Monday, October 20, 2008

BT dips toe in mobile broadband market

BT is giving away mobile broadband connections to customers on its business internet tariffs.

Customers who renew or take out new contracts on selected BT Business Total Broadband tariffs will be given a "free" mobile dongle and connection.

The service is based on Vodafone's 3G network and comes with a download limit of 1GB. BT customers do, however, also receive 2,000 free minutes a month on BT's Openzone network of Wi-Fi hotspots.

In total, it means businesses can receive an ADSL broadband connection, mobile broadband and Wi-Fi from £27 a month. "We're adding value to our broadband offer at a time when businesses are up against it on costs," David Hughes, BT's director of wireless broadband told PC Pro. "It allows them to stay connected all the time."

BT, as with other mobile broadband providers, has decided to turn on website image compression by default. However, they don't give you the option of turning the compression off, unlike Vodafone's Mobile Connect. The BT software currently only works on Windows PCs, although the company claims it working on support for Mac OS X.

The mobile broadband deal is currently only open to businesses who renew or take out new deals on BT Business Total Broadband options 2 or 3. So what about the millions of business customers that BT has already signed up?

"We haven't got an upgrade package," Hughes admitted, although said the company would look into such an option. "We've started with business - we'll look at whether it's suitable for consumers after that," said Neil Laidler, director of Mobility BT Business.

Update:

BT Business Mobile Broadband, is also available as a 'standalone' option at £17.50 (+ VAT)/month.

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