FreedomPop is a free wireless internet and mobile phone service provider based in Los Angeles, California. The company provides wireless data voice and text services for Clearwire and Sprint. FreedomPop sells mobile phones, tablets and broadband devices for use with their service. The company was founded by CEO Stephen Stokols and Steven Sesar. The company is backed by Mangrove Capital, Doll Capital Management and Atomico. History FreedomPop was co-founded by Stephen Stokols, CEO and Steven Sesar in 2011. Prior to founding FreedomPop, Stokols served as CEO of Woo Media, a video-chat and entertainment startup. FreedomPop partnered with Lightsquared in December 2011, but ended its partnership after Lightsquared did not receive Federal Communications Commission approval to build out its network. FreedomPop began selling its first smartphones in October 2012. That month the company converted 5% of its free users to paid users. The following month, in November, the number of converted users increased to 10%. FreedomPop also began offering mobile and wireless internet services in the United States using Clearwire’s 4G network.
FreedomPop converted 20% of its free user base to paid users in December 2012. In April 2013, FreedomPop partnered with Sprint to expand its coverage to include 3G and 4G with Sprint compatible devices. In October 2013, one year from its initial wireless broadband launch, FreedomPop launched its beta free mobile phone plan that included voice, text, and data service. In November FreedomPop launched a bring your own device for Sprint-compatible phones. FreedomPop began supporting and selling Sprint-compatible iPhones in April 2014. The company also released an iOS app that offers voice, text and voicemail service to users within the United States. A month later, in May 2014, FreedomPop began supporting LTE Android smartphones. In July the company announced it would soon be offering SIM card-based plans in Belgium in partnership with Dutch carrier KPN.
FreedomPop does not sell mobile devices outside of the United States. In July 2014, FreedomPop began offering its free 4G data, voice and text plans to tablet users, starting with the iPad Mini and the Samsung Tab 3. The free data, voice and text plan is offered to those purchasing a tablet through FreedomPop or other eligible bring your own device Sprint devices. In October 2014, FreedomPop announced its own branded-line of low-cost smartphones and tablets. The first release was a 7-inch Wi-Fi only tablet, the FreedomPop Liberty, which has free voice and SMS text messaging. The company is releasing 10-inch LTE tablet, FreedomPop Frenzy, in November 2014 that will also come with free talk, text, and data. Funding In July 2012, FreedomPop raised $million in a first round of funding led by Mangrove Capital and Doll Capital Management.
The company raised an additional $million in a series A1 financing from Mangrove Capital and Doll Capital Management in July 2013. Criticism Jared Newman, a TIME reporter, reviewed FreedomPop’s core service in June 2013. Newman reported that some service fees were not clearly noted on FreedomPop’s homepage including an active status charge of $.99 and an automatic “top up” charge of $10, initiated when monthly usage is within 100MB of the plan’s monthly data cap. The article also noted that the automatic “top up” charge is activated by default but can be turned off by changing billing settings on FreedomPop’s site. FreedomPop responded to the criticism by waiving the active status fee for new users as of July 2013. References External links FreedomPop Homepage Zennstrom Said to Plan Skype-Like Wireless With FreedomPop
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