In much of Europe, 3G data is traditionally as expensive as it is plentiful -- a safe haven of wireless email for businessfolk with a corporate card, yes, but that's about it. T-Mobile UK, for example, charges £29 (about $57) for its cheapest unlimited laptop data plan, likely keeping it out of reach of a good fraction of the otherwise interested masses. 3
may be changing the game next month, though, on rumors that it'll roll out a handful of data plans significantly cheaper than its closest competition. Monthly plans of £10 for 1GB, £15 for 3GB, and £25 for 7GB (about $20, $30, and $50, respectively) are said to be in the cards, taking advantage of HSDPA's generous (and now largely underused) capacity. Even better, 3 will allow subscribers to tether their handsets at these rates or pick up a modem; it's not known how much the modem will cost, but a nice, round "naught" is getting tossed around as a possibility for existing customers. All things considered, it looks like carriers are poised to take a different approach to recouping their 3G investments -- popularity over high price -- and we'd say that's a good thing.