Free things will always draw a big crowd. The crowd that wants free stuff is gathering in the United Kingdom after hearing about the arrival of FreedomPop in their neighborhood. FreedomPop founder Stephen Stokols is betting on the 250,000 Britons who showed a keen interest in his one time set up fee of 7 Pounds for 200 minutes, 200 texts, 200 MB data, no monthly fee mobile WiFi phones. Of course the free service will continue only until the free minutes are exhausted. Once that happens, then the subscription offers are made for monthly plans of 4.99 Pounds to 16.99 Pounds per month.
Companies such as TalkTalk and Tesco are competitors in that they do not own their infrastructures or masts, but they are on a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). Budget minded subscribers are the target market for these companies, including FreedomPop. The Three network will be buying capacity for the giveaways.
The idea of setting up FreedomPop in the United Kingdom was conceived by Stokols when he noticed how customers in the United States would only use half their extra capacity. Only 50,000 subscribers were needed by FreedomPop to be on the “cash flow positive” status in the UK markets. There will also be other opportunities to earn free minutes doing marketing surveys for subscribers.
Offering free minutes and no monthly fees to charter users will be paid for by cutting operating costs. FreedomPop will manage this by routing the traffic it carries to WiFi networks instead of mobile networks. The deal is set to be signed by Stephen Stokols in a meeting in the UK with BT, his former employer. The BT WiFi network will provide more than 5 million hotspots for this important requirement for this subscriber service.
Users can sign up online. FreedomPop will be available for subscribers who do not talk too much as they will have 200 minutes to go before they will need to pick a plan. The team work of Stephen Stokols and his former boss, Gavin Patterson was behind the initial movement to set up such a network. Stokols had initially proposed this network idea in the UK during the time he had already founded FreedomPop in the United States. His proposal was rejected by Gavin Patterson when he was running the retail side of the BT telecom unit. As history has it in this expansion of FreedomPop to the UK, Gavin Patterson took on the role of adviser up until the actual plan went forward to launch in the UK at which time he resigned that role due to conflict of interest.