Minneapolis - Best Buy said it will offer mobile broadband service under its own name for select laptops and netbooks that it sells in its U.S. stores.
As an MVNO, Best Buy will resell airtime on Sprint's 3G network beginning July 11 for laptops and netbooks equipped with Qualcomm's embedded Gobi cellular chip, which enables activation on multiple wireless networks. Pricing for the Best Buy Connect service wasn't released.
The plan is part of a strategy by Best Buy to expand into services for consumer electronics products. The retailer, for example, owns the
music streaming and download service.
Sprint aggressively targets the MVNO market to sell service on a wholesale basis. The carrier also partnered this year with Best Buy rival Walmart to offer the Walmart-exclusive prepaid service
, which offers voice and messaging service. Walmart also last fall began offering its exclusive Straight Talk prepaid cellular brand through an arrangement with MVNO Tracfone Wireless.