FreedomPop Still Promising Free Wireless
Despite Clear Issue With Potential LightSquared Implosion
Last month Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström announced he'd be launching a new wireless carrier in 2012 that provides free wireless service
. Zennstrom and company are being a little murky about the specific financials behind the service, which is supposed to piggyback on the so-far-nonexistent LightSquared network. From a conversation with Fierce Wireless
it sounds like FreedomPop is going to pursue a model that's somewhat similar to the new Iliad Free wireless service we discussed this morning
. FreedomPop's marketing executive insists they won't be serving ads to help offset costs, but will simply use "free" to upsell to additional services:
We will not serve ads, can't get into too much detail here since the revenue model is part of the innovation we are delivering," wrote Tony Miller, FreedomPop's head of marketing and communications, in an email to FierceBroadbandWireless.
He noted the revenue model will be "similar to those proved on Web, whereby the heavy users subsidize the less active," and confirmed FreedomPop is actually pursuing a "freemium" model, where basic services are offered for free but premium services cost money.
FreedomPop's biggest obstacle is of course they're basing their entire project on a company that has yet to actually build a wireless network, and may never get the chance if political opponents, AT&T/Verizon lobbyists, and GPS industry executives get the final say. Still, combined with options like Republic Wireless
, it's refreshing to see companies at least trying to be disruptive in the mobile space in terms of pricing.