Every once in awhile the question will arise – Should access to the Internet be free? It seems as though the global exchange of information in real time has become just as essential as requesting a glass of water at a restaurant, free of charge of course. From students to parents, blue collar and white collar workers, the homeless and the elite, fast and sometimes life-saving communications and information shared on the internet has become crucial to our existence in this modern tech-driven society.
The obvious response to the question of free wi-fi and voice is – who will bear the costs of the needed infrastructure and staff? Well, according to a FreedomPop review, this company has developed an interesting service model which offers limited cell phone and internet access that would fit many individuals who otherwise cannot afford the increasing costs of big box cellular services.
As a start-up, FreedomPop established over 10 million hotspots over the United States and charged just $5 per month for a basic cellular voice and data plan. They successfully took a big bite out of the four big carriers who failed to acknowledge the large base of potential customers who required light usage and demanded low fees. The current FreedomPop service model clearly demonstrates that cellular and wi-fi access can be offered for free, along with an ala carte, or add-on as needed option, to provide flexible, affordable, and convenient access to this modern day lifeline. A summary of the company’s plan includes:
500MB of 4G cellular service
200 voice minutes and unlimited texting
no required contract or cancellation fees
hotspots on the extensive Sprint network
$10 ‘top up plan’ to purchase additional access
1 year free service plan
low cost $10.99/month after first year
Rather than gouge the consumer with unnecessary fees, $80 to $100 rigid service plans common to the big four cellular carriers, and high priced gigabyte data, FreedomPop generously offers a $20/month unlimited everything plan that rivals the big four. Along with access to one the most extensive networks in the world, the company has also added a line of LTE phones and the iPhone 5 to its mobile provider lineup, offering all customers a high-end, voice and data experience without compromise.
Through innovative thinking and a consumer-oriented mission, access to a minimum level of free internet and voice or highly affordable services are not only possible but should also be expected. FreedomPop has challenged the big Four Carriers to refocus and rethink their service models to include a broader clip of our society, and its needs.
Recently, FreedomPop announced that its newest plan to appeal to the widest audience possible would be to allow users “zero-rated access” to WhatsApp. In other words, this means that the app will be completely free for users even if there’s little or no remaining data left on their data plan. The only drawback to this plan is that its only available to users in Spain, which is where the service will start.
The whole goal of FreedomPop, which first launched out of Los Angeles five years ago, was allowing its customers to have more free time, text messaging and data usage than a regular mobile phone plan would. The plan started with users purchasing the app for a specific amount but then being able to increase their data usage with an extra purchase for a smaller price later on. The company also offers free roaming data in other countries, including Germany, Italy, Belgium and France and plans to do business in at least fifty countries by year’s end.
Much of FreedomPop’s recent success has been credited to holding massive fund raisers over time, the most recent one being a $50 million round of funding that took place this past January. Stephen Stokols, the CEO of FreedomPop, stated that his company was the first one to openly embrace WhatsApp and promote it without having to rely solely on social media to do so.
FreedomPop’s innovative concept of a budget phone that provides a totally, 100% free amount of monthly data, text, and phone service has allowed the company to grow tremendously. Some might wonder how the company is able to make money on such a deal. The CEO, Stephen Stokols, reveals customers are so thrilled with FreedomPop’s service, they upgrade quickly to expanded service. They also are more willing to buy other products from FreedomPop such as new phones or “on the go” modems. Stephen Stokols gave a brilliant interview for RCR Wireless News’ YouTube channel, and the interview covered a lot of unique topics.
One topic fans of the tech world are interested in reading about is the huge influx of venture capital FreedomPop has acquired. The company has raised $50 million in funding, and there are sores of expansion plans in the works. Stokols mentions people all around the world are interested in deals. The phones and service are extremely popular in the United Kingdom thanks to budget-minded customers. About 44%/45% of hose frugal customers end up upgrading to paid services. FreedomPop wants to add more territories and more customers who will just as welcoming to the company.
RCR Wireless has the whole story. Reading the overview, and then check out the online video interview.