As part of a new line of laptops, HP is now offering a prepaid 3G data plan to its customers. The service, which is being called HP Data Pass, offers nationwide coverage on Sprint's CDMA network.

Data Pass is only available to users with HP laptops that have the embedded Gobi chip from Qualcomm. Prices range from $5 for 75 MB (5 hours) to $30 for 1000 MB (30 days). Customers can test the service with 14-day 100 MB offering.

The plans are relatively pricey on a per-gigabyte basis when compared with other prepaid data plans on the market. While Verizon Wireless doesn't offer a 1 GB plan, it currently offers laptop and netbook data plans that start at $50 for 5 GB of data.

"The prepaid mobile broadband service designed for business customers and powered by Sprint and delivered by Peregrine Network is perfect for busy people or anyone who needs wireless Internet access and wants to pay only when they use it," explained Matt Carter, president of Sprint Wholesale Solutions.

The HP DataPass is the first private label offering from Sprint and Peregrine Network, which will run under the Peregrine name and act as a MVNO for companies that want to offer a branded data plan. Peregrine and Sprint will offer the wholesale service to businesses under the name "Pay As You Roam."