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Should Wireless Carriers Sell Laptops?

Consultancy Pyramid Research just came out with an interesting report: It looks like carriers everywhere from Russia to France are starting to sell laptops in their stores. Wireless service providers doing this include Russia?? MTS, Telef??nica O2, T-Mobile, Orange, Vodafone, Globul and PLDT.

These companies apparently find that bundling laptops with wireless services can work as well in attracting new customers and retaining old ones as offering free cell phones. ??undling mobile broadband and notebooks ??. will drive uptake of mobile broadband services and create opportunities to cross-sell broadband services for integrated fixed-mobile providers,?according to Pyramid.

That’s clearly something U.S. carriers, which have, so far, failed to rev up demand for their new high-speed networks, might want to consider doing. Not that many people are buying PC cards from Verizon Wireless today to use the carrier’s EVDO network. Could laptops sold at carriers’ stores change that?

Perhaps subsidizing laptop purchases could rev up demand. As wireless networks' speeds increase, it will become more feasible for consumers to access the Web via the carriers' high-speed connections versus cable or DSL. And if Verizon Wireless were to offer a free laptop to people who sign up for its mobile broadband service, many students and young professionals may be interested.

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