& 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
    From The Founder
    The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Charting the CSP’s Future
    Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

    5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


    Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

    5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


    Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE TM Forum Highlights

    5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


    ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
    LRTV Interviews
    Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

    5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

    5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
    LRTV Custom TV
    NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

    5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


    Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

    5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
    LRTV Interviews
    Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

    5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


    Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
    LRTV Custom TV
    ARM's OPNFV Action

    5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

    5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
    LRTV Interviews
    Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

    5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


    Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    UBBS 2016 Highlights

    5|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Highlights of Huawei's UBBS event in Hong Kong.
    Upcoming Live Events
    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
    DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
    AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
    WiCipedia: Short Skirts & Back-Up Plans
    Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 5/20/2016
    Eurobites: Be More European, EU Tells Streaming Services
    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/20/2016
    Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
    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

    Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.