FreedomPop has been able to attract a strong following in the year since it began offering "freemium" Internet service. Now it is upgrading to a new 4G LTE hotspot device using the Sprint network throughout the U.S.
The terms and conditions of FreedomPop's new hotspot device are the same as all previous devices, which means that the first 500 megabytes of data will be free and then all service afterwords will cost a relatively small amount.
For locations that currently do not have access to 4G, the hotspot will offer 3G service as well. The device currently is discounted to $149, but its regular price will be around $250. It offers service to as many as 10 devices and includes 10 hours of battery life.
Keeping Customers Happy
When talking with VentureBeat, FreedomPop's CEO Stephen Stokols said the lack of LTE service up until now was due to limitations on Sprint's network as it expanded its 4G offerings. Now that Sprint has been acquired by SoftBank and is going to be offering LTE service in more locations, FreedomPop can finally include a hotspot with support for Sprint's network in its lineup.
Since the SoftBank acquisition of Sprint, shareholders have been assured that Sprint's 4G offerings would increase rapidly in the United States, which will help move FreedomPop along as well.
Now that many customers are reliant on 4G service to get much of their Internet-based work done, FreedomPop will swap out most of its devices for models that include support for the faster networks. So far, that plan has worked out well with Stokols saying they have sold more 3G/4G devices than they can keep up with.
FreedomPop said that along with offering faster devices, will double its customer service staff. For customers with an older device that does not include 4G support, FreedomPop hopes to start a swap-out service in coming months.
FreedomPop has seen impressive growth since it began to offer its broadband service just a year ago. Although the company has been stingy when it comes to releasing numbers, FreedomPop's sales have been in the "six figures" with subscriptions growing at a rate of 15 percent to 20 percent each month, and revenue increasing by 20 percent to 25 percent each month.
Along with continuous growth, the majority of FreedomPop's income is coming from the 45 percent of users that pay for premium service.
By offering 4G to more of its customers, FreedomPop will likely be able to increase its growth rate. Sprint offers network speeds of 6 to 8 megabits per second, which should be attractive to potential customers.