Skype Founder To Offer Free Broadband?
I love a bit of disruption in the marketplace, and where I once thought Skype would do this with aplomb I must say that when I heard that Microsoft were taking over I expected a more conservative pace to be taken up which has actually proven to be a bit mixed in reality….but what happened to the founder of Skype, Niklas Zennstrom?
Well Niklas appears to still enjoy a bit of disruption, so has taken once more to the internet airwaves with another free offering in the form of 4G LTE for the masses.
Yes his new backing seems to be the company known as FreedomPop, which is partnering with Clearwire to offer US consumers free mobile broadband to users for zilch, so how will it work?
This comes after it was expected that FreedomPop would partner with LightSquared prior to news that the FCC was going to kill LightSquared’s terrestrial network waiver on the grounds that their proposed ground-based mobile service would potentially cause GPS issues.
Tony Miller, FreedomPop’s VP of Marketing said:
“FreedomPop’s ultimate goal of providing our customers with a free mobile broadband alternative will soon be realized thanks to Clearwire’s proven 4G network services, this agreement enables FreedomPop to offer a disruptive retail service, providing free, flexible, high-speed internet access to millions of Americans.”
So the plan is to rent new 4G LTE bandwidth from Clearspace and then offer this out for free to 85% of users and charge the rest for premium access i.e those who gobble up the most data.
They will also offer rental options such as USB dongles, a mobile hotspot and a “mystery device” according to Toms Guide.
It is likely that the service will be capped for streaming video and high bandwidth use, with premium access users getting these kind of privileges, so in essence its a trusted and widely successful freemium model, where the small percentage of people pay for the bulk of the revenue generated, though there does seem to be talk of a deposit scheme being in operation so there is some small outlay at the outset it appears.Anthony Munns