T-Mobile to serve 'all you can eat' wireless data

T-Mobile will be launching the UK's first combined GPRS, 3G and Wi-Fi data-card package with unlimited access for a fixed monthly fee

Mobile-phone operator T-Mobile will be launching a wireless communication package for businesses in May that combines unlimited data access over 2.5G, 3G and Wi-Fi for a single monthly fee, in the first package of its kind in the UK.

T-Mobile, which is owned by Deutsche Telekom, switched on its 3G network in February, but until now details about its product offerings have been sketchy.

Elaine Devereux, UK PR director at T-Mobile, told ZDNet UK that the company is expecting to attract new customers from both business and consumer markets, but the data card is firmly targeted at the business market. For the mass market, T-Mobile said it would be launching a music-downloading service to allow its customers to use their mobile phones as an MP3 player.

"Both markets are fundamentally important. We think the mobile is essential to the way we live our lifestyles for both business users and the mass market," said Devereux.

T-Mobile's Multimedia Net Card is a data card for notebooks capable of connecting to GPRS (2.5G), 3G and Wi-Fi networks. The company will offer "time-based" data pricing instead of charging by the megabyte.

"We don't want our customers to worry about which technology they are working on. We have handsets, networks, services, tariffs and customer services that work across 2.5g, 3g and Wi-Fi," said Devereux.

The data cards will be in the shops by May, as will the consumer-based products, but handsets that include GPRS, 3G and Wi-Fi capabilities are expected towards the end of the year.

T-Mobile will be charging £99 for the combined GPRS/3G/Wi-Fi data card and will offer a £70 monthly subscription for unlimited data use across all three networks, which means business users will be able to connect to the Internet in most locations -- including Wi-Fi hot spots operating by T-Mobile -- for a fixed monthly fee.

"The data card is technology agnostic, so you plug it into your laptop and you then have 'all you can eat' unlimited data usage," said Devereux.