Telstra and Microsoft collaboration means that Windows 10 devices with an eSIM will be able to access its 4G network.
From Thursday 7 March HP’s premium Spectre Folio, Spectre x360 4G LTE models and Microsoft’s Surface Go LTE will be able to activate the inbuilt eSIM online and subscribe to a data plan for 4G mobility. These devices are just the first ‘cabs’ – sorry notebooks – to use the feature, and there are dozens coming from major manufacturers.
These include a range of Windows on ARM (also called Windows on Snapdragon WOS) devices as well from ASUS NovaGo, Lenovo Yoga C630 and Samsung’s Galaxy Book 2.
HP’s Ken Maher, acting Director for Personal Systems for HP, Australia and New Zealand, said,
“Always-on connectivity is quickly moving from luxury to necessity. With the premium Spectre range, we set out to reinvent the PC from the design of the devices to the experiences it can deliver, to meet the needs of today’s busy on-the-go lifestyles. We’re excited to be working alongside Telstra.”
Telstra will offer existing HP owners a 30-day trial that includes 30GB free data to use in Australia. Once the trial period or data expires, customers will be able to choose a variety of Telstra prepaid or postpaid offers.
To access the service you will need to access or install a
What is an eSIM?
It is an electronic SIM – a tiny chip replacing a physical chip. GadgetGuy has an overview here. eSIMs are in Apple’s XS and Max, Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch and many more devices.
Many Telcos have been reluctant to activate the eSIM service as it enables instant change of operators when shopping for the best deal. It can also clone an existing mobile service (One number) and share existing plan data.
We can only assume that Telstra’s one number service will be an offering but don’t bank on it! At this stage, there are no details on its website about the laptop plans.
You can read Telstra’s blog here – it is very short on detail! We have asked Telstra to clarify plans and prices before we comment on value and use.
Telstra reveals plans (28/2/19)
Telstra will not be offering a One number service where it utilises an existing smartphone number and data plan. I guess that is fair enough as a laptop is not a voice and data device.
After the 30-day
All plans include the use of Telstra Air if available. If you are a Telstra customer with a 13-digit account number you can put the plan on your account.
Qualifying laptops already have a preloaded Telstra Mobile Plan app or may receive a pop-up notification from Microsoft.
Existing Telstra customers can use their Telstra ID or new customers will need to create an account.
An eSIM profile will be downloaded to your device.
GadgetGuy’s take: Mobile data will not be cheap but it will be convenient
Until eSIM is embraced by all telcos and MVNOs the price is the price. Considering that a laptop is a productivity device you may be chewing through data very quickly. I suspect Telstra needs to look at this and incentivise users to bundle NBN, phone, laptop and more into one all you can eat account.