X-MOBILITY LAUNCHES FREEDOM POP; “Q&A: FREEDOMPOP CEO AND FOUNDER STEPHEN STOKOLS”

Chris PritchardChris Pritchard Posts: 90FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
http://www.eurocomms.com/FEATURES/Q-A/10851-Q-A-FREEDOMPOP-CEO-AND-FOUNDER-STEPHEN-STOKOLS#

Stephen Stokols is CEO and Founder of FreedomPop, a US-based MVNO that offers free mobile services, including mobile data, text and voice services.

Eurocomms.com: How does FreedomPop’s business model work?

Stephen Stokols: We use a freemium model. Similar to Spotify or Dropbox, we make money on value added service upsells - for example, international calling, having a second international number, online security or data rollover - and larger data allotments for heavier usage users.

You are launching in the UK – when will this happen exactly and what sort of packages will you be offering customers when you do?

We will launch our service later this summer. UK subscribers will receive 200 megabytes of data, 200 voice minutes and 200 texts free each month via the FreedomPop app or SIM card.

Paid plans will be priced between 15 percent and 40 percent under market alternatives.

Users will also be able to purchase value added services such as rolling over unused data or a second international number for friends and family in another country to call free.

Further, users will be able to make unlimited calls and texts to other FreedomPop customers, including those in more than 60 other countries.

What sort of take-up are you hoping for?

We’re on track to hit one million US users and we hope to hit the same milestone in the UK in the next year to 18 months.

“Free” is a universal value. UK residents love value as much, if not more than, Americans.

Tell us about your relationship with Three UK…

Our agreement is with X-Mobility, a Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator (MVNA) for Three UK, to deliver FreedomPop services in the UK. Through its wholesale relationship, X-Mobility will provide access to its network for FreedomPop UK users.

Is M&A activity in the UK any cause for concern? For example, how would the proposed merger of O2 and Three impact FreedomPop?

FreedomPop targets competitive markets where users are not tied in and open to switching. No telco has the Internet capabilities and model of FreedomPop to compete with “free” and make it work economically so mergers are not a primary concern. Facebook entering market might be.

What are the main obstacles you expect to face launching in the UK?

Operational and product experience are the biggest challenges to overcome.

Are you currently in discussions with any other European telcos in regards to launches, and if so who?

Yes, we are in discussions but can’t provide any specifics now. We plan to expand to five other countries within the next year.

You’ve said previously that you turned down offers from companies trying to buy you out. Why did you turn them down?

Before we decided to pursue funding, we had M&A offers from several companies. We ultimately believe we can drive significantly more value going it alone. Our investors believe we can continue our growth and success and we do too.

The EU plans to scrap roaming fees by 2017. As a provider of free roaming, do you expect this to impact your business in any way?

Not really. We are not competing on roaming as a differentiator. Our focus is competing on unprecedented value.
#TalkIsCheapUK
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Comments

  • MrXTMrXT Posts: 91FreedomPop Newbie
    Too bad no one asked why US users have a higher free allowance compared to the UK and if that will be changed in the future or not.
  • 1stJohn Arkley1stJohn Arkley Posts: 392FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    I did read somewhere it was because of different usage patterns in the UK.
    Thing they forget is I think the composition is keener in the UK.
    Billing cycle starts ~ 1st of month
  • Ali Ali Posts: 6,735FreedomPop Master, Test Role, iOS Master ✭✭✭✭✭
    @MrXT It's since the UK is a smaller country and so its generally more saturated with open Wi-Fi hotspots, which means that less data is consumed. As a result telcos charge much more since it costs more to operate a network that they'd otherwise make lots of profit from, and Since X-Mobility takes its cut as an MVNE, FreedomPop doesn't have too much room to offer as much free data.

    I still know of a secret way to get free 500MB of data for UK users though, but I'm not able to disclose this method unfortunately.
  • Fabrizio MartellucciFabrizio Martellucci Posts: 657FreedomPop Newbie, UK Pro ✭✭✭✭
    Ali said:

    @MrXT It's since the UK is a smaller country and so its generally more saturated with open Wi-Fi hotspots, which means that less data is consumed. As a result telcos charge much more since it costs more to operate a network that they'd otherwise make lots of profit from, and Since X-Mobility takes its cut as an MVNE, FreedomPop doesn't have too much room to offer as much free data.

    I still know of a secret way to get free 500MB of data for UK users though, but I'm not able to disclose this method unfortunately.

    Sending a box of chocolate to the CEO (Stephen) ? lol
    Billing cycle 7th
  • 1stJohn Arkley1stJohn Arkley Posts: 392FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    Booooo, that's like saying here is a bar of chocolate but you can't have a nibble.
    Billing cycle starts ~ 1st of month
  • Fabrizio MartellucciFabrizio Martellucci Posts: 657FreedomPop Newbie, UK Pro ✭✭✭✭
    Maybe if we're very nice, we will get it 'whispered' in our ear ;) LOL
    Billing cycle 7th
  • 1stJohn Arkley1stJohn Arkley Posts: 392FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    Isn't this what private messages were invented for? <3
    Billing cycle starts ~ 1st of month
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