Lenovo launches branded mobile broadband service

Lenovo launched its own branded mobile broadband service, hoping to attract on-the-go consumers and business users who don't want to pay for a data plan or USB modem from a carrier.

Lenovo Mobile Access is powered by Macheen.

The service, dubbed Lenovo Mobile Access, is powered by Macheen, an Austin, Texas-based startup that aggregates connectivity from several carriers in the cloud and then sells it to device makers to provide always-on access to their devices with mobile broadband modules. Lenovo said the service is now available across select models of its ThinkPad product line in the United States and nine European countries.

The no-contract service gives users a "Time Pass" for short periods of connectivity, including a $1.95 option for 30 minutes and 30 MB or a  $8.95 option for one day and 200 MB. Users can also sign up for 2 GB or 6 GB monthly plans, with the 2 GB plan costing $44.95 per month and the 6 GB plan costing $79.95 permonth. However, Lenovo anticipates most people using the cheaper two plans.

Companies outside of wireless carriers have had a difficult time selling their own branded mobile data services. For example, Best Buy said in late April it was shuttering its Best Buy Connect branded mobile broadband service less than two years after the business got started. The service resold mobile broadband with access to Clearwire's (NASDAQ:CLWR) mobile WiMAX network and Sprint Nextel's (NYSE:S)  EV-DO network; Best Buy also inked an MVNO deal with LightSquared.

For more:
- see this release
- see this The Verge article
- see this CNET article
- see this GigaOM article

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