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Bill Bennett

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Skinny 4G fixed wireless broadband modem value

Tim Hughes comments on Geekzone‘s story about the Skinny 4G broadband service. He suggests $200 is a lot of money to pay upfront for a fixed wireless broadband modem.

Maybe.

The 4G fixed wireless broadband service costs $55 a month for 60GB of data. From reading the Skinny site it is clear the official modem is not optional.

If you stick with Skinny for a year the cost adds up to an extra $16 a month. Over two years it would be $8 a month.

So long as you can make a case for buying Skinny’s 4G broadband service in the first place, the extra cost of the modem makes sense.

Making customers buy the modem first means the company can offer 4G broadband without restrictive contracts. That flexibility makes the deal more attractive to some users.

I’d choose buying the $200 modem over a 12 or 24-month contract any day.

That said, you could pick up the same hardware for a lot less if you purchased it direct. It’s unlikely Skinny pays much more than $50 a unit wholesale for the Huawei wireless modems.

To put the price in perspective, I recently saw an invoice for a 33 Kbps modem I bought 20 years ago when working as a magazine editor in Sydney. It was A$700. That’s well over NZ$1000 in today’s money.

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