FreedomPop begins licensing its platform to carriers

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FreedomPop uses a freemium model to entice users, then upsells them into bigger packages or value-added services.

FreedomPop has begun licensing its platform to major carriers.

The MVNO announced a deal enabling Wind-Hutchison Italy—the European country’s largest mobile network operator—to use its proprietary monetization platform to help boost customer acquisition and convert free users into paying customers. The move marks the first licensing deal for FreedomPop, which offers wireless services through network operators in Europe, the U.S. and Mexico, although it said more deals will be announced later this year.

Wind-Hutchison will use the platform to add customers through digital channels and to upsell service to grow ARPU for existing customers.

“Extending the underlying capabilities and technology that have enabled FreedomPop to deliver 50 percent service revenue margins on a freemium model will accelerate industry disruption on an unprecedented level,” FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols said in a press release. “FreedomPop is excited to power the more progressive carriers willing to embrace innovation.”

The MVNO said it plans to announce a similar deal with “a major U.S. mobile operator” in the coming months and will also unveil agreements with more carriers in Europe and Asia.

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.

The company continues to expand aggressively beyond the traditional MVNO model, however. In November it launched an online store for used smartphones, and in October it announced a joint venture with Dish Network to provide free mobile services in Mexico.

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