FreedomPop is an internet and wireless company based in Los Angeles, California. The goal of the company is to provide free wireless and data packages to customers through existing wireless network infrastructure.
The basic free package offered by FreedomPop comes with 500MB of data, 500 text messages, and 200 voice minutes each month. FreedomPop hopes to offer plans to wireless customers who feel like they’re paying too much for traditional wireless plans, but who don’t use enough data or wireless minutes to justify paying large premiums each month.
FreedomPop has raised close to $16 million in venture capital in 2014 and plans to make money from their freemium service by offering add-ons for additional data, minutes, and text messages to the basic plan.
The company is able to greatly reduce their operational costs by teaming with Sprint to use their towers for data transmissions as opposed to both voice and data used by most wireless services. Using a modified version of the Android operating system on their available smartphones, FreedomPop has forced all transmissions through the phone to be either 3G or 4G, a much cheaper data option than traditional voice data. If FreedomPop was to follow in the footsteps of other discount wireless carriers like Ting, their current “free” offerings would cost users about $15 or $20 per month to transmit voice data in the traditional way.
Although the initial handset offerings by FreedomPop excluded LTE devices in favor of Sprint’s WiMAX, an outdated competitor to LTE before the smartphone market widely adopted LTE as the standard, FreedomPop has recently included the option to use LTE devices on their network.
In July 2014, TechCrunch reported that FreedomPop would expand its network reach to Europe. With partners already confirmed in Belgium, the company hopes to bring the same 500MB, 500 text, 200 minute plans to the European continent by next year. The major difference between the European phone plans and the ones available in the USA are that SIM-only handsets will be required on European FreedomPop plans. This means that users will have to bring their own handsets to the company and will not be able to buy many of the refurbished handsets available in the US.
Stokols, the company’s CEO, has said that negotiations have already begun with additional partners around the continent to eliminate roaming charges within mainland Europe, even if some of the countries in the continent have not yet introduced FreedomPop service.
According to CrunchBase, the majority of the venture capital the company has raised has come from VC Group Mangrove, a partnership among some of Skype’s early investors.
Recently, FreedomPop announced free international calling for its customers. With this announcement, it is rumored that FreedomPop might be acquired by Sprint. Give the FreedomPop app a try for free on both iTunes and Google Play.