28th European Regional Conference of the International Telecommunications Society (ITS): "Competition and Regulation in the Information Age", Passau, Germany, 30th July - 2nd August, 2017
International Telecommunications Society (ITS), Calgary
This paper analyses a business model for providing free basic-rate Internet to everyone with a data capable phone, living in mobile coverage areas. The model is called Freemium Internet. The term "freemium" refers to a well-known business model for digital services, where free services or applications provide basic functions and more advanced functions are available by paying a fee. We examine the impact of applying the freemium business model to the provision of mobile Internet access and discuss net neutrality issues, mobile operator strategies, benefits for consumers, and the potential impact on government e-service programmes. The paper further investigates policy options and regulatory incentives to facilitate the adoption of Freemium Internet.