Lenovo Launches Own Mobile Broadband Service

By Gary Kim June 11, 2012

Lenovo now is a mobile broadband provider, launching “Lenovo Mobile Access,” a no-contract 3G mobile broadband service powered by Macheen. The service is now embedded across select models of the ThinkPad product line and available immediately in the United States and nine European countries.



It might make more sense to bundle mobile broadband with a notebook than a smart phone with its own voice and mobile data service, but you can see how the logic might apply.



Lenovo Mobile Broadband allows users buy a “Time Pass” for as little as $1.95 for 30 minutes or $8.95 for one day.



Users with more frequent connectivity requirements, or who work with large media files can purchase monthly plans with 2GB or 6GB of data access, along with the option for automatic monthly renewal.



Businesses might find the pay-as-you-go options help them reduce the cost of mobile broadband connectivity at the same time that temporary access can be extended to large numbers of individual employees.



All ThinkPad laptops with embedded mobile broadband connectivity ship with Lenovo Mobile Access pre-activated as the default configuration. A single SIM is used for global access, enabling mass roll-out capabilities over a secure connection.



Web-based policy management tools let IT administrators customize permissions and access options by services or application, for the whole company, specific workgroups, or individual users. Simple payment options allow centralized, single-payer end-of-month billing for corporate arrangements.



At launch, the service is available in the United States, UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands.



For some of us, the almost-inevitable question is how long it might take for other application and device suppliers to decide to do something similar, especially once faster 4G services are widespread, to support smartphones and tablets.



One question is whether Apple, Google, Facebook or Amazon might decide it makes sense to become an MVNO. There are lots of reasons to suggest the answer is “no.” Suppliers who want wide distribution will be leery of antagonizing distribution partners by “competing with their customers.”



But some think Apple and others might someday make that decision. Apple will provide wireless service directly to its iPad and iPhone customers, argues consultant Whitey Bluestein, for example.  In his hypothetical scenario, Apple first will sell data packages bundled with iPads.



Then it will sell data and international roaming plans to iPhone customers through the iTunes Store. Over time, Apple will strike wholesale deals with several mobile operators so that Apple can provide wireless service directly to its customers, as Apple Mobile, Bluestein predicts.



As “crazy” as that might sound, it might be a fairly common tack taken by any number of device, service or application providers, eventually. In fact, it fits well with the general thinking that, over time, mobile and fixed network service providers will increasingly want to sell services to third-party business partners as well as end users.






Edited by Rich Steeves

Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Delays on New Apple iPad Indicate Bigger Issues

By: Doug Mohney    3/6/2015

Apple seems to be full of leaks this week. Reports from Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal say the company won't go into production with a larger i…

Read More

Cell Phones May Get More Interesting, Maybe

By: Doug Mohney    3/5/2015

Buried among the onslaught of news from Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 are hints that handsets may get more interesting over the next year-maybe. Ky…

Read More

ADTRAN Faces Trifecta for U.S. Growth

By: Doug Mohney    3/4/2015

Over the past month, two major events are likely to turn into solid sales numbers for ADTRAN over the next couple of years, while a third will continu…

Read More

MWC: Samsung S6 Kicks iPhone's Butt on Paper

By: Rob Enderle    3/4/2015

The phones also have a fast capture camera which should get you shots that other's miss (just tap on the camera button twice and the camera is ready t…

Read More

A Candid Talk with Ford: Connected Cars and the Future

By: Rich Tehrani    3/4/2015

At Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015, I spoke with James Buczowski, a Henry Ford Technical Fellow, about the company's connected ecosystem experiments …

Read More