Sprint MVNO FreedomPop is launching a limited bring-your-own-phone program for its nascent freemium phone service, allowing customers with off-contract and older Sprint smartphone models to bring their phones over to its service.
Sprint MVNO FreedomPop sold its initial batch of FreedomPop-branded Android smartphones within a day and a half of availability, which CEO Stephen Stokols said was "far better than expected demand."
Sprint MVNO TextNow, which offers its main IP-based messaging service over Wi-Fi and roams onto Sprint's network when outside Wi-Fi coverage, is launching an LTE smartphone as part of its expanded phone service offering. TextNow said it will now offer Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S III for $200.
Sprint MVNO FreedomPop today expanded its offerings to include a smartphone and voice calling and texting services. Previously the company centered its strategy on selling wireless data through hotspots and other data-only devices.
There's a new school of mobile virtual network operators that have made their debut during the past couple of years offering innovative price plans, compelling devices and alternative distribution methods. But what makes these latest MVNOs--like Solavei, Ultra Mobile, FreedomPop, Ting and Republic Wireless--interesting to me is that they are being courted by their operator partners.
The mobile virtual network operator business is booming again, with new MVNOs launching nearly every week. But unlike the MVNO craze of the 2005-2006 era--highlighted by high-profile failures like ESPN Mobile, Disney Mobile, Amp'd Mobile and Helio--analysts believe that today's MVNOs have a better chance of success thanks to operator support ranging from customer service to billing and even device procurement.
Sprint MVNO FreedomPop now has more than 100,000 subscribers and is adding support for Sprint's LTE network, the latest evolution in data services for the freemium mobile broadband provider.
Sprint Nextel MVNO FreedomPop said starting later this summer it will offer unlimited texting and 200 VoIP-based voice calling minutes for free to select Android phone users. The offering represents the combination of FreedomPop's freemium business model with the over-the-top (OTT) messaging trend.
iTalk announced it purchased ITG, a Texas-based provider of international calling cards, with the goal of expanding the sale of its Sprint Nextel-powered mobile data service.
LAS VEGAS--MVNO FreedomPop plans to release a smartphone case that can connect to Sprint Nextel's EV-DO and LTE networks sometime this year. The case will be tied to a user's smartphone via Wi-Fi, and will provide the user with access to FreedomPop services including the company's 500 MB of free data per month and its forthcoming VoIP calling service.