As reported on Venturebeat, Freedompop will be bringing free service to Spain this summer via the popular application WhatsApp. The app will be completely free to use, even if a users data allowance has been consumed. A MVNO provider, Freedompop started in 2011 and has revolved itself around giving away free talk time, text messaging and data to subscribers with additional amounts costing extra.
Currently Freedompop is only based in the US and UK. Spain has been in their sights since they were able to raise 50 million dollars back in January. The application they plan to use, WhatsApp, has over one billion downloads worldwide. The Facebook owned company has attempted to seek partnership with other companies before, but this will be the first big venture into the European market. It should be noted that Freedompop and WhatsApp are separate entities.
“Part of the reason why this (Spain launch) is important is because it is not in formal partnership with WhatsApp,” explained Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop CEO. FreedomPop is the first carrier to embrace WhatsApp organically and create a model that works without having Facebook push it.
The company plans to disrupt other markets in hopes to gain subscribers. Since 70 percent of Spain’s mobile users utilize WhatsApp, it was very attractive to the company. As it stands now, Freedompop offers free roaming services in 31 countries to subscribers in the US and UK. Global expansion should ramp up by the end of the year. They are currently accepting open beta registrations for their opening in Spain.
Read more at this review of FreedomPop