Kevin Tofel brought a new 3G modem to my attention today and I got very excited about the possibilities as it supports Tri-band HSDPA (850, 1900 and 2100) which would work in my global travels.
It was impossible to tell from the AT&T site whether the device was locked so I picked up the phone and called it in. After confirming my identify multiple ways to the customer support agent, I was placed on hold while she checked things out. She reported that the modem was able to take additional SIM cards which was promising, but given it took a few tries to explain things to her, I was honestly not very confident with the information. Well, I just checked it out at an AT&T store on my way to the train and was told that in fact the device is locked.
With mail-in rebate the unit is free which is what made it so attractive, but there’s no way I’m paying international data roaming charges regularly. I would love to know why something like a USB modem is locked by ANY carrier. In this case I would potentially be signing up for a 2 year contract which includes a $60/mo plan. Whether I actually use the service or not I’m committed to the contract and they get the money.
Why would I also be required to use their SIM when traveling overseas … and actually how is this thing even locked? This policy just cost AT&T a sale and 2 years of data revenue.