For us SmartPhone Junkies, that is the perfect world, especially if the WiFi is FREE. I have noticed that there has been some rumbling in the Wireless World of late. Starting to see some business models that are contrary to AT&T and Verizon’s stance.
Here are some of the more popular ones that are hitting the airwaves:
Headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, republic wireless is an innovative new carrier spearheading a wireless freedom movement to return value and control of the smartphone experience to our members. Leveraging the power of the Internet and an engaged community of users, republic wireless offers unlimited voice, text, and data service for only $19 per month, with no contract.
republic wireless is a division of Bandwidth.com, whose network and solutions also power other innovative communication services such as Google, Pinger, Skype, Groupme, RingCentral, Phonebooth, and many others.
Ting has a pretty different approach to pricing than the major providers. Minutes, messages, and megabytes are each billed separately. If customers use less of any than they have paid for, they are credited at the end of the month. If they use more, they are billed the appropriate additional amount, without penalties or premiums.
Global community Wi-Fi provider Fon has surpassed 6 million Wi-Fi hotspots. Fon added 2 million hotspots in 2011 and predicts over 50 percent growth this year. Partners use Fon to differentiate their services by allowing customers to share in Fon’s global Wi-Fi network, where users can share a small portion of their unused bandwidth in exchange for free Wi-Fi at any Fon hotspot in the world.
I canceled my Cox Cable TV around a month ago, and I don’t really miss it. I just received my first bill from Cox, and I was happy to see that my bill decreased by almost 50% ($70). I must admit that there are some channels I do miss being able to receive, but for the most part I have found that I have more content selection now that I had before.
This and the following installments will outline and discuss what I did, how it was set up and lessons learned.
This is the first question you must ask yourself. You will give up some convenience of having just one source of content. For most the savings in money is enough to make many consider this option, it was for me.
I realized that I was spending a lot of money each month and I was only watching a fraction of the channels that I was paying for. If my cable of satellite company offered ala carte programing I would probably still be with them. But then they wouldn’t have the justification to charge me the exorbitant fees for providing me hundreds of channels.
If you decide to go down this road, its important to have your family buy-in, especially the SAF (Spouse Agreement Factor).
Other than money, the big factor for me was being able to watch what I wanted when I wanted or more commonly refered to as On-Demand programing. The Internet is full of content and most of it is free depending on your viewing habits.
Is This Right For Me?
This is the biggest decision you will need to make. It is based on your viewing habits and will you be able to get the same content or suitable alternatives to what you are viewing currently. Sports is the area that may cause you some concern, as there is not an abundant of sports programming on the Internet.
For me, as Im not a die hard sports enthusiast, the sports I get via Over-The-Air or local channels suits my viewing requirements.
Watching The Internet On Your TV
In my opinion this is going to be the hot topic of 2011. There are already tons of ways to accomplish this; Network Ready TV’s, Set-Top Boxes, and Game Consoles. Your choice may depend again on your viewing habits. I would recommend you look at the various services available and then make your selection on the device that provides you the best content. Below are some content providers that I have looked at and found fairly robust.
- NetFlix – Watch Instantly (Pay Service)
- Hulu.com or HuluPlus
- Amazon Video On Demand
These are just a few of the ones I personally like. You may want to check out Clicker.com. This site is not a provider of content but a directory of what sites are hosting what content.
Republic Wireless is a subsidiarity of BroadBand.Com and on November 8th they rolled out their new concept of what a smartphone service should be. Currently they are only offering 1 phone (LG Optimum), which is anything but high end. But the premises of the plan is headed in the right direction. So here is how I see that direction.
Republic has developed a technology that when the phone is in an WiFi covered area, it will place all Data/Voice/SMS requests using WiFi. When you are not in a WiFi covered area it will fall back to cellular – All For $19 A Month
Podcasting, or Netcasting is an area that many small or home based business owners overlook. Today, it takes very little to create your own radio or television program with little or no outlay. In this article we will discuss the why’s and how-to’s of this subject.
The biggest and most expensive issue for most small businesses is marketing and advertising. Every small business owner has a message they want to get out to their designated demographics. Creating a Video On Demand (VOD) or Audio On Demand (AOD) program can help in this endeavor. Running an ad on a radio or television station is no longer guaranteed to reach your target audience. This is because, these mediums are not the only way your current and future customers receive their content.
Once you have made the choice to do it, now you need to decide what to use for content. This of course depends on your business and your target audience. Its a no-brainer for Real Estate or Mortgage Brokers, but for other types of businesses it becomes a little more difficult. Many businesses will do a show that discusses their upcoming sales, discounts, etc., where others will focus on community events or a meet the owner type of program. This is totally up to you. The point for many is that, as your customers start to follow your show, they learn more about your business, the owner and staff. Its all about building relationships.
The tools that you will need, will of course depend on what type of show you plan on doing. Some start out with just an audio show, then move up to video. Much of this will depend on your audience. Following are some suggestions that we have used to help our clients set up their own shows with:
|Free||Not So Free|
Hardware again depends on the format of your show. For most shows you will want to have a computer that has a built-in webcam or you will need to purchase a USB Webcam. The other item that we recommend is a microphone headset. You wont need to purchase the most expensive on either of these items, but don’t buy the cheapest either.
Where To Upload:
Making your show easily found is not as difficult as it sounds. Below are some sites that you can upload your finished product to. It is highly recommended that you have a blog to create an RSS feed of your show. This will make it easily found by Google and other search engines. There are many free blogging platforms available such as Blogger, WordPress, and TypePad. It is also possible to add a blog to your current site, this is probably the most desirable.
- Your Website
- iTunes: Desktop Install
- YouTube: http://youtube.com
- Feedburner: http://feedburner.com
Well Thats It…Happy Casting.