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The internet will be free one day

Staff Writer's picture

This article was originally published on BizCommunity

The internet will be free one day

If you want to punish your kids nowadays, you take away the Wi-Fi and make them watch DSTV. Wi-Fi now props up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. 

There’s no point in arguing it. It just is. Wi-Fi has become a basic human need.

The internet will be free one day

Why Wi-Fi? Why not 3G? Why not fibre? Why do people always talk about Wi-Fi as being what they want? It's simple: Wi-Fi is perceived as being free. 

Two inarguable truths

There are two inarguable truths: The demand curve for Wi-Fi is infinitely upwards. The price point of Wi-Fi is infinitely downward. 

Does this mean there is no place for 3G/LTE? Of course not. There will always be a demand for connectivity on the move. Mobile data is like heroin. Once you’re on it, you can’t get off it. And people will always be willing to pay. It just won’t be for everyone. 

Not everyone can afford heroin.

The future of data is the history of water. The market will be split between Perrier (fibre), bottled water (3G) and tap water (Wi-Fi). 

The Perrier and bottled water will be expensive. Too expensive for most. The Wi-Fi will be free.

The person paying won't be the user

You can already hear the accountants shouting: “But there’s no such thing as free. Someone has to pay.”

That is correct. Someone has to pay. But when it comes to public Wi-Fi, that someone won’t be the user. 

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