FreedomPop is a mobile carrier that focuses on offering ‘freemium’ cell phone services to users by giving away limited amounts of mobile, data, and text to their users while upselling them on other products. The L.A. based start up became a bit of a sensation since their inception in 2012 after the founder of Skype lined their product with seed money to the tune of $20 million dollars. Since then FreedomPop has grown exponentially, recently passing the million subscriber threshold in America. Now the company is aiming to expand to overseas.
The basic product that FreedomPop is offering European subscribers is simple and similar to the America product, though slightly more restricted. The ‘free service’ on offer includes 200 minutes of voice, 200 text messages, and a total of 200 megabytes of free and fast data. CEO Stephen Stokols calls this the ‘basic mobile phone plan’ and compares it to anything you might purchase while in England. The big benefit of FreedomPops product, however, is the free international calling that goes to up to 60 countries.
On top of the European launch, FreedomPop is also setting their sights on a new international service called Jetsetter. The Jetsetter service aims itself at those high volume travelers that spend more time flying than at home. The Jetsetter SIM card allows users to receive an extra 100MB of high speed data per month for free and it is usable in Spain, France, and the UK. The goal for the Jetsetter program is to expand to include another 20 countries within the next 23 months.
Back in America FreedomPop has finally started to really jump their numbers. The upstart company is on track to do well in the third quarter of the year with their userbase rounding out at around one million total users. CEO Stephen Stokols knows that there is still a long way to go before the company can start to relax, thanks mostly tot he nature of competition in both the American and European markets. In America FreedomPop has to do business while skirting around the other telemarketing giants, like Comcast and AT&T. Right now FreedomPop only works with Sprint.
While FreedomPop does not follow a traditional model what they have been doing is quite profitable. CEO Stephen Stokols admits that their free service means that almost half of their userbase never gives them a dime, the other half ends up paying for extra services and data, thus making up for the difference. Their commitment to avoiding big box retail and instead focus on internet sales has also meant that they can keep all other prices low, directing their sales straight to the customer rather than the CEOs of big box chains stores.