Wireless broadband pricing has remained fairly steady over the past couple of years as carriers built out their nationwide 3G networks. Most Tier 1 operators offer wireless broadband plans in the price range of $60 per month. Verizon Wireless, for example, currently charges customers $40 per month for 50 MG of data and $60 per month for 4 GB of data.
But flat-rate operators such as Cricket Communications are starting to challenge this model. Cricket entered the wireless broadband market in 2008 with a less expensive offering--the company currently charges $40 per month for unlimited broadband data.
Meanwhile, RadioShack recently announced it was selling a $100 Acer netbook bundled with a two-year subscription to AT&T's mobile broadband service. This is one of the first bundled offerings but we expect to see more experimentation with this model in 2009.
The bottom line: Wireless data pricing will become more competitive as carriers start bundling their broadband data plans with netbooks and laptops. Plus upstarts such as Clearwire (with its WiMAX service) and flat-rate carriers like Cricket, will put more pressure on traditional operators causing monthly broadband fees to decline.