Revisit: FreedomPop goes OTT: gives away unlimited texting, 200 voice minutes per month


MVNO to sell HTC EVO, Samsung Galaxy S II and S  III
by, courtesy Firecewireless
Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) MVNO FreedomPop  said starting later this summer it will offer unlimited texting and 200  VoIP-based voice calling minutes for free to select Android phone users. The  offering represents the combination of FreedomPop’s freemium business model with  the over-the-top (OTT) messaging trend.

Importantly, FreedomPop said the data generated from the voice calls and  texts won’t count against the free 500 MB of data per month the company already  provides users.

FreedomPop said its customers will also be able to place unlimited calls to  each other under the new offering. The company will sell an unlimited calling  option for $9.99 per month, and will offer a less expensive tier of voice  calling minutes for an as-yet-to-be-determined price. FreedomPop’s service is  likely powered by textPlus–FreedomPop inked an agreement with textPlus for  voice and messaging services in January–but FreedomPop declined to confirm  whether textPlus is the vendor for its texting and voice service.

Further, FreedomPop also plans to start selling phones. The company  told Forbes it would begin selling refurbished HTC EVO  4G Android phones within the next few months. Separately, the company  told TechCrunch it would also sell the Samsung Galaxy S  II and S III later this summer too. And FreedomPop will eventually allow its  customers to bring any Sprint device to the FreedomPop service through Sprint’s  previously announced bring-your-own-device MVNO program.

The addition of texting and calling to FreedomPop’s existing freemium  wireless data service moves the company further into the mainstream wireless  marketplace. Indeed, based on the company’s new pricing scheme, a FreedomPop  user could pay just $9.99 per month for unlimited voice calling and text  messaging and 500 MB of high-speed data–a price far below what most operators  charge.

“This is not only disruptive, but game-changing,”  New Street Research  analyst Jonathan Chaplin said in FreedomPop’s press release. “This move  completely marginalizes the voice network by leveraging VoIP over cellular and  is extremely threatening to already declining voice margins.”

FreedomPop last year launched its freemium service through Clearwire’s (NASDAQ:CLWR) WiMAX  network, but is now moving over to Sprint’s EV-DO and, later this year, LTE  network. FreedomPop later this year plans to release an LTE-capable smartphone  case that would connect to a user’s device via Wi-Fi.

FreedomPop boasted that its business model, which relies on providing a free  tier of service in the hopes that users will purchase additional service and  other add-ons, has resulted gross margins of over 50 percent.

Read more: FreedomPop goes OTT: gives away unlimited texting, 200 voice minutes per month – FierceWireless Subscribe at FierceWireless


Thank you, TiA


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