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September 23, 2015
Alternative MVNO FreedomPop has launched a ‘free’ mobile service in the UK, on the Three network, as it expands it market outside the US for the first time.
The 2012 start up was created by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom with a brief to create free high speed data services over wireless broadband networks. It plans to launch into seven more countries by the end of 2017.
In the UK FredomPop plans to offer any iPhone 6 or 6S user a free service of 500 MBs, 500 texts and 200 voice minutes per month, as long as they activate their device with the self styled ‘disruptive’ operator.
Under the scheme, iPhone users can get an additional 5GBs of free data on activation and free international calling to over 62 countries. It will also emulate its US scheme, where a ‘heavier’ usage iPhone-only plan offers unlimited talk and text plus 1GB of data for $19 per month, with the first month free.
Current iPhone 6 users can now move their device to FreedomPop’s iPhone-Only plan and it will start selling the financed iPhone 6S directly in October. The first 10,000 users to sign up in the UK will be offered a special plan with 1000 minutes of talk time, 1000 texts and 1 GB of data free for the first month of service.
FreedomPop has devised a scheme to finance free usage, with customers being offered the chance to earn unlimited free data if they take part in third-party marketing schemes. These could involve giving personal information to a survey or downloading coupons. Customers can also share and receive free data with any friends and family that are also FreedomPop users. This, said FreedomPop, creates a ‘democratic community’ that allows users to decide how much data they need, how to earn it and whether they wan to share their earned credits with others.
UK users can also roll over any unused data each month, receive usage alerts to ensure they don’t incur overage charges and get an additional virtual phone number for free international calls.
“The UK has had many mobile providers and services enter the market, but none offer free service, guaranteed for life,” said CEO and FreedomPop co-founder Stephen Stokols. “We believe everyone should have access to mobile services, and we’re going to make that a reality in the UK.”
FreedomPop plans to expand its free service to seven other countries within the next 12 months and over 20 markets by 2017.
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