FreedomPop, provider of free wireless voice and data service, has been gradually assembling all the pieces to create a potentially disruptive offering, announcing today that it has chosen Bandwidth (also known as Bandwidth.com) to provide real-time assignment and activation of phone numbers to support the free VoIP-based voice offering.
“Because of its ‘freemium’ business model, FreedomPop had to be up and running quickly while also operating extremely cost effectively,” wrote FreedomPop and Bandwidth in today’s announcement. By working with Bandwidth, FreedomPop was able to economically launch its offering in “a matter of months,” the companies said.
“Most phone companies are plagued with a patch quilt of manual processes and systems that make it difficult for innovators to rapidly launch new products,” commented John Bell, senior director and product portfolio leader for Bandwidth, in today’s announcement. “Through automation, we eliminate this challenge, making it easy for customers to create revolutionary voice and messaging services.”
Bandwidth is an innovative company that, among other things, has:
• used open interfaces to tap into National Broadband Map data and augment it with real-world broadband speed data on an ISP-by-ISP basis
• negotiated attractive interconnection rates with Verizon
• launched its own low-cost mobile VoIP offering, dubbed Republic Wireless
• offered 911 services through its acquisition several years ago of Dash Carrier Services
FreedomPop is also an innovative company and has incrementally expanded its offerings over the last couple of years, initially offering a fixed cellular data service providing 500 free megabytes of data per month. Since then the company has added smartphone support and launched free voice and text service.
When Telecompetitor last spoke to FreedomPop in October, CEO Stephen Stokols told us the company had already hit 100,000 subscribers in its first year. The company makes money by selling for-charge services that offer larger buckets of minutes and megabytes, but which are still competitively priced in comparison with traditional offerings. In addition the company earns revenues from advertisers, who enable FreedomPop subscribers to earn additional megabytes by, for example, participating in a survey.