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FreedomPop raises another $5M for free wireless service

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 1:44pm
Ben Munson, Wireless Week

FreedomPop is gearing up to make the jump from WiMax and hotspots to LTE and smartphones and it will have an extra $5 million in funding at its disposal for the transition.

The freemium-model MVNO announced funding came in from existing investors in an A.1 series, bringing its total funding up to $16 million.

"We will use these funds to increase our smartphone inventory ahead of our Android phone launch in the coming months," CEO Stephen Stokols said in a statement.

In early June, FreedomPop announced its upcoming voice and messaging offering and said it will begin to offer phones—the Samsung Galaxy S2 and HTC EVO are in the running—to carry the service. As it has done with wireless internet access, FreedomPop will offer the voice, text and data for free with the option to add more on by paying or through promotions. The Freedom Phone plan free tier will start with 500 MB, unlimited messaging and 200 anytime minutes—with free calls between FreedomPop customers.

FreedomPop has put together its own version of Android that will feature slight modifications. But most importantly, it will enable voice and messaging through Android’s native dialer and messaging app with no need for an Over-the-Top application. Customers bringing their own devices to FreedomPop will just need to install app.

“One key enabler here is that it’s a data-only phone. It’s the first ever in the U.S. data-only phone,” Stokols told us back in June.

As FreedomPop continues to roll out new services, it will soon move from Clearwire's WiMax to Sprint's LTE.

In addition to the capital pumped into its coffers, FreedomPop has added some experience to its brain trust, nabbing Nextel co-founder Chris Rogers as a board advisor.

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