AT & T to expand netbook distribution

Wed, 05/20/2009 - 8:20am
Monica Alleven, Wireless Week

AT&T is expanding its trial of netbook sales distribution to retail stores nationwide.

Ralph de la Vega, head of AT&T’s consumer business, told Reuters on Tuesday that the phone company would sell netbooks from Dell, Acer and Lenovo Group starting this summer.

Previously, AT&T Mobility only sold netbooks at its own stores in Atlanta and Philadelphia, and with retailers RadioShack and Costco. De la Vega echoed a message he gave to journalists and analysts at the CTIA show in April: "We're taking broadband and really making it mobile," de la Vega said at the Reuters Global Technology Summit in New York.

Also at the summit, de la Vega said AT&T is considering offering cheaper data service plans with limited Web surfing for advanced cell phones, including the iPhone.

De la Vega said it would be costly for AT&T to cut the price of its unlimited Web surfing service, which currently costs at least $70 for iPhone users. Instead, AT&T could offer more limited Web surfing on cell phones for a lower fee, similar to its trial offer of 200 megabytes of data downloads for wireless netbook users for $40 a month in Atlanta and in Philadelphia, according to Reuters.

More Broadband Direct 05/20/09:
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•  Verizon broadens reach of DSL service
•  Sprint: The price is right
•  Moody's puts DirecTV ratings on review for upgrade
•  Cisco wraps up purchase of Tidal
•  AT&T to expand netbook distribution
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•  Smartphones still shine amid declines in handset sales
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