Best Buy To Peddle Its Own Mobile Broadband Service

In a recent Sunday ad, Best Buy pimped Best Buy Connect, its upcoming mobile internet service.

Data plans start at a $30-a-month 250MB package with a 2-year contract. If you hike it up to 5GB a month, you don’t need a contract and pay $60 monthly.

The rates seem competitive, and this is great news for us at Consumerist because Best Buy will doubtlessly bungle this somehow and help readers fill our inbox with loads of juicy tips.

Look out for the service July 11. And stories from dissatisfied customers July 12.

People-Powered Mobile Broadband [Best Buy via Engadget]

Comments

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  1. chaesar says:

    low-hanging fruit, these guys

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    $30 a month for 250 MB? That’s such a rip off! $60 a month for a 5GB data plan just for the privilege of not being on a contract?

    What’s weird is that when you click on the Best Buy link, there’s no mention of voice service – so Best Buy is only peddling data? Or is it riding on the Verizon network? If this is the case, why isn’t Verizon peeved that Best Buy wants to encroach upon its business?

  3. dolemite says:

    I’ve yet to understand how as time goes on, cell phone plans become more expensive. New players enter the market all the time (Walmart, Best Buy), yet prices either stagnate or go up. $30 a month for 250 mb? My high speed internet at home is like $50 a month for 6gb/s speed and 250 GB cap.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      1. Your high speed at home is wireline, not wireless.

      2. You’re getting 6Mbits/sec, not 6gbits/sec.

  4. wellfleet says:

    Peeps, this is for mobile broadband, i.e. air cards/broadband cards not cell phones… They’re the little USB devices that plus into a laptop that get you internet everywhere you can get a cell signal… If you compare these prices to Verizon/Sprint/ATT, they are extremely competitive, and their data limits are higher.

    • thrillhouse says:

      Competitive relative to local offerings, you mean? One can get their $60 “competitive rate” for only 25€ just across the pond (with exactly the same terms: 5 gigs a month, no contract).

      • wellfleet says:

        Yes, that’s correct, because lamenting that a US-based product doesn’t have the same terms as a Europe-based product would be a little silly. If it works in the US, I wouldn’t be surprised if BBY expanded to Europe/UK. Their ownership of Carphone Warehouse would make this pretty easy.

        • thrillhouse says:

          I was aiming more at the fact that underselling a competitor’s incredibly high markup by a few percent and proceeding to call that “extremely competitive” is a bit disingenuous.

      • Randell says:

        Competitive has only to do with THEIR competition. Anybody across the pond is not their competition. Those in Europe could see a gas station selling at a very “competitive” price in Europe, and there would not be a single car that ever went to it in the US.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Yeah, I see that now. It was just a tiny bit confusing since it was advertised on the same page as the Verizon cell phone plans, and it was sandwiched with all the cell phone stuff.

  5. masterying01 says:

    Verizon is $40 a month for 250mb data with 2 year contract. $60 a month for 5gb cap w/ 2 year contract.
    Sprint is $60 a month for 5gb cap w/ 2 year contract.

    Best Buy is $30 a month for 250mb a month w/ 2 year contract. $60 a month for 5gb cap w/ NO contract.

    STOP CRYING!

  6. teamplur says:

    What ever happend to Wi-Max. That’s what I want

    • Aesteval says:

      Too many pigeons perching on the towers and getting microwaved.

      Seriously though…good question. Not much gets said about it.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      Clearwire is WiMax, and is sold as Clear, as Sprint 4G, or by several cable companies.

  7. Quatre707 says:

    I am sick and tired of these artificially inflated prices. Bandwidth does not cost as much as those who profit want us to think it does… and by the way… WHERE ARE THE ROLLOVER DATA PLANS?!?!?!?!

  8. Gremlins Are Us! says:

    Sounds decent to me. This will be good for business travelers who are frequently in and out of airports, hotels, and coffee shops. Sure, some of them have free Wi-Fi, but sometimes it’s exorbitantly priced. Now let’s just hope their service is decent, or the inbox will overflow, as Phil said.

  9. jason in boston says:

    Who are they an MVNO for? Sprint? VZW?

    Come on phil…more facts.

  10. lanigan911 says:

    Leave it to Phil to miss the whole story…

    Update: We got a note from Shaun indicating that there will actually not be any modems offered by Best Buy for this service, rather it will only be offered on GOBI-equipped laptops. Additionally, Shaun indicates the service will not work with 4G, but that’s contrary to some earlier intel we received, so hopefully BBY goes ahead and clarifies all this soon enough. (from Engadget)

  11. MrConsumer says:

    im convinced phil just has it out for best buy, and often times rightfully so, but how is this consumerist worthy?

  12. gman863 says:

    “The rates seem competitive, and this is great news for us at Consumerist because Best Buy will doubtlessly bungle this somehow and help readers fill our inbox with loads of juicy tips.”

    Competitive? NOT!

    Here’s a quick lesson on Mobile Internet: 3G (what Best Buy will offer in most, if not all, cities) is old, slow technology. 4G is ten times faster and will be available in most major cities by the end of the year (its already live in Houston, Dallas, KC and many other areas).

    Clear.com offers unlimited 4G service for $40/month. If you’re need both 4G and 3G coverage it’s $55/month for unlimited service. Although Sprint and Comcast offer more expensive plans using the same 4G network, subscribing through Clear is less expensive.

    If you’re not in a 4G market yet, Cricket offers 3G at $40/month with no contract. They advertise “unlimited” but will severely limit your download speeds if you exceed 5GB/month.

    If you’re gullable enough to sign up for a 250MB/month plan, get ready to grab your ankles when the bill for overage charges arrives. E-mail and a few minutes of web surfing per day will easily exceed this. Even the 5GB plan may not be enough if you’re into Hulu, YouTube or iTunes.

  13. The Tick says: