O2 Offers UMTS Home Modem

While it’s unlikely to make sense for most people, it appears that O2 is launching a UMTS modem for home broadband access. In other words, not a data card, but a standalone modem that can go with a desktop (or a router). The pricing is still based on minutes, though, so it’s not likely to be very practical. There’s been some talk in the past about using cellular 3G solutions as a replacement for DSL or cable modems, but right now it’s really not the right market for either operators or consumers — but could fill a niche market for a few people who have no other options. Derek: We see HSDPA as increasing the feasibility of this approach, but these wireless solutions will not be able to offer the monthly throughputs of DSL, and will have caps on their traffic. That said, in places without DSL or cable, or where mobility/portability is desired, this could work.

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