In a move that will bring competition to other budget-friendly 4G providers, including popular companies like Tesco Mobile and TalkTalk, FreedomPop is implementing an international expansion that offers free 4G mobile service to the UK.
Subscribers will pay £7 to set up the service, and then will receive free basic service that includes 200 talk minutes, 200 texts, and 200mb of data—enough to visit about 100 websites—each month. When a subscriber runs out of free minutes, texts, or data, they can opt to fill out marketing surveys from third parties to earn more free time, or they can choose to buy a package for the remainder of the month. Packages will range from £4.99 to £16.99
Since FreedomPop is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), it will not own any mobile masts in the UK. Instead, it will buy capacity on the Three network. Chief Executive Stephen Stokols says the company will only need to bring in 50,000 subscribers per month to create a positive cash flow.
Stokols founded FreedomPop in the United States in 2001 after BT rejected his proposal to launch in the United Kingdom. The current offerings will compete with BT’s own mobile operation, which has an MVNO agreement with EE.
FreedomPop’s goal is to reduce costs by sending as much traffic as it can over Wi-Fi networks as opposed to mobile networks. Stokols has plans to travel to the UK in hopes of sealing a deal for access to BT’s Wi-Fi network, which currently operates about 5 million hotspots.
According to the original report at The Telegraph, FreedomPop will only allow subscribes to sign up online, but talks are in the works with two major retailers. Stokols claims 250,000 Britons are interested in the company, which means subscriptions may be capped in the first few months in order to manage growth.