US MVNO FreedomPop has brought its unusual business model to the UK whereby it only makes money when users purchase add-ons rather than from its core voice, SMS and data service.
The UK launch – its first outside the US – had been signposted previously but actually arrived two months later than anticipated. No reason was given.
“The UK has had many mobile providers and services enter the market, but none of them offer a completely new business model enabling free service, guaranteed for life,” said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop CEO and co-founder.
It promises to offer UK customers “200 minutes, 200 texts and 200MBs of data completely free for life.”
The firm already claims 250,000 users signed up since it launched a beta in May. Over the past few weeks, the MVNO has been working on product quality and what value-added services UK users favour. So far, a second international virtual number and rolling over unused data has proved more popular in the UK than US.
Other features of the service include the opportunity for UK users to earn unlimited free data by completing offers such as taking a survey or downloading a coupon, and can share and receive free data with any friends and family that are also FreedomPop users.
Other markets are likely to follow the UK and US for the MVNO. In an interview with Mobile World Live three months ago, Stokols told the firm it is in active discussions with six European operators to rollout the service in up to 12 countries, “with Asia and Latin America next on the radar”.
Its official statement today said the company “plans to expand its free service to seven other countries within the next 12 months and over 20 markets by 2017.”