FreedomPop has now crossed the Atlantic and began offering a free 4G service which aims to compete with various low-cost mobile service providers in the UK, such as Tesco Mobile and TalkTalk. The company is aiming to expand its operations internationally and is doing so thanks to investments made by various venture capitalists.
As reported in The Telegraph, FreedomPop is offering a basic mobile service at no charge after users pay a one-time fee of £7 to set up their phone service on itunes.apple.com. The basic package includes 200 calling minutes, 200 text messages and 200 MB of data use. While this simple service might be enough for those who don’t use their phones too much, the company will be selling additional packages, ranging in price from £4.99 to £16.99 per month. These packages will allow subscribers to continue using their mobile service once they have used up their free monthly allowance. Customers of FreedomPop will also have the ability to earn additional calling, data and texting allowances by completing third-party offers, such as filling out market research surveys.
Just like other budget carriers in the UK such as Tesco and TalkTalk, FreedomPop will not deploy its own infrastructure, but will instead be a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), targeting consumers that want mobile services at reduced prices. An MVNO buys capacity from other mobile operators that have their infrastructure already set up and then resells it to their subscribers.
Stephen Stokols, the Chief Executive of FreedomPop stated that in the US market, just around half of their subscribers pay for additional capacity. Despite this, he says that only 50,000 subscribers in the UK are required for the company to achieve a positive cash flow. The company reports that so far, over 250,000 individuals in the UK have expressed their interest in using the new mobile service. Plans have been put forward to sign up new users through a website and discussions are underway with two major retailers who may sell FreedomPop products in the future. Due to strong interest in their service, the company may have to limit the amount of new subscribers in the first few months so that the service runs in an efficient way.