Category Archives: Technology

FreedomPop is Going International with Service in the United Kingdom

FreedomPop is Going International with Service in the United Kingdom

FreedomPop, the free telecommunications service is expanding to the United Kingdom. With the $30 million dollars in venture capital raised from FreedomPop’s series B offering, the energetic mobile virtual network operator (MNVO) has launched its bid for a share of the UK’s telecom market. Tasco and Talk Talk mobile providers now have some serious competition from the Los Angeles based FreedomPop. FreedomPop offers free basic mobile phone services with minimal charges for add-on packages.

For a one-time only charge of £7, FreedomPop provides 200 megabyte of data, 200 texts, and 200 minutes of free mobile service to its customers. FreedomPop buys bandwidth from telecom companies with hard infrastructure and passes its savings on to its clients. An MNVO can offer cheaper services because they have no towers or hardware to maintain. Google uses the same idea, but FreedomPop will use WIFI to lower its costs even further.

FreedomPop makes its money by selling extended packages at reduced rates to clients who want to go beyond the basic services offered, and Stephen Stokols, CEO of the MNVO says about 50% of its customers buy in to add on packages which sell for about £4.99 to £16.99 in the UK. FreedomPop also offers third party surveys as a way for subscribers to purchase the additional services which include heftier data packages and extended minutes.

Three Network is currently the sole provider of bandwidth in the UK for FreedomPop, but the company is in negotiations with British Telecom to extend its services. The idea for the MNVO was created when Mr. Stokols worked for the current Brits Telecom CEO Gavin Patterson. FreedomPop wants to use British Telecoms WIFI and its five million hotspots to service the 250,000 UK citizens vying for the service. There is talk about having to cap subscriptions with the initial start up because of the demand for FreedomPop’s services.

Mr. Stokol and Mr. Patterson will meet this month, and hopefully come to an agreement before the service start up needs a cap. Mr. Patterson and Mr. Stokols aren’t strangers; they built FreedomPop together. Stephen Stokols came to Gavin Patterson with the idea for FreedomPop in the UK, and Mr. Patterson liked the idea so much he stepped down from his position with FreedomPop to bring British Telecom in on the UK start up of FreedomPop.

FreedomPop Expanding to the UK

FreedomPop Expanding to the UK

FreedomPop is the mobile service provider startup in the United States that has set its eyes on Europe and, namely, the UK. It wants to eventually provide inexpensive service to the world, but as it has only been around since 2012, it is just now laying out the foundation to do this. While the company has nearly one million users in the United States alone and has brought in nearly $50 million in fundraising to help purchase data for the free user accounts, FreedomPop now wants to attempt to provide mobile phone services to Europe as well.

The startup, when it officially opens its business doors in the UK, is planning on offering up 200 anytime minutes, 200 MB of data and 200 text messages for free. For customers who want to go over this (or who do go over it) are able to purchase additional services for an inexpensive amount. Even if customers do go over, they are able to save a considerable amount over what they pay in the UK. Plus, Wi-Fi service is provided, so users of the phones and tablets can still connect to local wireless Internet connections. This way, they can avoid requiring large amounts of data usage at home or the office. Plus, with the large number of Wi-Fi providers throughout the country, finding such a location shouldn’t prove to be all that difficult.

Now, this is just the first stage of moving to Europe for FreedomPop. The company wants to eventually move east through France, Germany and others. In order to do this, it right now is creating a roaming SIM card that can be inserted into a mobile phone. This SIM card can provide non-roaming text, data and calling access through several different countries with the ability to add more minutes, texting and data whenever necessary. For travelers who hit up the world and enjoy being always on the go, this can prove to be an extremely desirable service that should make staying connected to the world much more of a possibility.

FreedomPop again is only three years old, but it is already making a large dent in the way larger service providers are offing content to their customers. Other companies have even tried to buy out FreedomPop, but it has not proven successful. With the ability of FreedomPop to expand its coverage, it is able to potentially compete not just in the United States, but the rest of the world.