The mobile phone networks have solved yet another problem for internet users who don’t have a landline, or simply want to use their laptops wherever they may go. USB dongles have been available from the networks for a while now, but only recently do they seems to have really taken off.
So whats a USB dongle I hear you cry!?!?! Basically instead of having the internet installed at home (where you may need to have a landline), you can alternatively get internet access via a USB dongle that you simply plug into your computer. There is no need for a landline to tie you down!
All the major networks are offering internet dongle packages, and Carphone Warehouse are taking this craze to the next level by bundling laptops into their internet deals. Carphone Warehouse recently offered free Dell laptop’s with their AOL broadband deals, and they are now offering subsidised Dell laptops with USB dongles from T-Mobile and Three.
Carphone Warehouse are expecting the laptop market to grow by 35% with expected sales of up to £5million this year, it is therefore no surprise that they are in discussions with the laptop brands so that they can offer customers the deals that they want. They have already been in talks with the major laptop brands - Sony, Toshiba and Apple.
Working on the same principle as a mobile phone contract, the cost of the laptop would come from Carphone Warehouse’s commission from the operators. USB Internet Dongle sales are up to 25,000 per month on prepay and contract deals, and sources with Three and T-Mobile have said that dongles account for up to 40% of sales in some stores. With dongles taking up around a fifth of all T-Mobile and Three contracts, it’s no wonder Carphone Warehouse are offering customers laptops as well as mobile phones!