Far EasTone Telecommunications, one of the biggest mobile phone service providers in Taiwan, on Monday started offering a deal for an Eee PC usable on its 3G (third generation mobile telecommunications) network for just NT$900 (US$28.70) with a signed contract.
The deal is the kind expected to be launched globally to attract new customers for wireless Internet surfing over 3G networks, via high speed HSPA (high speed downlink/uplink packet access).
The speedy wireless networks have been in place for a while, but PC vendors only began offering low-cost netbooks late last year. Companies such as Far EasTone hope people will access the Internet more often via 3G networks because data uploads and downloads cost more than voice calls and text messages, thereby bringing in more revenue.
Until now, most people have kept their mobile Internet experience on smartphones or on laptop PCs via Wi-Fi wireless Internet offered free or at low costs in coffee shops, campuses, airports and other venues.
But PC vendors have been making more and more light weight devices with longer lasting batteries so people can free themselves from traditional locations with an electric outlet and really take their devices out a distance. 3G networks can carry signals far further than Wi-Fi can.
Far EasTone's NT$900 deal includes a 3G card and a mobile number along with an Eee PC 701SD with Windows XP, made by Asustek Computer. The device weighs less than a kilogram, has a 4-cell battery for up to 3.5 hours of run time and sports a 7-inch LCD screen.
Far EasTone is offering four different deals involving the Eee PC, including one with an additional mobile phone. The plans all come at different price ranges and carry contracts of two years at fixed access prices.
The promotion began on Monday and runs through September 30, or while supplies last, Far EasTone said in a statement.