FREEDOMPOP IS COMMITTED TO PARTNERING WITH THE FCC AND STATES TO CLOSE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE WITH LIFELINE
Company aims to help more than 100,000 Americans currently not eligible for basic free service
LOS ANGELES, CA – February 8, 2017
FreedomPop was founded on the premise that “the Internet is a right, not a privilege.” Over the past 4 years it has leveraged internet technologies to enable a private sector solution to bridging the digital divide with its freemium business model offering consumers 500 MBs of free data, 200 voice minutes and 500 texts. Over 500,000 Americans currently benefit from 100% free wireless internet from FreedomPop and over 1 BILLION MBs of free data has been given to consumers. While FreedomPop has played a role in bridging the digital divide in America, there are over 100,000 Americans that have tried to subscribe to FreedomPop but who don’t have an electronic payment form and can’t take advantage of FreedomPop’s basic free offer. In its effort to serve these unserved Americans, FreedomPop applied for, and on December 1, 2016 was granted a Lifeline Broadband Provider (LBP) designation so that it could provide eligible Lifeline subscribers with a compelling mobile broadband package with enhanced security and compression features that retail for $10.99. In addition, Lifeline subscribers would be able to purchase heavier data plans at a $10 discount to normal prices.
Over the past several months, FreedomPop invested over $1 million to develop and leverage its internet capabilities to more effectively qualify Lifeline applicants and protect the Universal Service Fund from waste, fraud and abuse with best-in-class processes. In addition, it’s unique and extensive digital acquisition capabilities enable it to reach a broader set of customers who are new to the program and might not be touched by traditional offline means. With the FCC’s recent order rescinding all LBP designations, FreedomPop is now looking to work together with the FCC and the states to establish a clear path forward so that it can launch its Lifeline services nationwide in the not too distant future.
“FreedomPop is committed to working together with the FCC and the states to address the challenges faced by low-income Americans on the wrong side of the digital divide, while protecting the Universal Service Fund from waste, fraud and abuse” said Eric Schimpf, FreedomPop’s Head of Lifeline who joined the company just 3 months ago. “In light of recent developments at the FCC, we are re-doubling our efforts to ensure thousands of economically disadvantaged Americans that had signed up to be our first Lifeline customers are not left abandoned,” said Schimpf. “We look forward to working with Chairman Pai, the FCC staff and the states to address concerns over program integrity and to ensure that the overall program objective of providing affordable access to modern communications services like mobile broadband is quickly achieved.”
Visit www.FreedomPop.com for more information.
Media Inquiries for FreedomPop:
Consort Partners PR
The US’s most innovative mobile provider will team up with MVS Communications to supply free voice, text, and data services across all Mexico.
Following the success of its free mobile service in the U.S., U.K. and Spain, FreedomPop announced today its plans to launch Mexico’s first 100% free mobile service in conjunction with MVS Communications, one of the most notable Mexican media conglomerates, and VARIV, a Mexican investment firm. FreedomPop will offer a base level of text, voice, and data 100% free every month, ensuring that no Mexican is left off the connected grid. In addition, all users will get unlimited use of Whatsapp.
FreedomPop has seen tremendous demand for its free service and expects to reach 1 million users within its first few years. Users will also be able to purchase additional services like data rollover, a second international number from any country, online security, micro-financing and international calling for a nominal fee. They will also get unlimited free calling to other FreedomPop users in all the countries where the company is available.
“With the Mexican mobile market dominated by a few big players, innovation has been stifled and consumers feel the pain. FreedomPop is partnering to bring unprecedented value to customers and a level of innovation that will shake up the existing market, that has more than 107 million mobile phone subscriptions, according to the Federal Telecommunications Institute,” said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop’s CEO.
The joint venture between FreedomPop and MVS is the first of its kind, where its innovative “freemium” model will be able to leverage the massive local distribution, expertise, relationships and market reach that MVS brings.
“Bringing FreedomPop’s disruptive model to Mexico, in a way that is synergetic to existing MVS businesses like Dish and MVS Televisión, puts us in the position to make a real impact on the Mexican mobile market and bring affordable and flexible mobile options to consumers,” said Ernesto Vargas, President of MVS Telecommunications and Dish Mexico.
Diego Vargas, VARIV’s co-founder added, “VARIV is excited to have partnered with Freedom Pop and MVS to launch FreedomPop Mexico to offer unprecedented free connectivity and help narrow the digital gap in Mexico. This partnership is in line with VARIV’s mission to build innovative business models that generate significant improvements in our community.¨
Beta sign ups are open as of today. For more information or to sign up, visit Freedompop.com/Mexico
FREEDOMPOP EMBRACES WHATSAPP, LAUNCHES THE FIRST U.S. SIM WITH UNLIMITED ZERO-RATED WHATSAPP PLUS FREE DATA ACROSS 30 COUNTRIES
FreedomPop becomes first U.S. mobile provider to zero-rate WhatsApp, offering free, unlimited WhatsApp in the U.S. and more than 30 countries worldwide to unify global mobile networks into a single free access plan
Today FreedomPop became the first U.S. mobile service provider to offer a zero-rated WhatsApp SIM in the U.S., giving any mobile user unlimited free data in the U.S. and in more than 30 countries across Europe and Southeast Asia. As over-the-top (OTT) providers look to further disrupt the mobile industry, FreedomPop is leaping ahead by not only delivering a completely zero rated WhatsApp service, but also including an additional 200 MBs of free data with additional paid plans starting at under $10.
The WhatsApp SIM will come with unlimited WhatsApp usage, plus 200 MBs of additional data and 100 voice minutes, 100 percent free each month, giving Americans a simple and free way to stay in touch while they’re at home or abroad, without incurring costly roaming charges. FreedomPop has unified more than 30 mobile networks worldwide to bring free global data to users, with more to come.
“There really is no reason anyone should have to pay for voice and text in today’s environment. Over-the-top communication services like WhatsApp have eliminated the need for traditional voice and text services that carriers still force U.S. users to pay hundreds of dollars a year for,” said Chris Chen, FreedomPop’s SVP Product. “The zero-rated model is gaining traction in more developing countries, and FreedomPop is leading the way here in the U.S.”
With the plan, users can simply plug a FreedomPop SIM into their Android or iOS device, and FreedomPop will cover all data used by WhatsApp as well as provide an additional 200 MBs of data and 100 voice minutes to each user, completely free every month. The FreedomPop SIM also changes the way Americans can communicate while traveling abroad, giving unlimited, free international data and texts to any U.S. mobile user across 31 countries with no additional fees, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Portugal and Italy, and others. The U.S. WhatsApp SIM follows FreedomPop’s launch in Spain last month, where FreedomPop is also offering a zero-rated WhatsApp plan.
FreedomPop is the first zero-rated WhatsApp SIM to hit the U.S. Zero-rating has come under scrutiny since the FCC’s net neutrality decision in June, but FreedomPop is setting the stage for zero-rated models that comply with the recent ruling.
The SIM is available at FreedomPop.com/WA
Doing what Facebook’s Internet.org has failed to accomplish in Europe to date, FreedomPop becomes Europe’s first mobile provider to “zero-rate” WhatsApp to offer free voice, text and data for Spain
LOS ANGELES, CA and BARCELONA, Spain – APRIL 20, 2016 – Following the success of its free mobile service in the U.S. and the U.K., FreedomPop today announced its plans to launch Spain’s first 100 percent free mobile service, but with a zest of local Spanish flavor. With WhatsApp accounting for more than 90 percent of texting in Spain, FreedomPop will zero-rate the app to offer free data for any Whatsapp usage, giving FreedomPop users completely free unlimited texting and calling via the app. Beginning this summer, users can simply plug a FreedomPop SIM into their device, and FreedomPop will subsidize any data used by WhatsApp.
FreedomPop will also offer standard free voice and data to users in addition to free roaming across 31 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Portugal and Italy, among others. FreedomPop is now accepting beta registrations on a first-come, first-serve basis at FreedomPop.com/Espana.
“With more than 70 percent of Spain’s mobile consumers using WhatsApp, it has completely cannibalized traditional mobile services in Spain and shaped a unique opportunity for companies looking to embrace the new OTT world we live in,” said Steven Sesar, FreedomPop COO and co-founder. “We’re creating a new mobile business model by leveraging WhatsApp’s success to ensure anyone can communicate 100 percent free, simply by covering the data bill for WhatsApp.”
FreedomPop has seen tremendous demand for its free service in the U.K., with plans to have more than 100,000 users on its U.K. service in less than twelve months since its launch. Utilizing WhatsApp, FreedomPop expects larger traction in Spain, targeting 500,000 to 1 million Spanish users within two years. More than 50 percent of U.K. users do not pay FreedomPop a penny each month, with the heavier users paying a fraction of what competitive plans cost. Users will also be able to purchase additional services like data rollover, a second international number from any country, online security and international calling for a nominal fee.
“Since we announced our intention to expand to Europe a year ago, we have received tens of thousands of requests from Spanish citizens to bring our service to Spain. Today we are happy to bring those users Spain’s first real free option,” added Steven Sesar.
FreedomPop plans to continue its international expansion by launching in additional countries by the end of the year, either by partnering with existing mobile carriers or disrupting entirely new markets via unique models.
For more info or to sign up visit FreedomPop.com/Espana
In celebration of our 100-day launch anniversary in the UK, today we are opening our existing network to UK mobile users for absolutely free.
Beginning today, UK customers can visit FreedomPop’s site to sign up for a new plan, which will offer any UK resident free unlimited data, 1,000 talk minutes and 1,000 texts for one month, plus a free SIM. The unlimited free 100-day anniversary plan will be offered this week only and will last for a full month from time of order.
We are excited about the success we’ve seen in the UK so far, and we look forward to bringing more disruptive services and products soon.
Get the Unlimited Data here
FREEDOMPOP RAISES $50 MILLION IN FINANCING AND LAUNCHES GLOBAL HOTSPOT WITH FREE DATA ACROSS THE WORLD
Latest financing will fuel growth and accelerate international expansion starting with free data in 25 countries beginning today.
LOS ANGELES, CA – January 20, 2016 – Just six months after closing $30 million in financing and on the heels of its successful U.K. service launch last quarter, FreedomPop today announced it has raised an additional $50 million in financing, bringing its total funding to over $109 million. The new funding will be used to fuel continued growth of its disruptive free mobile service and accelerate its international expansion in markets in Europe, Asia and South America, including the launch of its new Global hotspot and SIM covering initially covering the European region.
Available today, the Global hotspot aggregates cellular networks from across the world to give users a single seamless data connection for free. It will initially give U.S. and U.K. users free global data in 25 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Czech Republic. FreedomPop plans to expand coverage to over 40 countries by year end including parts of Asia and Latin America.
The 100 percent free global plans automatically include 200 MBs per month of data in any of the supported countries, and can be used by any connected device or smartphone. Users will have the option to purchase additional global data at just $10 per 500 MBs. The Global hotspot is available today for a special launch price of $49.99 and the SIM will be available for $10 at FreedomPop.com/Global.
“FreedomPop has proven that new Internet business models work in the telecom space and has developed the technology to scale it globally. This new financing not only validates our capabilities, but it also ensures that FreedomPop has the capital required to become a top 10 global service provider,” said Steven Sesar, FreedomPop COO and Co-Founder. “The financing also supports our Global network launch, which is an exciting way to give consumers free Internet access across the world and eliminate roaming costs no matter where they are.”
FreedomPop has added more than 1 million subscribers since its initial launch. The company will expand into additional countries, as well as announce strategic partnerships with top global mobile carriers over the next several months.
To sign up for FreedomPop’s Global hotspot, go to FreedomPop.com/Global
Shoppers Can Skip the “Deals” from Major Mobile Carriers and Big Box Stores to Rack up Hundreds of Dollars in Savings with Smartphones Starting at $40 Bundled With Free Data, Text and Voice Each Month
Holiday shoppers have officially started hunting down the best bargains to purchase on Black Friday, but those looking for new devices should be wary of signing up for that one cent smartphone, which likely comes with hundreds of dollars in mobile service subscription costs and fees.
FreedomPop, the completely free mobile services provider, today announced its Black Friday deals which include smartphones for as low as $40, bundled with its completely free mobile data, text and voice services for life. Customers that sign up through the offer will also receive unlimited talk and text and 1GB data free for the first month. Users will then receive FreedomPop’s standard 500 MB of data, 200 texts and 500 voice minutes completely free each month for life. The Black Friday offers are available beginning today and include:
- Motorola E 2nd Generation LTE: Originally $229.99. Now available for $39.99 and includes shipping, offering customers approximately 80 percent in savings.
- Samsung Galaxy S4: Originally $449.99. Now available for $99.99 and includes shipping, offering customers approximately 77 percent in savings.
“Many shoppers will see cheap price tags and rush out to purchase devices, but they should keep in mind the monthly cost of providing mobile service to that device,” said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop founder and CEO. “Our free service is perfect for those looking to cut costs and save more in the New Year, or for families on a budget who are ready to gift a first mobile phone to a teen or grandparent. We also have affordable options for international calls or for those who may want to use more data or texts each month.”
U.K. residents can now receive completely free mobile service. FreedomPop today announced that its much-anticipated 100 percent free mobile service is now available throughout the U.K., offering 200 minutes, 200 texts and 200 MBs of data completely free for life. For the first 10,000 users to sign up, FreedomPop is also offering a special plan with 1000 minutes, 1000 text and 1 GB of data free for the first month of service.
In addition, FreedomPop users will have the unique opportunity to earn unlimited free data by completing various third-party offers such as taking a survey or downloading a coupon. Customers can also share and receive free data with any friends and family that are also FreedomPop users, creating a democratic community that allows users to decide how much data they need, earn it and even share it with others.
FreedomPop is also offering new value added services to their U.K. users, including the ability to roll over any unused data each month, receive usage alerts to ensure they don’t incur overage charges and an additional virtual international phone number so people in other countries can call for free.
“The U.K. has had many mobile providers and services enter the market, but none of them offer a completely new business model enabling free service, guaranteed for life,” said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop CEO and co-Founder. “Similar to the U.S., FreedomPop will deliver unprecedented value to consumers with an easy-to-use, high-quality mobile service. We believe everyone should have access to mobile services, and we’re going to make that a reality in the U.K.”
The U.K. is the first market outside the U.S. to receive FreedomPop’s free mobile services. FreedomPop plans to expand its free service to seven other countries within the next 12 months and over 20 markets by 2017.
Following months of M&A speculation, FreedomPop today announced it has secured $30 million in new financing to accelerate its growth in the U.S., scale its operation and expand its free mobile service to more people, in more markets. FreedomPop declined multiple M&A offers, instead opting to secure financing and ramp its business organically. The Series B is being led by Partech Ventures and, as part of the financing, Mark Menell, General Partner, will be joining the FreedomPop board of directors. Existing investors DCM Capital and Mangrove Capital also contributed to the latest round. In addition, a new strategic investor is also being added to the round, but is not part of the initial tranche and will be announced separately.
“Partech Ventures was the perfect fit for us given its network and reach in Europe, where we are focusing our initial international expansion” said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop founder and CEO. “Partech, coupled with our existing U.S. investors, gives us support from Sand Hill Road to Europe.”
In addition to bringing new mobile services to U.S. customers and expanding its free mobile service to more countries, FreedomPop will move more aggressively into offline retail partnerships to expand its distribution network. FreedomPop currently has major retail partnerships in progress.
“We are excited to have FreedomPop as one of the first investments in our new growth equity fund. We believe the company has an incredibly disruptive business model for today’s large and fast-growing global telecoms industry,” said Mark Menell. “This is also largely a bet on FreedomPop’s outstanding management team, who we knew we could partner with from the first time we met.”
Since the launch of FreedomPop’s free phone service 18 months ago, FreedomPop has upended the U.S. mobile market by introducing free mobile voice services along with compelling, first-to-market offers such as data rollover, Wi-Fi first calls on a nationwide Wi-Fi network, free international calling plans, and more. Approaching 1 million subscribers later this year, FreedomPop is proving that innovative business models can bring positive change to consumers.
“We received several M&A offers, but we ultimately decided it was premature to sell on the cusp of exponential traction,” added Stokols. “Following on accelerated growth and our pending global expansion, we are confident we will create massive value within the next 12 to 24 months at which point we could revisit exit options.”
In May, FreedomPop announced the launch of U.K.’s first free mobile phone service, available later this summer, and expects to expand further into Europe later this year. The company also launched Jetsetter, the world’s first global SIM that offers free service that will be initially available in the UK, Spain and France.
Following news on FreedomPop’s planned UK launch later this summer, FreedomPop has just signed an Agreement with X-Mobility, a Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator (MVNA) for Three UK, that via its wholesale relationship will provide access to its award winning network to power FreedomPop services.
To sign up for FreedomPop’s UK Beta, go to freedompop.com/uk