AT&T bundles $50 netbook, fixed/mobile broadband

On April 1st AT&T announced a plan to sell a subsidized netbook in Atlanta for $50. As usual in the wireless industry, the subsidized device means the subscriber signing a service agreement, in this case, agreeing to pay $60 a month to AT&T.

For this subscribers get a $50 netbook, 200Mb a month of data, a DSL connection for the home and access to the company's Wi-Fi hotspot locations.

Since this was first announced during CTIA, the focus has been on the wireless portion of the announcement, and the selling of a subsidized notebook in the manner formerly applied to handsets.

For In-Stat, the combination of home and on-the-go broadband as a single service is equally important. With growth in new home broadband service subscribers slowing, providers will need to steal existing broadband users away from other providers if they want to continue to grow their customer base.

Our research shows that current broadband users would be willing to switch from their current broadband provider to one that could combine a home and on-the-go service. Clearwire has been using this strategy since last September to win subscribers in its two WiMAX markets.

In a survey conducted in 2008 In-Stat found:     

"¢ over 80% of respondents said they had some level of willingness to switch from their current broadband provider to one that combines both home and on-the-go service; 
"¢ over 40% of respondents said they would be willing to pay their current home broadband provider an extra $10-15 a month for a home and on-the-go service;
"¢ network performance is important to users - over 40% of both Wi-Fi hotspot and 3G laptop data users said they had been discouraged from using wireless broadband in the past due to poor or slow network performance. 

See also today's analystwire Operators Move into Content: Part I