The internet has become so entrenched in the day to day lives of billions in the world that it often seems even a day without it can lead to withdrawls. In fact, there are now over 2 billion internet users in the world today. When the internet at a particular location becomes slow or inoperational it can be devastating. Business professionals who are on the road often deal with the issue of finding a place to get online; scouring the city and having to deal with paying extreme rates at hotels and restaurants just to keep in touch. For something that has become so necessary, it’s often becoming increasingly difficult to stay connected. An upstart company is taking a game changing strategy and aiming to alleviate our internet woes.
The company, FreedomPop, is shaking things up in the mobile web industry. Financially backed by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, FreedomPop is committing themselves to providing the United States and beyond with ’100% free 4G mobile broadband internet access’.
Their main site currently provides only a contact form to be notified of the impending launch, but a small amount of information has been gathered on their master plan. FreedomPop boasts that they will offer the fastest wireless internet anywhere, anytime and with any device. Their website encourages consumers to replace their existing home internet service, and even their phone service with FreedomPop.
Seem to good to be true? It partially is. While internet veterans NetZero recently unveiled a free wireless internet plan offering 200 MB of free usage per month, FreedomPop is upping the ante and offering a full 1 GB of data per month absolutely free. Expect the service to be up and running starting sometime in July or September.
You have to admire the courage of the move; nowadays it’s exceedingly difficult to get your brand name into the mind of the consumer without years of research and millions in advertising. This promotion is a fantastic way to generate quick and substantial awareness in the mind of consumers everywhere. This move, while capital intensive at first, will also pay huge dividends with the amount of customer data they can collect. FreedomPop will collect our names, phone numbers, and email addresses; obtaining this type of data is becoming increasingly valuable as we move ahead in the 21st century.
You know FreedomPop is a young company because the domain name ‘FreedomPop.com‘ was only just registered on October 14, 2011. In an age where companies are paying six and seven figures for domain names to reach out to customers, it’s hard not to like the $10 investment per year to lock down FreedomPop.com.
The company mantra is that the internet is a right, not a privilege. But how is FreedomPop going to make money? The company intends to charge .01 for every MB over the free GB that a consumer uses, which could easily add up to help them to recoup their initial outlay. They’re also throwing out another revolutionary idea; building a form of social network where free data usage can be earned and traded amongst friends. You would earn free data from referring customers to the service (another great form of free customer acquisition). They want to build a platform on FreedomPop that includes sharing location and status and promoting easy communication amongst friends. Advertising is another obvious revenue stream once they lock in thousands or millions of subscribers.
Anytime a consumer hears the word free, they’re going to listen, especially when it’s pertaining to a service that many can’t live without. It’s an immense gamble for the company as they are basically rewriting the books on strategy, but if the proper infrastructure is there, it’s one that can catapult FreedomPop to an overnight giant in the industry. The move is going to put a lot of pressure on rival phone and internet service providers who have been milking their customers for years. Could this be the beginning of cheaper and more accessible internet for all? One can hope, but we’ve got a front row seat to find out.
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