FreedomPop officially launched a cloud-based platform that enables telecoms and other companies to roll out their own branded mobile services in weeks.
The MVNO unveiled “Carrier in the Cloud,” an expansion of its SaaS business designed to help both existing carriers and newcomers deploy mobile offerings while minimizing cost and risk. FreedomPop has already signed customers including Virgin Mobile, which will use the platform in the United Arab Emirates; Turk Telecom, Turkey’s largest incumbent wireless carrier; and Cyta, the largest cable provider in Greece.
Dish Mexico last month became the first company to use the platform as it began to offer free mobile service “to millions of mobile users,” FreedomPop said. In addition to telecoms, FreedomPop is targeting TV providers and financial services companies with its platform.
“What we hear time and again is that large companies lack the flexibility to test new mobile business models, brands and customer segments, and that’s at the heart of what we do,” FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols said in a press release. “The success we’ve had with our own business model has turned heads and made mobile executives eager to trial their own digital mobile services to disrupt their markets, grow their user base and increase revenues, so we built our ‘Carrier in the Cloud’ platform to allow them to deploy fully operative and innovative mobile brands, whenever and wherever they choose.”
FreedomPop uses a freemium model to entice users, then upsells them into bigger packages or other value-added services such as additional local numbers for users in foreign lands or a “safety mode” that prevents overage charges. It sells handsets as well as SIM cards enabling customers to activate their own phones.
The company’s free plan includes 500 MB of data, 200 minutes of voice and 500 texts per month. It has raised more than $109 million in financing and uses the networks of Sprint and AT&T in the United States.
FreedomPop is aggressively expanding far beyond the traditional MVNO model, however. In February, it began licensing its platform to major carriers, beginning with a deal enabling Wind-Hutchison Italy, the country’s largest mobile network operator, to use its proprietary monetization platform to help boost customer acquisition and convert free users into paying customers.
Earlier this year, FreedomPop began licensing its platform to companies looking to offer services through Lifeline, the U.S. program designed to provide broadband access to low-income consumers.