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Apr 2, 2009

CLIP In-Stat Applauds AT&T’s Move to Combine Home and On-the-Go Broadband Service

  • AT&T selling netbook - to diversify their depence on iPhone?
  • Bundling Wi-Fi to go after t-Mobile. Will they allow VoIP using the netbook?
  • Integrating their wireless and DSL services could put a dent on Comcast's growth into homes with integrated video, phone, and data services.

AT&T announced on April 1st a plan to sell a subsidized netbook in Atlanta for $50. As typically done in the wireless industry, the subsidized price requires a service agreement. In this case, agreeing to pay $60/month to AT&T will not only get the user a $50 netbook and 200MB a month of data on its mobile network, but also a DSL connection for the home and access to the company’s Wi-Fi hotspot locations. Since this was first announced during CTIA, all the focus has been on the wireless portion of the announcement, and the selling of a notebook in a traditional cellular phone manner. What has been totally overlooked is the combination of home and on the go broadband access as a single service. In-Stat feels the combining of home and on-the-go broadband is just as important a trend as the selling of subsidized netbooks.

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 the following:

  • 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.

In-Stat’s research, Waiting for WiMAX — US Consumers Want More From Wireless Broadband (IN0803969WBB), covers what US consumers like and dislike about current broadband options and their desire to have a single service that combines both home and on-the-go service. It includes:

  • Criteria used to select wireless broadband service.
  • Measure of respondents’ interest in 3G cellular, Wi-Fi, and WiMAX services.
  • The results from two surveys, one a general US consumer survey and another of just 3G laptop data users.

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