O2 Offers Napster For Free! Big Question: What Will People Pay For in the Future?


It is our contention that in the future, we will only pay for broadband access. Voice, video or whatever is going to become part of the “access” offering. Yesterday France Telecom made voice free for its customers, by dropping fixed call charges.

Today O2, which provides DSL services in Germany, is offering free music (Napster) to those who sign up for O2’s DSL service. These add-on services — free music, free calls or whatever — will eventually become part of broadband packages we are offered as service providers jostle for market share. Some of it is already happening in the highly competitive markets of Europe and Asia. The U.S. will catch up soon enough.



I think you misread the press release from France Telecom. When they said they were dropping their rates they meant reduce not eradicate. I am not sure I agree that it will all get reduced to access. Maybe a more interesting area to think about is how different participants use free/bundles to position their propositions. In the UK, as I am sure you know, Carphone Warehouse positioned access as the free element underpinned by voice, which certainly worked in winning share but is a pretty ridiculous long-term position

Libran Lover

Things will be free the way broadcast radio and some television channels are free today. For premium content & services, for fast services as well as for ad-free services, we’d still have to pay.

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