FreedomPop

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FreedomPop
TypePrivate
FoundedLos Angeles, USA (2011 (2011))
FoundersStephen Stokols
Steven Sesar
HeadquartersLos Angeles
Area servedUnited States
Europe[1]
Key peopleStephen Stokols, (CEO)
Steven Sesar, (COO)
Websitewww.freedompop.com
 
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FreedomPop
TypePrivate
FoundedLos Angeles, USA (2011 (2011))
FoundersStephen Stokols
Steven Sesar
HeadquartersLos Angeles
Area servedUnited States
Europe[1]
Key peopleStephen Stokols, (CEO)
Steven Sesar, (COO)
Websitewww.freedompop.com

FreedomPop is a free wireless internet and mobile phone service provider based in Los Angeles, California.[2][3] The company provides wireless data and text services for Clearwire and Sprint.[4][5] FreedomPop sells mobile phones and broadband devices for use with their service.[2][6][7]

The company was founded by CEO Stephen Stokols and Steven Sesar.[8][9] The company is backed by Mangrove Capital,[10] Doll Capital Management and Atomico.[8]

History[edit]

FreedomPop was co-founded by Stephen Stokols, CEO and Steven Sesar in 2011.[8][10] Prior to founding FreedomPop, Stokols served as CEO of Woo Media, a video-chat and entertainment startup.[3] FreedomPop partnered with Lightsquared in December 2011, but ended its partnership after Lightsquared did not receive Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval to build out its network.[11] FreedomPop began selling its first smartphones in October 2012.[10] That month the company converted 5% of its free users to paid users.[10] The following month, in November, the number of converted users increased to 10%.[10] FreedomPop also began offering mobile and wireless internet services in the United States using Clearwire's 4G network.[12][13][14] FreedomPop converted 20% of its free user base to paid users in December 2012.[10]

In April 2013, FreedomPop partnered with Sprint to expand its coverage to include 3G and 4G with Sprint compatible devices.[15] In October 2013, one year from its initial wireless broadband launch, FreedomPop launched its beta free mobile phone plan that included voice, text, and data service.[16] In November FreedomPop launched a bring your own device for Sprint-compatible phones.[17]

FreedomPop began supporting and selling Sprint-compatible iPhones in April 2014.[18][19] The company also released an iOS app that offers voice, text and voicemail service to users within the United States.[18][19] A month later, in May 2014, FreedomPop began supporting LTE Android smartphones.[20] In July the company began offering SIM card-based plans in Belgium in partnership with Dutch carrier KPN.[21] FreedomPop does not sell mobile devices outside of the United States.[21]

In July 2014, FreedomPop began offering its free 4G data, voice and text plans to tablet users, starting with the iPad Mini and the Samsung Tab 3. The free data, voice and text plan is offered to those purchasing a tablet through FreedomPop or other eligible bring your own device Sprint devices.[22][23]

In October 2014, FreedomPop announced its own branded-line of low-cost smartphones and tablets. The first release was a 7-inch Wi-Fi only tablet, the FreedomPop Liberty, which has free voice and SMS text messaging. The company is releasing 10-inch LTE tablet, FreedomPop Frenzy, in November 2014 that will also come with free talk, text, and data.[24][25][26]

Funding[edit]

In July 2012, FreedomPop raised $7.5 million in a first round of funding led by Mangrove Capital and Doll Capital Management.[27] The company raised an additional $4.3 million in a series A1 financing from Mangrove Capital and Doll Capital Management in July 2013.[28]

Criticism[edit]

Jared Newman, a TIME reporter, reviewed FreedomPop's core service in June 2013.[29] Newman reported that some service fees were not clearly noted on FreedomPop's homepage including an active status charge of $.99 and an automatic "top up" charge of $10, initiated when monthly usage is within 100MB of the plan's monthly data cap.[29] The article also noted that the automatic "top up" charge is activated by default but can be turned off by changing billing settings on FreedomPop's site.[29] FreedomPop responded to the criticism by waiving the active status fee for new users as of July 2013.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ingrid Lunden (10 July 2014). "FreedomPop Brings Its Free Wireless Service To Europe, Sans Handsets". TechCrunch. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Don Reisinger (29 April 2014). "Free iPhone use? FreedomPop proves it's possible". Cnet. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Olga Kharif (16 August 2012). "Skype Founder’s New Startup, FreedomPop, Picks CEO". Bloomberg. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Velazco, Chris (July 10, 2012). "FreedomPop Teams With Sprint To Broaden Reach Of Its Freemium Internet Service". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  5. ^ Kevin Fitchard (8 January 2013). "FreedomPop, textPlus team up to offer freemium voice, SMS service". Gigaom. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  6. ^ John Shinal (28 April 2014). "FreedomPop goes to China to upend U.S. smartphone market". USA Today. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Fried, Ina (March 10, 2012). "Backed by Skype Co-Founder Zennstrom, FreedomPop Starts Taking Sign-Ups for 4G iPhone Sled". AllThingsD. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c Joseph Palenchar (29 April 2014). "FreedomPop Extends Free And Low-Cost Service To iPhones". Twice. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  9. ^ Geron, Tomio (June 5, 2013). "Data For Nothing, Calls For Free: How FreedomPop Will Offer Free Phone Service". Forbes. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Geron, Tomio (June 5, 2013). "Data For Nothing, Calls For Free: How FreedomPop Will Offer Free Phone Service". Forbes. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  11. ^ Woyke, Elizabeth (February 9, 2012). "FreedomPop Replacing LightSquared With Other Carrier As 'Free Broadband' Launch Partner". Forbes. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  12. ^ Joe Rizzo (9 October 2013). "FreedomPop Takes a Shot at Carriers with Free Cell Phone Service Offer". Mobility Tech Zone. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  13. ^ Nathaniel Mott (18 December 2012). "As Sprint and Clearwire get closer, FreedomPop has a smile on its face". Pando Daily. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Emily Parkhurst (27 March 2012). "FreedomPop partners with Clearwire to offer free mobile data access". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "FreedomPop brings its free internet service to Sprint’s 3G network, launches new hotspot". VentureBeat. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  16. ^ Alice Truong (1 October 2013). "On its first birthday, FreedomPop debuts free phone plan". Fast Company. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Jon Fingas. "FreedomPop now lets you bring your own phone, offers $99 HTC Evo 4G". Retrieved 2014-07-27. 
  18. ^ a b Jason D. O'Grady (29 April 2014). "FreedomPop announces free voice and data plans for iPhone". ZDNet. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Ina Fried (28 April 2014). "FreedomPop to Sell First Apple Devices, Offering iPhone 5 With Its Free and Low-Cost Plans". Recode. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  20. ^ Kevin Fitchard (22 May 2014). "FreedomPop joins the ranks of carriers offering limited "unlimited" data plans". Gigaom. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  21. ^ a b Ingrid Lunden (2014-07-10). "FreedomPop Brings Its Free Wireless Service To Europe, Sans Handsets". Retrieved 2014-07-27. 
  22. ^ Jordan Kahn (30 July 2014). "FreedomPop brings its free voice, text & data plans to tablets including a $319 iPad mini". 9to5 Mac. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  23. ^ Jon Fingas (30 July 2014). "FreedomPop's free data and voice are now available on tablets". Engadget. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  24. ^ Jessica Dolcourt (1 October 2014). "Crazy-big, stupid-cheap FreedomPop Liberty boasts 7-inch screen for $90". CNET. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  25. ^ Kevin Fitchard (1 October 2014). "FreedomPop starts making its own low-cost smartphones, starting with a 7-inch phablet". Gigaom. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  26. ^ Seth Colaner (1 October 2014). "FreedomPop Breaks New Ground, Begins Making Own Tablets And Smartphones". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  27. ^ Devindra Hardawar (10 July 2012). "FreedomPop raises $7.5M to free you from your carrier shackles (exclusive)". VentureBeat. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  28. ^ Geron, Tomio (February 7, 2013). "FreedomPop Adds Social Sharing, And $4.3 Million". FOrbes. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b c d Newman, Jared (2013-06-05). "FreedomPop’s Free Wireless Would Be Cool If It Wasn’t So Shady | TIME.com". Techland.time.com. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 

External links[edit]