3G/LTE connectivity via partnership with French MVNO
Microsoft will include its own SIM card in some Windows 10 devices, thanks to a partnership with French mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Transatel.
Customers can install an app from the Windows Store, though it does appear to be little more than a set of instructions for suitably equipped Windows 10 devices.
The app does state that users can “connect with – and pay for – a mobile data plan on your Windows 10 device using only your Microsoft account information. That means no fixed contract and no long-term commitment”.
The app requires a Microsoft SIM card, which is based on the Transatel SIM 901, offering international 3G/LTE connectivity. That said, the app currently advises that “offers are for domestic plans only [and] international roaming offers will be available soon”.
Microsoft’s corporate veep Eric Lockard said “we want to promote the adoption of cellular connectivity on Windows tablets and laptops to complement classic Wi-Fi connectivity and make it easier for consumers to connect to the internet, anywhere, anytime. The Transatel SIM 901 solution helps us reach this objective in multiple markets through a single interface”.
Transatel currently covers 38 countries with its service, and promises to reach 50 by the end of the first quarter in 2016.
Google also has its own cellular offer, called Project Fi, which offers voice and data connectivity at $20 per month, plus $10/GB for data.
Prices and availability for Microsoft’s service are not yet available.