Light Reading

FreedomPop Sparks Mobile Internet Free-for-All

Sarah Thomas
10/1/2012
50%
50%

Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) wholesale partner FreedomPop opened the doors to its public beta Monday morning, hoping to steal away "tens of thousands of customers" from incumbent U.S. carriers AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless .

The mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) plans to achieve its lofty goal by making mobile data a commodity, according to COO Steven Sesar. FreedomPop offers consumers a guaranteed minimum of 500 megabytes of free data per month on Clearwire's WiMax network, with the opportunity to earn more through promotions and by recruiting friends to the service.

FreedomPop will cap the number of beta participants, but Sesar tells Light Reading Mobile that he expects more than 100,000 to sign up. The service is initially available on two re-branded Clearwire devices -- a hot spot and data dongle -- that are free with a refundable deposit. The FreedomPop device that's gotten the most attention, a sleeve that turns an iPhone or iPod Touch into a data device, will launch in four to six weeks.

Why this matters
FreedomPop's value proposition is an attractive one, and it comes at a time when mobile service plans have never been more expensive. But, the service isn't without its limitations. With data-only service, consumers will have to rely on voice-over IP and over-the-top apps for voice and messaging. For FreedomPop, making money on the service will be a challenge if it's to rely on a business model that offers free data for everyone.

Right now, its biggest limitation is its network provider, Clearwire. The wholesaler's WiMax network covers only 130 million Americans out of the gate. FreedomPop does, however, have a deal in place with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) to use its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network next year, at which time it will reach more than 100 million more Americans.

The MVNO is one of several that Sprint is bringing online as it gets its own service up and running on LTE. Sesar says that the carrier was nimble and accommodating in the launch process, as both companies share a common goal of luring customers away from the big two.

"There's a mutual understanding that we can take market share away from the big incumbent two," Sesar says, adding that Sprint's not worried that FreedomPop's service could cannibalize its own, given its small market share relative to AT&T and Verizon.

For more




— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:20:08 PM
re: FreedomPop Sparks Mobile Internet Free-for-All


I'm vaguely fascinated by the audience for the service and if in fact they do have a potential customer base or not?

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Documentaries
PSA

7|6|15   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


A public service announcement calling attention to the perils of a hyper-connected society.
LRTV Interviews
Guavus Takes Analytics on the Road

7|6|15   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina tells Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders how the analytics tools developed for telcos are applicable to the transportation industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (8) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Equinix walks through the past four digital economy eras from computing to network to connected to today's interconneted world.
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones