New legislation expected to be approved by the EU could set a limit on the number of months a mobile broadband contract can run for.
One of a number of EU measures set to be taken in the electronic communications market is a limit of two years on mobile broadband contracts.
The development would have consequences for mobile broadband providers who include laptops as part of their packages, as many would be unwilling to offer 'free' computers on contracts of 24 months or less.
According to Barry Collins of PC Pro: "Mobile broadband providers will, of course, be able to offer two-year deals, but the monthly fee required to cover the cost of the hardware would likely make them a much harder sell to consumers."
The Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4U and 3 all recently made an agreement to drop the word 'free' from their mobile broadband offers which come with laptops, as the marketing ploy could have been seen to mislead customers.