AT&T Offers Contract Choices for Netbooks

AT&T unveiled on Monday an offering that lets customers using its network for Web-surfing on laptop computers or netbooks avoid the obligation to sign a two-year contract with the operator.

Instead of having to commit to paying $60 a month for two years, customers will be able to pay by the day, by the week or by the month, AT&T said.

Under the new offer, users could pay $15 for daily access, $30 for weekly access or $50 for monthly access.

The catch is that these service plans offer less data downloads than a typical monthly plan and customers who sign up for them could also have to pay more for devices such as netbooks or wireless data cards for laptops.

AT&T and its rivals have been pushing wireless laptop connections for consumers that already have cell phones, a service that customers would pay extra for.

However, analysts have said that operators need to offer more payment options if they want to appeal to the mass market because most consumers would be unwilling to pay an extra $60 a month for mobile laptop web access.

Shares of AT&T closed up 2.9 percent to $26.78 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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