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.
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.
The FCC said it requires additional testing of MVNO FreedomPop's iPhone Sleeve, which the company said could "take another couple months and tens of thousands of dollars." As a result, the company is now offering anyone who pre-ordered the company's iPhone Sleeve before February 2012 a FreedomPop Photon mobile hotspot with 2 GB of free data. The company said that "if/when" the iPhone Sleeve does ship, customers will also be eligible to receive a free Sleeve as well.
MVNO FreedomPop announced it is beginning to move its services onto Sprint Nextel's CDMA EV-DO network, a move that will allow the company sell services nationwide rather than just in Clearwire's WiMAX coverage area. FreedomPop said the first device to make use of Sprint's network will be its new Overdrive Pro mobile hotspot. FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols also confirmed to FierceWireless that the company's business model is working, and that FreedomPop is currently "profitable from a gross margin perspective."
Clearwire MVNO FreedomPop said its WiMAX-powered $89 Burst home router device is now available for purchase. The device brings with it new pricing options from FreedomPop, which is offering Burst owners 1 GB of free data per month.
MVNO FreedomPop announced a new service that will allow its users to share data. The offering puts a new twist on the shared data plans from Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility by allowing FreedomPop users to give their unused data to any other friends or family members who use the company's service.
MVNO FreedomPop said that around 30 percent of its subscribers opt for its paid tiers of service. The figure is notable because it finally shines a light on a strategy that wireless carriers have been testing for years: offering a small amount of wireless data for free in the hopes users will purchase more.
LAS VEGAS--MVNO FreedomPop said its WiMAX-capable iPhone Sleeve has been delayed in the FCC's approval process due to an untested design element. The company said the unexpected delay in obtaining approval has cost the company and its manufacturing partner a total of $550,000 so far.