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FreedomPop Home Internet Arrives in 2013: Apocalypse for Existing Broadband Providers

BROADBAND CONVERGENT - Industry News Broadband-Cable-Mobile-Wireless-Telecom Markets

Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom knows disruption.

FreedomPop Home Internet Arrives in 2013: Apocalypse for Existing Broadband Providers

Skype was a tremendously disruptive product, leveraging peer-to-peer technology to carry voice, it continues to be an incredibly powerful force in disruption of voice applications. Skype has changed the way people see voice apps in how it integrates persistent chat and messaging with video and other services. Skype had 663 million registered users as of EOY 2010, it’s likely even bigger than that now.

Think about it 663 million registered users in 2010–if you factor in some growth over the past few years, that makes Skype as big as the largest carrier in the world. China Mobile has 703.46 Million subscribers as of Nov 2012.

FreedomPop Home Internet Arrives in 2013: Apocalypse for Existing Broadband Providers

But now Zennstrom is working on something much bigger.

FreedomPop Home Broadband

Today, Zennstrom’s latest venture, FreedomPop said it’s now taking preorders for its FreedomPop Hub Burst modem which lets users access the Internet over high speed wireless networks for free.

Users can already access the FreedomPop network for free using a USB stick, WiFi hub for 8 devices or a Sleeve for iPod Touch that effectively turns the Touch into an iPhone. These devices are effectively “free” but require a reimbursable security deposit of between $49 and $99 bucks.

FreedomPop Home Internet Arrives in 2013: Apocalypse for Existing Broadband Providers

The company noted that the device, available for an $89 deposit, will ship next month. If a user decides to turn off the service within the first year, he or she can return the modem to FreedomPop and receive the deposit back. There are no contracts involved with the Internet service overall.

FreedomPop Home Internet Arrives in 2013: Apocalypse for Existing Broadband Providers
The company offers free Internet access delivered via Clearwire’s WiMax network.

Here’s what FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols had to say on C|Net: Major broadband providers, including Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, are pillaging consumers, charging in excess of $500 per year for home Internet. FreedomPop’s early successes [have] validated consumers are looking for more convenient and affordable ways to consume data. We’ve already given away more than 15 million MBs of free data and are expanding our Beta to meet the increased demand this holiday season. The Hub Burst puts us in position to offer a compelling alternative for the massive home market much quicker than we initially planned.

If you want to buy one, check your coverage

FreedomPop Home Internet Arrives in 2013: Apocalypse for Existing Broadband Providers

Check your coverage here before buying!

Customers don’t like this industry

Per these industry reviews it becomes clear that users are not satisfied with the service they are getting from existing broadband providers.

FreedomPop Home Internet Arrives in 2013: Apocalypse for Existing Broadband Providers

People seem to be super happy with Verizon FIOS Fiber Optics… but even the people who have that rate the price as 6.3 out of 10. Can you imagine an industry whose customer satisfaction/approval ratings hover at around 5 out of 10 (other than US Presidents I mean)?

This is an industry ripe for disruption.

If FreedomPop is successful proving out this model, they will be able to rapidly blow up the existing broadband Internet model. Customers will drop Comcast and other such services like a hot rock, improving their monthly bills by up to 80%. Remember, we are in hard economic times. If people can cut the cord and slash costs, they will do so, in droves.

Who will be hurt by this?

Here are the short list of providers in the US who will be impacted if this system takes off. These guys better be watching their backs.

AT&T / Yahoo

Cablevision

Charter

Comcast

Cox

EarthLink

Time Warner Cable

Verizon

The implications for the existing broadband providers could be apocalyptic.

What happens next?

Recall that “Home Broadband” is just one of the services provided by FreedomPop. FreedomPop users can also get mobile broadband also for “free” (1GB per month with security deposit for the device). With carriers increasingly shipping unlocked phones, we could see something very revolutionary happening to the carrier business. Carriers of broadband are looking over their shoulders, but “Voice Carriers” (aka Telcos) better watch their backs next.

This is going to get very very interesting.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Leonard Grace

Leonard Grace is the founder of Broadband Convergent, an industry leader tech news and analysis for Broadband, Cable, Mobile, Wireless, and Telecom markets providing strategic direction, business trending, sprinkled with lots of opinion. Technology executives must focus on key business indicators with fast, effective and researched analytics to provide leading edge decisions that propel their organizations ahead of the competition. Broadband Convergent researches the latest trends, strategy, and analysis to deliver the results executives and managers depend on to make strategic business decisions. Whether it is (to-market-strategy), the latest competitive advantage, leading edge technology or legislative updates; Broadband Convergent is on top of intelligence gathering and reporting to make industry leaders comfortable with making decisions based on our findings. Our company is a leader in providing fast, efficient, and economical insights into competitive markets, business strategies, market trends and the future outlook of the legislative landscape. Leonard has produced 250+ highly researched articles providing a unique perspective on current Broadband issues including Cable, Mobile, Wireless and Telecom sectors. His insights dig down to find the why’s and why-not’s of industry decisions and how those effect the commerce of broadband.