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July 10, 2014

FreedomPop Plans to Offer Free Mobile Service to European Markets

Taking advantage of consumers' growing desire for inexpensive mobile services, FreedomPop has been offering a deal that some might say can't be beat, 100 percent free mobile phone and internet service. All a person needs is to buy a mobile device, or bring their own device to receive these basic services, with better packages available for a price. It seems this challenger to wireless phone companies has been doing well, as the Los Angeles-based startup has announced that they will be taking service offerings overseas to Europe.

FreedomPop announced their plans to debut its free mobile service in the U.K., Germany, France, and Spain along with several markets within the Pacific Rim. Exact dates for the rollouts have not been stated, but the company expects to release service in the next few months, and has hinted at seven other countries added to this list by the end of 2014.

FreedomPop intends on offering the same packages to the European market as they do in the United States. For a price of $0, customers can receive up to 500MB of data, 200 voice minutes, and 500 texts.  More robust packages will be offered, with what the company refers to as competitive pricing. These services are available for both mobile phones, and mobile broadband services.

There is one major difference between FreedomPop's services in the United States and Europe. In the United States, customers have the choice of buying a device directly from FreedomPop, or using a device they already own. To help with faster introduction, customers will need to have their own cell phones, as FreedomPop will only be offering service in Europe as a SIM card. Being that most cellular networks outside of the United States run on networks that use SIM cards, this business model is much more viable in Europe.

Also keeping European practices in mind, FreedomPop will be working on providing a service that offers excellent roaming rates. International travel across Europe is a simple task for Europeans, thus roaming is a major concern for mobile users. FreedomPop, in trying to break into a new market wants to make sure that roaming rates are competitive.

The company has plans to break into the European market in Belgium due to its small market yet high smartphone usage. High usage of credit cards, and fast network speeds are also major factors in FreedomPop's decisions. These factors make Belgium an excellent testing ground for the company.

Just as FreedomPop has partnered with Sprint in the United States to host their service, it will be partnering with BASE, a subsidiary of Dutch carrier KPN. Because BASE is connected to networks outside of Belgium through KPN, building a relationship with the company can help FreedomPop in its future expansions. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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