Light Reading
CEO Stephen Stokols tells Light Reading that its first LTE iPhone is the start of a big 4G push on devices for the "freemium" MVNO.

FreedomPop Gets LTE iPhone, Free iOS App

Dan Jones
4/28/2014
50%
50%

FreedomPop will start selling an Apple iPhone 5 and supporting 4G iPhones as it starts to move toward a more LTE-focused user base in the coming months.

FreedomPop will sell the iPhone 5 directly through its website for $349, or customers can bring their iPhone 4 device and sign up for service. The phones will be offered with the operator's typical free plan that includes 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages, and 500 MB of data per month, or with more data starting at $5 a month. (See FreedomPop Sparks Mobile Internet Free-for-All and FreedomPop Phones It In (for Free).)

The low-cost mobile virtual network operator's CEO, Stephen Stokols, tells Light Reading that the company is introducing an iOS app, FreedomPop Free Voice and Text, which will let the users of any iOS device -- iPhones, iPads, and iPods -- access free voice, text, and voicemail.

Stokols tells us that the iPhone is the spearhead for a push toward LTE on both iOS and Android devices this year. "You're going to see us moving more upstream on all devices."

The FreedomPop iPhone

Stokols says that he sees the iOS app as a "Trojan horse" to encourage Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) fans to get on board with FreedomPop. He wants to build an "installed base" of users, so that when "LTE SIM chips" arrive in 12-18 months, users can "cut the carrier" altogether and go with FreedomPop. (See 5 Rules to Disrupt a $200B US Mobile Market.)

FreedomPop started with the idea to introduce sleeves to let iPhones and iPods use the service. Then the operator went to hotspots on Sprint and WiMax Android phones. (See FreedomPop Sends a Free Gigabyte to the Home.)

At the moment, Stokols says, FreedomPop sells a 50/50 mix of phones and hotspots, but he expects that to change over the next two years as FreedomPop introduces a cheap tethering plan for smartphones. "I see hotspots going the way of the USB dongle."

However, Stokols is pleased with the hotspot performance, particularly because he can get the benefit of the Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) Spark upgrade in Los Angeles. "I'm seeing north of 60-70 megs down." The Sprint LTE upgrades "can't happen fast enough" for his MVNO operation. (See Sprint Sparks to Reduce Churn, Save Unlimited.)

He also says FreedomPop is driving significant business on the Sprint network. "If you take out TracFone and Lifeline, we're their biggest MVNO partner."

The MVNO startup will likely look for more venture funding in the third quarter, the CEO explains. "We have some conversations ongoing," and there have been "some interesting offers."

FreedomPop has raised $16 million in funding so far. (See FreedomPop Grabs $5M to Support Android Push.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/29/2014 | 8:29:34 AM
Quite a Development.....
I have had their Hotspot for a while--and it is quite decent.  Being able to provide their service on the iphone is also welcome news.  I reached out to them not so ago on this very point as I was trying to keep "relevant" an old iphone I had.  The challenge, though, is to sustain the model--and that is an open question.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive