Dell partners with Telefonica to give laptops pay-as-you-go mobile data access in Europe

Telefonica and Dell have struck a deal to provide integrated mobile data connectivity across Europe for some laptops.

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Dell has signed a deal with mobile network operator Telefonica, owners of the O2 network in the UK, to underpin its pay-as-you-go mobile data service called Dell NetReady.

The deal means the Dell NetReady system — which comprises an embedded M2M SIM card and app, and comes pre-installed on certain Dell laptops — will now be available in Europe, with users able to connect to Telefonica's network across the continent.

The service, aimed at business customers, was announced on Tuesday.

Packages will range from 30 minutes of mobile data access to one month. Until July, the service will only be available in Spain, UK, Germany, Czech Republic and Ireland — which Dell refers to as 'On Net' countries. After July, it will be available in 27 European countries, plus Switzerland and Norway.

Pricing varies depending on whether a user is in an On Net or Off Net country. The cost of the service starts from €0.99 for 30 minutes' access in an On Net country, up to 10MB of data. The largest On Net package offers up to 1GB of data to be used within one month, and costs €16.99.

However, using data in Off Net countries will cost considerably more, with prices starting from €2.99 for the 30 minute/10MB option and rising to €59.99 for the one month/1GB.

Telefonica also said that any bundles purchased would "move with the user from country to country".

A spokesman for Telefonica attempted to clarify the pricing structure and roaming deal for ZDNet:

"Users in any of the On Net Countries (UK, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic and Ireland) will enjoy the cheapest tariffs. If they have purchased a one week On Net bundle and are traveling from Madrid to London in the middle of the week, their bundle will be available in London. This will mean they pay local tariffs even if travelling abroad (On Net countries)," he said.

"In the case a user is travelling from Spain to an Off Net country (eg Poland, France, Italy) they would need to buy an Off Net bundle. In this case, the app keeps 'two pockets', the On Net (if they come back to Spain their one week bundle will be still available) and the Off Net that they have bought when they arrived to an off net country," he added.

Additionally, if a user is moving from an Off Net country to an On Net country, they have the choice of continuing to use an Off Net data bundle, or purchase a new On Net bundle. 

Dell already offers NetReady data access to customers in North America on similar length bundles ranging from 99 cents (15MB cap) for 15 minutes' access, one day for $7.99 (125MB usage allowance) and $29.95 for one month's access with a 1GB allowance.