Subsidized netbooks to come with a ‘kill pill’

It’s one thing to cut off their Internet access but the customer still has the working netbook that is worth a few hundred dollars that they can use. Well if the recent announcement by LM Ericisson AB, the Swedish company that makes the majority of the modems that go into laptops and netbooks, it will be as simple as sending a signal to permanently shutdown the computer.

“We call it a `kill pill,'” said Mats Norin, Ericsson’s vice president of mobile broadband modules.

The module will work on AT&T Inc.’s U.S. third-generation network, and on many other 3G networks overseas.

AT&T late last year started subsidizing small laptops known as “netbooks,” which normally cost about $400, so that RadioShack Corp. can sell them for $100. The buyer commits to paying $60 per month for two years for AT&T’s wireless broadband access. Such offers have become very common in Europe

Source: Associated Press

The article suggests that the carriers might be extremely reluctant to actually use the feature but come on this is AT&T we are talking about here.