Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) is offering resellers a double deal selling a range of Wi-Fi- and GPRS-enabled laptops on contracts similar to those used for mobile phones.
The scheme, aimed at increasing the vendor's share of the mobility market, is targeted at SME customers and resellers that do not currently sell mobile data.
"We conducted research into the channel and SME customers," said Ian Snadden, FSC's head of channel and SME sales.
"We found a strong demand for wireless, but a shortage of technical savvy. The customer and much of the UK channel struggle with integrating mobile data and computing quickly and repeatedly."
Run in conjunction with Vodafone and Hugh Symons, Connect2Air will be sold through the channel on a contract from £99 per month.
Resellers will not have to handle the hardware, but will get a £60 profit from the down payment alone, plus contract renewals at 12- or 24-month intervals.
Hugh Symons will act as the programme's sole UK distributor, but can supply other FSC distributors.
Mark Robinson, business manager at Hugh Symons mobile computing, said other manufacturers would follow FSC.
"The speed at which other notebook vendors enter this market will be governed by the success of what we are doing now," he said.
"The reseller gets its margin up-front. We expect to sell more than 20,000 bundles by the end of 2004."
Keith Yaxley, managing director of Data2Hand, a mobile integrator, was also cautiously positive about the plan.
"If I was to set up as an SME tomorrow, it doesn't sound like a bad thing at all. But many existing SMEs already have something in that space. A lot of them also worry about what their sales people and engineers will do with a laptop," he said.
Servicing, warranty, support and insurance are also bundled with the contract and handled by FSC, Hugh Symons and Vodafone.
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