FreedomPop calls themselves a new kind of telecom business. Since 2011, FreedomPop has been in the business of providing free and low-cost cellular phone service. In 2012, they introduced their free broadband internet service. This move was a mighty shock to Time Warner, AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon. Steven Stokols, FreedomPop’s CEO, characterized the major broadband providers as pillaging their customers. For heavier data users, plans are 80% cheaper at FreedomPop than DSL or broadband.
The company’s stated mission is to provide fast and free mobile service to all Americans. Their customers have responded by telling all their friends. As a start-up, the company still relies on word of mouth advertising, customer to customer, according to Re/code.net. This has worked well for them,.
Recently, they raised $50 million in funding. Some of this money will be used for an improved customer service platform. Much of their initial funding was provided by Skype’s Atomico, Mangrove Capital, and DCM. The company intends to offer free mobile services the same way Spotify does free music and Skype offers free voice.
Now, as a new service, they will be selling hotspots for travelers for $50 a month. The hotspot enables internet access any place where service is difficult to obtain. The established internet companies charge high rates for roaming, so this will be a major boon for travelers.