Laptop Connect offers short-term mobile broadband hookup

What’s better than prepaid mobile broadband? Well to be honest free wireless will do quite nicely… but even in our hyper-connected world you can’t find free Wi-Fi everywhere. Which is why Laptop Connect reckons its pay-by-the-day mobile broadband hire could be just the ticket.

The service offers a Next G USB modem tied to a 1GB per week plan – which averages 140MB per day – for hire on a minimum three-day period up to a full month. Excess data attracts a 25c/MB premium and a standard $11.40 fee for postage and handling also applies.

The daily rate is scaled according to how many days you sign up for. For the minimum period of three days you’ll be paying $10.95 per day five days costs $9.95 per day and by the the time you hit 31 days that’s down to $4.95 per day.

Now at a glance those rates still look pretty steep – it means three days will cost you $33 for modem hire (and all up $44 including postage & handling) and after a month you’re up for $153 ($164 with postage & handling).

But unless you’re able to tap into free hotspots almost everywhere you go it’s still a better deal for short-term use than pre-paid mobile broadband at least at Telstra’s rates – which kick off at $149 with a mere 75MB of data.

So Laptop Connect is pitching its business at people who need a short burst of mobile broadband – on a rare business trip promoting their services at a trade show or even when moving home or office – but are wary of high up-front costs or two-year contracts.

It’s also cheaper than the average $20-$25 that hotels charge for a day on in-room Net access so for a few days’ business in another city you may as well hire your mobile broadband and have the freedom to use it anywhere in the city.

The process seems pretty smooth – you sign up online at Laptop Connect and within two days the USB modem lands on your doorstep complete with a reply-paid envelope for the return of the kit at the end of your hire period.

“The model was developed to make short-term broadband access like an Internet cafe or hotel connection that can be taken with you” according to Laptop Connect. “Our biggest difference is flexibility. Allowing customers to take the connection with them means they can get the most out of their rental dollar and be more productive with their time.”