Free Mobile Calling Service to Expand into UK

News Article - Wednesday, 16 July 2014 10:55

By: Kerry Butters Category: Connectivity

US mobile network FreedomPop has signed a deal with Dutch telecoms carrier KPN to bring free calling and texting to Europe, launching initially in Belgium. If all goes well with the test case, it’s thought that the company will expand the service into the UK, Germany, France and Spain.

The LA-based company currently offer a free plan to its US customers which allows them to make 200 minutes of voice calls, send 500 text messages and download 500Mb of data. There’s also a paid version of the service which costs just $20 for unlimited calls, texts and mobile internet.

It’s thought that the free service will be the same in Europe but it’s not yet known how much the company will charge for the unlimited service. Whilst in the US the company offers its plans on refurbished handsets, it’s thought that it will be purely a SIM only service across Europe.

"We have proved that a freemium model works economically for the company, our network partners and most importantly, the customer," FreedomPop COO Steven Sesar said in a statement . "We have been getting a ton of interest from international carriers and consumers and are excited to broaden our footprint to all global citizens looking for more value and flexibility."

FreedomPop was set up in 2012 and uses the US Sprint network to provide calling and texting on VoIP; the company was originally backed by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom. Before the service launched in the US the company said that its target market was consumers and small business. It expected that around 10 to 15% of its userbase would be made up of paid subscriptions, which would essentially support the free offering.

Its move into Europe is testament to the success it has enjoyed in the US, but it will be interesting to see how it fares in such a competitive market.

"Enabling innovative business models with our mobile network is a key part of KPN's wholesale business strategy," said Jos Donvil, CEO of BASE Company. "FreedomPop represents the kind of innovative service model that will deliver both growth and value."

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