With the Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision to overhaul the Lifeline program, mobile virtual network operator FreedomPop sees an opportunity for business. For those not familiar with Lifeline, it is a program that subsidizes telecommunications and mobile devices as well as wireless services for low income users.
The Lifeline program essentially offers a $9.25 discount every month on Internet and phone services for consumers around or below the poverty line. Under the administration of former President Barack Obama, Lifeline displayed some growth. But when President Donald Trump came to power, a new FCC Chairman was appointed in the person of Ajit Pai. A few months ago, Pai had proposed that the agency do away with the federal approval process for Lifeline service providers, which would basically turn those processes over back to the state. Those opposing Pai’s move are claiming that the decision will require prospective service providers to go through an extensive and potentially inconvenient process in order to provide their services to participants of the Lifeline program.
FreedomPop, however, is licensing its digital platform and effectively offer it as a simpler and even more cost effective means for service providers to extend their offerings to market via Lifeline. According to the MVNO, it was already able to strike a deal with one Lifeline service provider, PWG Solutions, and it fully expects to forge similar partnerships with several other providers in the next few months.
As pointed out by Stephen Stokols, the chief executive officer of FreedomPop, getting certified across 30 states is a real challenge. Prospective service providers may not see much progress, but with FreedomPop’s help, these providers can use the MVNO’s platform to modernize the way they make their services available.
FreedomPop’s approach to business employs a freemium structure, mainly to attract customers, and once users get hooked, the MVNO upsells the customers into more generous packages or other value added services, like extra local phone numbers for customers from countries outside the US, or a safety mode that helps users avoid overage fees.
Apart from selling mobile devices, FreedomPop also offers SIM cards that users can readily enable on their own handsets. The free plan the carrier offers already comes with 500 megabytes of data, as well as 200 minutes of voice calls and 500 text messages each month. In terms of financing, the company has already raised over $109 million. Want to know more about its deals? Feel free to browse other plans and phones from FreedomPop at Wirefly now.
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