FreedomPop deserves great kudos for its innovative practices. The Los Angeles budget mobile phone/data company has come up with an excellent new idea: zero-rated service for WhatsApp users.
How does that work? Basically, even if the a FreedomPop user’s data is depleted to absolute zero, the user can still access WhatsApp. No one every has to be out of the WhatsApp loop.
FreedomPop does understand that each and every market is different. In the United States and the United Kingdom, simply offering a tremendous deal on mobile service and data was more than enough to draw in scores of customers.
In Spain, a little extra work needed to be done. Tapping into the popularity of WhatsApp was necessary in order to connect better with the Spanish consumer base. Since FreedomPop does not employ a generic marketing approach in every marketing as the management of the company realizes this would not be a wise path to take.
FreedomPop, however, has not signed any specific partnership agreements with WhatsApp or its parent company Facebook. Honestly, FreedomPop doesn’t have to form a partnership just to exclude users from data charges on apps.
Spain is the prized third market FreedomPop wants to enter. The territory could prove to be a lucrative one. Since 70% of mobile customers in Spain are active with WhatsApp, it is no surprise FreedomPop wants to keep these potential customers happy.
Venture Beat has the whole story on FreedomPop’s plans in Spain. The article truly does cast light on the brilliance of the company.
In an interview on Mobile World Live, Nicholas Constantinopoulos, President of FreedomPop, talked to interviewer Kavit Majithia about his company’s recent launch into the UK, a second test market after the launch in the US. Majithia was curious about how this launch was received by other operators in European markets. Constantinopoulos explained that the successful launches alleviated worries by some 25 markets in Europe; now that FreedomPop has proved it can make a profit, it is no longer looked at with suspicion.
This conversion proves the company can be profitable giving its customers free data; profits are made by selling equipment. Constantinopoulos’s feeling is that now that he has shown his company’s plan can work in developed markets, the company can move into undeveloped markets. For the complete interview, please see: http://www.mobileworldlive.com/mwc16-wednesday/interview-freedompop-president/
FreedomPop is an MVNO or mobile virtual network operator, a wireless communications service provider that has contracted with a mobile network operator (a wireless company) to obtain access to network services at wholesale prices. The MVNO then sets its own prices. In the US, the first commercially successful MVNO was Virgin Mobile, hosted by Sprint Nextel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_virtual_network_operator
FreedomPop was founded in 2011, and began selling 4G only hotspots in October 2012. In April 2013, the company partnered with Sprint. By October 2013, FreedomPop launched its beta free mobile phone plan that included voice, text, and data with your own device (had to be Sprint compatible). FreedomPop offers free phone service and makes its money from selling its own phones, tablets, and other devices. In 2015, FreedomPop started a nationwide WiFi program, which sells customers unlimited voice, text and WiFi for $5/month. In 2016, they launched a roaming SIM for free data abroad in the US and Europe. There are plans to expand into Southeast Asia and Latin America by the end of 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreedomPop