Sprint MVNO FreedomPop is launching its own branded tablets and soon a smartphone for under $100, hoping that the low-cost devices will help drive subscriber growth. The company is still going to support devices from branded OEMs like Samsung Electronics, but is working with contract manufacturers on its own devices, which could help build up its brand.
LAS VEGAS--Sprint MVNO FreedomPop has been in formal M&A discussions with a publicly traded telecommunications company that is not a Tier 1 U.S. carrier, according to FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols. That offer is in addition to ongoing discussions on a deal with a major U.S. carrier, he confirmed.
A "major carrier" is considering purchasing Sprint MVNO FreedomPop, according to a person familiar with the matter. The talks started after Sprint reportedly discontinued its efforts to merge with T-Mobile US. The talks were described as "formal," although they are still in the negotiation stage and the transaction may not come to pass.
Sprint MVNO FreedomPop is going to launch the Apple iPad mini and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 as its first LTE tablets and will enable voice service via the tablets. The company is also going to support customers who bring off-contract Sprint LTE tablets to its service.
Sprint MVNO FreedomPop is expanding its business internationally, and has inked a deal to ride on the network of KPN's Belgian subsidiary BASE as part of a wider strategy to move into Europe and other markets. FreedomPop plans to expand to the UK, Germany, France, Spain and the Pacific Rim by brokering deals with additional carrier partners in the future.
Sprint MVNO FreedomPop is considering a partnership with either AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile US, though the company has no firm timeline yet for striking a deal.
Sprint MVNO FreedomPop today announced it will begin selling a refurbished Apple iPhone 5 for $349. The company also said it will provide service to customers who bring their existing iPhones to the MVNO. Further, in an effort to generate interest among customers who are still on a contract with other carriers, FreedomPop said it will provide free calling and texting services to any iPhone owner through its new over-the-top, FreedomPop-branded iOS app.
Sprint MVNO FreedomPop today said it will sell the Samsung Galaxy S II for $169 alongside its HTC Evo Design WiMAX, the company's first smartphone that it launched in October for $99. Further, FreedomPop cut in half the cost of its unlimited calling and texting service, to $4.58 per month.
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 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.