The recent drop in the price of ‘pay as you go’ 3G mobile broadband dongles has led to an increase in the number of ‘box breakers’. In particular, the low price of O2 dongles is said to be attracting multiple purchases.
Box breaking is a phenomenon that initially affected prepaid mobile phones; some mobile dealers would purchase large quantities of prepay phones, remove the SIM cards, unlock the phones and then sell them on ‘pay monthly’ contract deals or ship them abroad. Network operators would lose out because the purchase price was subsidised to encourage consumers to buy and use the phone, while the original retailer was also likely to lose out because the network might only reward them for selling phones and SIM cards that were activated together.
Most retailers now insist that prepaid mobiles are bought with ‘top-up’ credit to increase the purchase price and therefore reduce the appeal of box breaking. However, it seems that 3G USB dongles are now being targeted instead.
[Source: Mobile News]