The mobile phone market is one that constantly evolves based on the needs of the user and the abilities of the provider to adjust their business model in order to accommodate them. With a rise in mobile hotspots and specialized data plans becoming common place it is going to take something truly special to set a company apart from the competition. For a little start up out of L.A. the decision to go for a freemium mobile phone route was the only choice left and it ended up working well. FreedomPop has quickly grown into one of the hottest mobile phone carriers in the United States and now they are growing outward thanks to their inventive solution to customer needs.
FredomPop was founded as a mobile wireless service start up back in 2012. They quickly established themselves as a company worth paying attention to thanks to their innovative business model. Freemium models have become more common place in other industries, such as the world of video games, but they are relatively unheard of in the world of mobile wireless service. So when FreedomPop decided to offer their userbase completely free access to talk, text, and mobile data it got the attention of people instantly. Since then the company has grown to host nearly one million users while their quarterly revenue keeps tracking upward, improving at a rate of 25% per quarter. Now with this success in hand FreedomPop has had to shut down the rumors that they would be taking any of the rumored M&A offers that have slid across their table.
CEO Stephen Stokols told reporters that it would be “premature to sell at this point” and it appears that they will be focusing on an expansion toward the United Kingdom. The U.K. is one of the most competitive mobile phone markets in all of Europe and FreedomPop might have a tough time getting their foot into the door. Fortunately you can’t beat “free” and this is what FreedomPop will rely on as their service continues to grow overseas. Right now customers in the U.K. can sign on for the basic SIM based carrier plan which offers 200 minutes, 200 texts, and 200 MB of mobile data completely free of charge. There are optional upgrades and improved plans available, such as the roaming data plan ‘Jetsetter’, otherwise customers are only on the hook for any overages that they incur. This means that customers pretty much are in charge of setting their own bill.
What FreedomPop is doing sounds both radical and a little revolutionary but it is the natural progression that many mobile carriers are going to take in the future. Data itself has become so cheap that charging customers an arm and a leg is just not a viable solution anymore for telemarketing companies. Now we will see many carriers focus on nationwide hotspots and unlimited data plans as a means to hooking more customers with a more customizable product that appeals to their more specific needs and desires.