Ma Bell is entering into the Netbook business. Sorta of. They are going to start offering several different Netbook models starting at only $49.95 to $249.95. But there is a hitch. You have to sign up to get AT&T’s “Internet at Home and On the Go” broadband services. According to the AT&T press release it also states that:

AT&T today announced that in Atlanta it will:

  • Offer a variety of ultra-portable mini laptops with built-in AT&T 3G wireless capabilities at promotional prices starting at $49.99 with the purchase of AT&T “Internet at Home and On the Go” broadband services.
  • Trial 30-minute in-store technical support — part of the AT&T ConnecTech suite of services — at select locations for customers who purchase qualifying data plans.
  • Feature, as part of the same trial in select stores, an Internet at Home and On the Go package that combines home and mobile broadband starting as low as $59.95 per month, including access to the nation’s fastest 3G network and unlimited domestic access to the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network with nearly 20,000 AT&T Hot Spots.
  • Pre-install AT&T Communication Manager on mini laptops, enabling customers the ability to manage their mobile and Wi-Fi connections.

AT&T is offering similar mini laptop promotional rates with the purchase of AT&T DataConnect plans in eight AT&T retail locations in the Philadelphia area.

“Broadband is not just about speed anymore — it’s about mobility,” said David Christopher, Chief Marketing Officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “We want our customers to have Internet at Home and On the Go. Pairing mini laptops with AT&T’s home, Wi-Fi, and mobile broadband offerings enables consumers to get the most from their new devices, virtually anywhere, anytime.” 

AT&T will also offer various Netbooks for sale which include models from Acer, Dell and LG. The models can be purchased without signing up for any type of service. Pricing seems to be full retail.

So what do you think? Would you be willing to sign up for a service contract to get a deal on a new Netbook?

Comments welcome.