updated 05:00 pm EDT, Wed June 4, 2008
AT&T's Net Reach bundle
AT&T on Wednesday announced the launch of its Net Reach bundle for laptop users on the go. The bundle's software finds and locks onto the strongest AT&T data network or Wi-Fi connection for a user's device wherever they are, be it EDGE, 3G, or Wi-Fi hotspots at home or elsewhere. The program works with a user's AT&T high-speed Internet and LaptopConnect services and includes access to over 17,000 hotspots in the US that use AT&T's Wi-FiSM service.
The first service to combine either mobile data network or wired Internet, Net Reach is a more elaborate version of AT&T's recent offer of free Wi-Fi via its LaptopConnect services. The bundle requires the latest update of AT&T's Communication Manager software, version 6.8, available to download free of charge in order to pick up the provider's network signals. AT&T's newest wireless laptop card, the USBConnect 881, comes preloaded with the update.
The Net Reach monthly plans are available now, starting at nearly $80, though they require AT&T's high-speed Internet and LaptopConnect services, as well as combining the wired and wireless services into one bill.