so you either sign-up to PC World’s 24-month mobile broadband offer and accept their £450 off “any laptop you choose”. Or you create your own package.

In my case, I would convince myself that it was going to cost me £1,080 over a 24 month period to have the PC World laptop offer so why don’t I just go out and buy myself a dongle with 12-month contract for £180 and then go and blow £900 on a laptop of my choice. I’d wait until year-2 before I needed to worry my conscience about paying for the 2nd year of the mobile broadband contract.

Free laptop with mobile broadband at PC World

Mobile broadband growth

July 3, 2008 by  

Sales of mobile broadband dongles are soaring. All the major mobile broadband providers in the UK are now offering broadband on the go. Because the costs of mobile broadband are much cheaper, UK customers are leaving their landline based broadband providers in droves.

The estimated migration rate of customers joining the mobile broadband revolution has been put as high as 50,000 new UK mobile broadband users per month. Now that sounds like an over-estimation to us at Go Broadband, but, the mobile broadband providers must be doing something right!

Why choose mobile broadband

The reason so many UK internet users are choosing to use mobile broadband over traditional, landine connection appears to be:

The price – mobile broadband contracts are significantly cheaper than landline connection. Mobile broadband prices start from as liitle as £10 per month (3 broadband’s pay-as-you-go service called “broadband on the go”).

The flexibility – most mobile broadband providers offer pay-as-you-go services and billing. This is great for users that don’t want to budget for a 12 month contract.

Mobile broadband – you can use a mobile broadband dongle anywhere you can receive a mobile phone reception. This means you can use the broadband service while you are on the move (even on a train or bus – think how your mobile phone normally remains connected if you are not moving too quickly).

Rural Broadband – Not everyone has the privalege of super-fast urban broadbnd speeds. Those that live out in rural areas or the the wilds of the UK, are often located too far from a BT exchange to get fast broadband connections. Often mobile broadband is the solution.

What is a Mobile dongle?

Very simple. It is a USB dongle that plugs into your computer – just like a USB pen. The broadband dongle has a mobile phone SIM card in it. The dongle allows you to connect to the mobile internet from anywhere you can receive a mobile phone reception.

Mac Broadband UK

April 29, 2007 by  

Appologies for the lack of blog posts recently. I have been working on a new website. It is about getting broadband for your mac computer. I noticed how difficult it was to find information about how to select a broadband isp for macs – it seems that lots of the UK providers are useless at helping mac users.

So here it is. Or at least here it will be – Looking to find mac compatible broadband then visit – Mac Broadband.

Mac Broadband

April 29, 2007 by  

Our new venture – Mac Broadband UK – is climbing up the Google ranks. It had good positioning on Google for the phrase MacBroadband from day 1 but that wasn’t the term we were after.

Our aim with the Mac Broadband UK website is to help UK Apple-mac users find the best mac compatible broadband providers to it needs to rank well on Google for the search phrase ‘Mac broadband‘.

The Mac BB website was nowhere in week 1 – only just ranking in the top 100 on Google. But 1 re-index later and Google appears to have crawled most of the Mac Broadband UK holding-website and the site is now popping up on page-2, position 18.

UK Broadband arrests for accessing open broadband networks

April 19, 2007 by  

Two Redditch residents have become among the first in the country to be arrested for tapping into wireless broadband without expressed permission.

Both individuals were cautioned for dishonestly using internet services without intention to pay (wardriving or piggybacking) but it is believed there is no connection between the the individuals.

The incidents have served to raise awareness among local residents about what is a growing trend in the UK.

PC Tony Humphreys, from West Mercia Police, said:

“We want people to be aware that [broadband theft] is possible and to be vigilant themselves regarding their own broadband connections,” reports the Press Association.

“This might slow down your internet service, or more importantly, your internet connection could be used for unlawful purposes.”

“We do not want to alarm wireless broadband users – we want them to follow the advice on wireless broadband security issued to them by their broadband providers.”

Wireless broadband connections can often be accessed from outside a user’s home but can be easily configured to stop unauthorised individuals gaining access to them.

The individuals could have been prosecuted under the Wireless Telegraphy Act:

“Anyone who intends to listen to radio transmissions should be aware of the following: A licence is not required for a radio receiver as long as it is not capable of transmission as well (The Wireless Telegraphy Apparatus (Receivers) (Exemption) Regulations 1989 (SI 1989 No 123). Furthermore, Wi-fi devices are a subset (defined under IEEE 802.11 interoperability standards) of the licence exempt RLAN segment of the 2.4 GHz radio frequency band. Under the terms of the exemption, a licence is only required for the operation of commercial wi-fi services such as “hotspots”. However, although it is not illegal to sell, buy or own a scanning or other receiver in the UK, it must only be used to listen to transmissions meant for GENERAL RECEPTION. The services that you can listen to include Amateur and Citizens’ Band transmissions, licensed broadcast radio and weather and navigation broadcasts. It is an offence to listen to any other radio services unless you are authorised by a designated person to do so. There are two offences under law: Under Section 5(1)(b) of the WT Act 1949 it is an offence if a person “otherwise than under the authority of a designated person, either: (i) uses any wireless telegraphy apparatus with intent to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of any message whether sent by means of wireless telegraphy or not, of which neither the person using the apparatus nor a person on whose behalf he is acting is an intended recipient; This means that it is illegal to listen to anything other than general reception transmissions unless you are either a licensed user of the frequencies in question or have been specifically authorised to do so by a designated person. A designated person means:

  • the Secretary of State;
  • the Commissioners of Customs and Excise; or
  • any other person designated for the purpose by regulations made by the Secretary of State.

or: (ii) except in the course of legal proceedings or for the purpose of any report thereof, discloses any information as to the contents, sender or addressee of any such message, being information which would not have come to his knowledge but for the use of wireless telegraphy apparatus by him or by another person.” This means that it is also illegal to tell a third party what you have heard. With certain exceptions, it is an offence under Section 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 for a person – “intentionally and without lawful authority to intercept, at any place in the United Kingdom, any communication in the course of its transmission by means of:

  • a public postal service; or
  • a public telecommunication system.

It is similarly an offence to intercept any communication in the course of its transmission by means of a private telecommunication system. This means that it is illegal to listen to telephone calls, including mobile phone networks which are designated as forming part of the public telecommunications system.”

UK Broadband arrests

April 19, 2007 by  

The police in Redditch have made their second arrest for broadband ‘tapping’ – the process of stealing broadband from another 3rd parties home or business network.

A second person in Redditch has been arrested on suspicion of tapping into a wireless broadband connection. They have been received with a caution. This is the second broadband tapping arrest this month (14th April 2007).

At around 9pm on Saturday, April 14, a neighbour spotted a man sitting in a car using a laptop computer outside a property in the Church Hill area and alerted police, suspected the individual of tapping into a home network.

Pc Tony Humphreys, from Redditch police, said:

“We are reminding people with wireless broadband that their connections could be accessed in this way if they do not follow the security advice issued to them by their broadband provider.

“We also want to warn potential offenders that we take any reports of this type of activity very seriously. A woman was arrested in similar circumstances in a residential road near Redditch town centre last month and she also received a police caution.”

The man arrested was cautioned with dishonestly obtaining electronic communications services with intent to avoid payment – Jacking for short! These latest arrests could cause problems for the various peer-to-peer broadband schemes being set-up

What do you think to internet and broadband jacking? It has been around for years in various forms. Should people be free to use wireless networks that have been left un-secured or should the police be arresting these people? Leave your comments.

UK broadband must get faster

April 17, 2007 by  

UK broadband providers and telecommunication firms must build faster networks to cope with new web usage needs, an industry group has warned.

The Broadband Stakeholder Group has warned that Britain’s broadband infrastructure is in need of an upgrade if the United Kingdon is not to fall behind competing nations offering broadband. In its report the government advisory group said that uncertainties surrounding next generation broadband must be resolved within the next two years or the digital divide will widen further.

The report says that the UK’s current broadband infrastructure may not be able to meet the increasing demands of both users and content providers. Broadband Stakeholder Group chairman, Kip Meek…

“Broadband is key to the UK economy and has a critical impact on many people’s daily lives. We have a limited window of opportunity: if steps are not taken now to prepare for next generation broadband, then we may well find ourselves in a position where it is too late to catch up.”

According to the broadband report there is little prospect for the widespread deployment of next generation broadband, even though there are significant benefits to the economy, because broadband operators are unable to justify the additional expense.

  • BT is looking to speed up the UK broadband infrastructure upto 25 Mbps.
  • Virgin Media is planning to increase its cable broadband network to 20 Mbps customers
  • Virgin media have been running a pilot broadband test in Kent where they have been offering broadband speeds of upto 50 Mbps.

However, all of these broadband speed increase are nothing when compared to the introduction of EuroDOCSIS 3 into continental Europe which will allow broadband speeds of upto 200 Mbps.

Pipex broadband deal collapse

April 17, 2007 by  

The sale of the broadband provider Pipex is likely to collapse. Carphone Warehouse (who owns Talktalk broadband and AOL broadband) has quit the auction for Pipex, the £350 million internet services provider.

Remaining bidders for the broadband company are understood to include Tiscali the rival Italian-based broadband operator. BSkyB, Orange, BT and Virgin Media had pulled out early in the auction process.

However, with the share price of Pipex broadband internet group falling – since Carphonewarehouse announced it was going to pull out of the bidding for Pipex – other UK broadband providers may re-enter the auction; if the price of Pipex drops enough there is a market-share bargain to be had

Fierce competition in the UK broadband market and consolidation with the sector is likely to be the main reason Pipex is seeking an early exit from the market-place. If Pipex opts to continue as an independent player it will need to spend lots on advertising and keep lowering its broadband prices to remain competitive with the other broadband companies that can afford to subsidise their broadband offering from other parts of the their business.

BT to cut the price of wholesale broadband

April 10, 2007 by  

Bt has announced its intension to cut the price of the broadband services that it sells via wholesale to other UK broadband providers. Result, you could be receiving cheaper broadband pricing by the middle of 2007. BT said it would cut the amount it charges other internet service providers for broadband by 9 per cent on 1 May, which could in turn allow the broadband ISPs to charge consumers less. A BT spokesperson said…

“reduced pricing will help ensure the further growth of a competitive market for broadband services”.

As well as the proposed price cut, BT Wholesale said it is also aiming to introduce speeds of up to 24Mbps by the start of 2008

Cameron Rejali, managing director for products and strategy at BT Wholesale said…

“The new pricing will deliver significant cost savings to our broadband service provider customers and underlines BT’s commitment to maintaining a competitive broadband market.Service providers can also look forward to a nationwide service offering broadband speeds of up to 24 Mbit/s which will start to be made available early next year as part of BT’s 21CN roll out. We will shortly start preparing our exchanges to support the delivery of these higher broadband speeds.”

However, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the price cuts will lead to savings for customers at the end of the line. I guess we’ll have to wait and see but here at Go-Broadband we can definately see at least 5% of the broadband wholesale price savings being passed on to the end-consumer or, at the least, faster broadband services in 2008 for 2007 prices.

Pipex broadband deal with carphone warehouse

April 9, 2007 by  

Carphone Warehouse (owner of talktalk broadband and AOL broadband) is the last remaining company still interested in buying Pipex broadband. Pipex was being auctioned for £450m. But, BTbroadband BSkyB broadband and the UK’s largest internet provider, Virgin Media broadband have all pulled out of the race to buy Pipex, leaving The Carphone Warehouse as the sole bidder.

Charles Dunstone, Carphone’s chief executive, paid only £370m for AOL broadband’s UK operation in 2006 with its 1.5m broadband customers compared with Pipex’s 600,000 subscribers – a similar cost per customer would imply a price tag of only £148m for Pipex.

Pipex broadband shares fell by almost 8% last Monday after Financial Mail reported that Virgin Media broadband and BSkyB broadband had both pulled out of the auction. The broadband company’s shares closed last week at 153/ 4p, valuing the company at £377.5m.

BT broadband had been linked with an acquisition of Pipex broadband in the past, as had Orange and Sky. There has been significant consolidation activity in the broadband sector due to intense price competition.

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