Windows 10 users will soon be able to purchase mobile data plans directly from Microsoft. The software giant says that this option will be introduced to make it easy for its customers to have Internet access in areas without Wi-Fi coverage.
The mobile data plans will be offered via the Cellular Data app that Microsoft has published in Windows Store. To take advantage of this offer, Windows 10 users will need to get a Microsoft SIM card first.
Microsoft has teamed up with European mobile virtual network enabler Transatel to use the latter's 901 SIM card, which is designed to enable users to buy pre-paid 3G and 4G LTE data. It is an interesting alternative to buying mobile data directly from the carrier.
"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", says Microsoft Corporate VP Eric Lockard. "The Transatel SIM 901 solution helps us reach this objective in multiple markets through a single interface. In just a few clicks, consumers will be able to easily buy pre-paid data plans on supported Windows 10 devices".
Windows 10 users will purchase the mobile data plans using their Microsoft account, and Transatel points out that "there are no long term commitments", that they would have to take into account prior to tapping on the buy button.
Transatel's 901 SIM card is not tied to a single market or single mobile operator, being advertised to work in 38 countries at the moment. The company says that the list will be increased to 50 countries by the end of the first quarter of 2016. However, there is no word yet on which of those markets Microsoft SIM will support.
By 15 January, the following markets are listed as supported: Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.
The Cellular Data app's listing makes it clear that the mobile data plans will be "domestic plans only", but there will also be roaming plans "soon". There is no word on pricing at this time, but you can check out the app here.