AT&T, Cellular South push netbooks

AT&T is more aggressively pushing its subsidized netbook offerings for small businesses, and regional carrier Cellular South is hinting it will jump into the netbook game.

AT&T and its computer retail partner CDW, which targets business and government markets, are offering Acer and HP netbooks models for $199 to small businesses. The offer requires a two-year contract for AT&T's $60-per-month data plan, with a cap of 5 GB. AT&T is also offering rugged Panasonic laptops and other selected models with a $150 subsidy.

Separately, Cellular South also plans to play in netbooks. The carrier hinted it will launch the Dell Dell Mini 10 netbook sometime later this summer, though it did not release pricing information. Cellular South said it will offer service plans that begin at $40 per month for 500 MB of data and increase to $60 per month for 5 GB.

The action comes as a variety of wireless carriers, both domestic and international, begin experimenting with the sale of netbooks and data service plans alongside cell phones and voice plans. The move is an effort to expand data usage as well as tap into a growing demand for the scaled-down laptops; indeed, industry research firm IDC recently reported that worldwide shipments of netbooks reached 11.6 million units last year, a figure it projected to grow at double-digit rates in the coming years.

For more:
- see this TGDaily article
- see this AT&T release
- see this Cellular South release

Related Articles:
Verizon Wireless jumps into netbook game, adjusts data plans
AT&T says subsidy model good for business
NPD Group: Netbook buyers often feel disappointed
AT&T to expand netbook offerings nationwide
AT&T, RadioShack face class action suit over netbook data plan

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