& cplSiteName &

Eurobites: FreedomPop Heads to Europe

Paul Rainford
7/11/2014
50%
50%

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: UK operators welcome data law change; BT has its day in court, and bags a Special One; VDSL2 boost in France.

  • FreedomPop , the disruptive US wireless service provider that offers free voice, text, and data to its customers, has struck an MVNO deal with BASE , the Belgian mobile operator owned by Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), and plans to launch in multiple other European markets. "We have proved that a freemium model works economically for our company, our network hosting partners and most importantly, the consumer," said FreedomPop founder and COO Steven Sesar in a statement issued by BASE. "We have been getting a ton of interest from consumers across the globe and now along with international carriers like BASE Company we are excited to broaden our footprint to Europe through this first agreement in Belgium." And BASE seems pretty pumped by having the upstart service provider on its network. "FreedomPop is a challenger, just like us, and represents the kind of innovative service model that will deliver both growth and value," said CEO Jos Donvil. FreedomPop will launch in Belgium by offering SIM-based mobile plans (but not devices) that include a "base amount of complimentary data, voice and text each month coupled to a range of value added services and additional low cost options for higher consumption users." A launch date for the service in Belgium has not been set. FreedomPop, which is backed by DCM Capital, Mangrove Capital Partners and Atomico Ventures (run by Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom), launched in the US in October 2012 and has signed up more than 250,000 users. (See FreedomPop Grabs $5M to Support Android Push.)

  • UK mobile operators have broadly welcomed the British government's plan to rush through emergency legislation on data retention, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). After a European Court of Justice ruling in April, operators had been uncertain of where they stood on the issue of retaining customers' personal phone data for possible use by the authorities, and the feeling is that this new legislation will clarify their responsibilities. One source told the FT: "If they hadn't done this, it would have been difficult to carry on holding data." It will be interesting to see if other EU countries follow the UK's lead on this.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has won a UK Supreme Court ruling allowing it to change the prices it charges mobile operators to use its fixed-line network to call "non-geographic" numbers that begin with "08." Bloomberg reports that Vodafone, EE, Telefónica (O2) and 3 had their joint appeal dismissed, though they plan to review the judgement.

  • The fate of the proposed €13.5 billion (US$18.3 billion) acquisition of French mobile operator SFR by Numericable-SFR won't be decided until the third quarter, reports Reuters. The competition watchdog will pronounce on that deal and Numericable's proposed acquisition of Virgin Mobile at the same time. (See Eurobites: Numericable Wins SFR M&A Tussle.)

  • Still in France, regulator ARCEP 's expert committee on copper networks has given its approval to the extension of VDSL2 technology throughout Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s French network. See Arcep's release on the matter for more details.

  • Bahrain's Viva has become the latest operator to join the Bridge Alliance, a partnership of 36 mobile operators in Africa and Asia.

  • The European Commission has launched the "Connected Communities" initiative, inviting interested parties to submit their planned projects for connecting towns and cities for a chance to win funding and other support.

  • To some, including himself, he's the Special One. To others he's the Especially Irritating One. Step forward Jose Mourinho, current coach of ritzy English soccer club Chelsea FC and now also, apparently, BT latest star signing for its BT Sport TV channel. In its release, BT says Mourinho will be "acting as a football expert," a description that is bound to go down well with the gobby Portuguese.

    Jose Mourinho: He's only acting, you know.
    Jose Mourinho: He's only acting, you know.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

    (6)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    SachinEE
    50%
    50%
    SachinEE,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/29/2014 | 6:55:28 AM
    Re: The special one
    He has been in the news for all the right and all the wrong reasons, depending on how you choose to look at it, over the last five years but one thing remains true- he really knows how to attract media attention. So bringing him into a TV show, especially a new one at that is nothing short of a genius move. You can be sure that the viewership of the show will definitely be boosted by his presence regardless of whether the people watching are true fans or critics waiting for him to goof and, honestly, what more could any television network want from its newest employee. Plus, he really understands the game.
    SachinEE
    50%
    50%
    SachinEE,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/29/2014 | 6:41:02 AM
    Re: Freedom POP
    I first heard about the spectacular services provided by this company sometime in 2012 and over the 2 years since then I have been a very close follower of their work. The latest move by the company to bring BASE to their network of partners is a forward thinking strategy and one that will definitely help them establish a strong foothold in Europe. However, I still think that BASE got the better end of the deal considering the unique services that Freedom will be bringing to the table and the fact that consumers, no matter what part of the world they come from, will always love free things even if they are only packaged as such and not truly free.
    Susan Fourtané
    50%
    50%
    Susan Fourtané,
    User Rank: Blogger
    7/14/2014 | 11:31:31 AM
    Re: Connected Europe
    nasimson, 

    True. I said many sectors, though. :) What I would like to know is which countries are the ones with more need of a broadband project.

    -Susan 
    nasimson
    50%
    50%
    nasimson,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/14/2014 | 11:20:46 AM
    Re: Connected Europe
    Not just healthcare Susan. For MOCC, connected classrooms, citizen journalism, small service oriented businesses, etc., its a must-have enabler.
    Joe Stanganelli
    50%
    50%
    Joe Stanganelli,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/13/2014 | 8:33:21 AM
    FreedomPop
    This is cool news as a matter of carrier-liberation (although Europe doesn't face quite the same carrier oppression we do in the US because of the "global" GSM tech deployed in European phones).

    Is anybody here a FreedomPop customer?  I've been considering switching.
    Susan Fourtané
    50%
    50%
    Susan Fourtané,
    User Rank: Blogger
    7/13/2014 | 4:52:57 AM
    Connected Europe
    The European Commission's initiative to bring fast broadband to cities and communities is great news. I hope they will receive plenty of good projects to have the chance to win funding.

    Broadband is a necessity for everyone and a must have for many sectors such as healthcare.

    -Susan
    Educational Resources
    sponsor supplied content
    Educational Resources Archive
    From The Founder
    Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Deepfield's Craig Labovitz

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Shades of Ray
    Leading Lights 2016: Shortlists Announced

    4|20|16   |   0:53   |   (0) comments


    The judging is over and the Leading Lights 2016 shortlists have been published -- you can see who made the cut by clicking on this link.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing MulteFire – Qualcomm at MWC 2016

    4|18|16   |   3.29   |   (0) comments


    MulteFire is the latest option for using LTE in unlicensed spectrum. As oppose to its close 'siblings', LAA and LTE-U, MulteFire operates solely in unlicensed spectrum, which enables it to offer the best of two worlds – LTE-like performance with WiFi-like deployment simplicity. In this interview, Sanjeev Athalye, Sr. Director, Product Management at Qualcomm ...
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Grant Van Rooyen of Cologix

    4|18|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    ONS 2016 – Demonstration of Huawei's NetMatrix Multi-Vendor SDN Orchestrator

    4|15|16   |     |   (0) comments


    This demonstration shows how Huawei's NetMatrix SDN Orchestrator (SDN-O) addresses an operator's core service agility needs for services spanning multi-domain, multivendor networks: it includes a demonstration of:
    - Rapid New Service Design: using YANG to model a complex example of multi-domain, multivendor L3VPN network connectivity service that ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    AT&T Wants to Own North Carolina

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Venessa Harrison, president of North Carolina for AT&T, tells how the company will expand its GigaPower service beyond the seven N.C. cities it already serves.

  • This blog, sponsored by AT&T, is the second part of a ten-part series examining next-generation broadband technologies titled "Behind the Speeds."
  • Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Amazon AWS Reports $2.6B Quarterly Revenue, Up a Colossal 64%
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/28/2016
    FCC Poised to Re-Regulate Wholesale Access
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2016
    Mitel Asks: What Time of Day Do You Shower?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/25/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.