Broadband Broadens Its Pitch

from the sign-up-with-us...-it's-more-expensive dept

Broadband providers are struggling with their business, it seems. While they still have (on an absolute basis) very few customers signed up, they're trying to figure out ways to raise their prices to stay in business. As the smaller broadband providers have gone out of business, one by one (often with my help), the bigger ones are pushing up their prices. However, they're still offering crazy promotion to try to attract new customers. Then they're testing out strange tiered pricing and bundled packages to try to price discriminate or hide the real access fees. In the end, though, it seems like they're offering consumers a lot less for a lot more money. You would think that this would be an open opportunity for other businesses to come in and offer something better. While the FCC may make it difficult for that to happen via the phone or cable lines, I still think there's an opportunity for fixed wireless providers (if they can figure out the technology) to come in and surprise the entrenched broadband providers.

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    Derek Kerton (profile), 3 Feb 2003 @ 1:55pm

    The time may come

    Mike,

    Don't be surprised if such a technology is right around the corner. Companies such as IP Wireless, Flarion, Arraycomm, Navini, and a bunch more are all promoting wireless mobile IP technologies with greatly reduced cost structures over existing cellular and wireline systems.

    Travel to Jacksonville, FL or Auckland, NZ and check out the now commercial IP Wireless-based service that allows high-speed region-wide wireless data access.

    What's the catch? Although these technologies are new, disruptive, and not in sync with the incumbent carrier's evolution plans, it is likely that no one else can provide the capital, local presence, real estate, spectrum, sales channels, and brand to make these succeed. If the technologies are so good they WILL eventually enter the market (which I think they are), carriers will use their advantages as incumbent to be the provisioners of this new type of service.

    Take Ricochet as an exaple of a non-incumbent: the capital required for build-out, and the inexperience with telecom marketing killed the firm. If it didn't, I'll be some anti-competitive pricing from the incumbents may have. If that didn't whup them, they would have got bought by an incumbent before they got too big.

    If existing telcos provide this mobile IP service, who knows how they will choose to price it. I have an outlook, but if I told you I'd have to charge you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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