The free American mobile carrier FreedomPop has opened up shop in Britain, and Tasco and Talk Talk mobile providers now have some serious competition. The feisty new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) received a 30 million dollar influx of cash from its series B offering, and is spreading its wings into international markets. FreedomPop is a Los Angeles based telecom company who offers free mobile phone service with add on services for minimal costs.
FreedomPop on androidcentral is offering a one-time only £7 pound set up fee with 200 free phone minutes, 200 megabytes of data and 200 free texts for its basic service. Additional services of extra minutes, data and texting is how FreedomPop makes its profits, and they include packages starting from £4.99 to 16.99. FreedomPop offers another way to earn additional services free of charge through surveys for third parties. The founder of FreedomPop Stephen Stokols says that only 50% of its customers buy the additional services.
Mr. Stokols came up with the idea for FreedomPop while working for British Telecom. When he left BT in 2011, BT had turned down his proposal for the innovative new service for use in the United Kingdom. Gavin Patterson, then CEO of BT, liked the idea though and stayed with Mr. Stokols as a board adviser for FreedomPop. When FreedomPop made its bid for service in the UK Mr. Patterson left his position with FreedomPop to launch British Telecom’s own version of the free service.
FreedomPop will utilize WIFI networks to keep its costs down, and Mr. Stokols will be visiting the UK this month. He will meet with Mr. Patterson of BT to negotiate for WIFI service and use of its five million hotspots across the UK. 250,000 Britons are clamoring for service with FreedomPop, and Mr. Stokols is worried they will have to cap its initial subscriptions.
FreedomPop keeps its cost low by not owning any infrastructure or towers. Like Google it buys its bandwidth from providers like Sprint and T-Mobile at wholesale prices. At this time, Three Network is the sole provider for the bandwidth to FreedomPop in the United Kingdom.