back to article US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe

Freemium mobile network FreedomPop has set its sights on Europe. The LA-based company has signed a deal with BASE, a subsidiary of Dutch telco and MVNO-lover KPN. It will launch in Belgium and then plans to expand to the UK, Germany, France and Spain. In the US FreedomPop’s model starts with a base price of $0 for 200 minutes …

  1. Ross K Silver badge

    I'm sure they know what they're doing

    ...but how do they make money?

    Will you have to listen to an ad before your call is connected?

    1. Stuart 22

      Re: I'm sure they know what they're doing

      Blyk, Ovivo ...

      1. Ross K Silver badge

        Re: I'm sure they know what they're doing

        Blyk, Ovivo

        Never heard of them, so they can't have been that popular.

        A quick look on Wikipedia suggests that they both failed to come up with a workable business model.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: I'm sure they know what they're doing

      I was wondering that as well. I currently pay 9,99€ for 100 minutes, 100 SMS and 200MB data and I generally use around 5 minutes talk, 15 SMS and 100MB data, so their free model would cover my needs most months...

      1. big_D Silver badge


        The one thing that would put me off is BASE.

        Their coverage is pretty poor. They already have a lot of virtual networks running over them that are dirt cheap, but I pay a bit more to be on a virtual network carried by one of the major networks.

    3. g00se

      Re: I'm sure they know what they're doing

      Will you have to listen to an ad before your call is connected?

      No need - they're NSA-funded

  2. Quentin North

    I can't see this lasting because of the termination fees. Unlike in the US, where the call receiver (also) pays, in the EU the call maker pays. If they are offering 200 mins of calls to landlines as well as own network, each call will loose money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They should not have problems with that since Iliad has been doing that under their Free brand for quite some time here in France.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      In Germany about 15€ - 19€ a month gets you an all-net flat, SMS flat and data flat...

      data flat is generally 500MB full speed, then throttled after that, unless you pay an additional 5€ a GB.

      1. Matt 21


        I imagine they're starting in Belgium because in one sense it's an easy target. Mobile phone costs are high compared to neighbouring countries. People are also less tied to their provider because most people buy their own phones. The law doesn't permit telcos to give you a free or lower than cost price mobile when you sign up. Mind you that's always being pushed by the telcos.......

        It'll be interesting to see what happens, I thought Orange would wipe the floor with Proximus when they launched (Orange became BASE) but they didn't. Initial coverage was bad but it seems OK now. I also wonder how they'll compete against mobile Viking, or whatever it's called.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another OVIVO ??

  4. aerostar

    Anothr OVIVO in the making ?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If I recall correctly, Ovivos demise was largely the result of a squabble between them and a software supplier, over whether what was written worked properly (That, at least, is as I understand it).

    I had about a year and a half of very good service, with customer support that EE, TalkTalk and Orange, to name but a few, could only imagine in their very wettest of dreams.

    I'm currently on 3 PAYG but if Ovivo reappeared with the same pricing model as 3, even, I'd be back like a shot simply on the basis of the quality of support I received..

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The $0 allowances quoted probably exceed my normal usage. My current mobile is not tied to a supplier. Even if it can't be £0 for reasons of fee sharing - it could be better than any current PAYG deals.

  7. thomas k.


    Just went to their site (and entering my location), I was shown 4 phones that might meet my needs but when I tried manually selecting the modified Galaxy S2 "Privacy" Phone, I was told they didn't offer coverage in my area.

  8. Caaaptaaaain kick arse

    Better funded than Ovivio

    but still 0 is a big freetard magnet (myself included)

  9. Nifty

    Re: Ovivo

    After receiving 0 days notice from Ovivo when I was cut off, on a very busy day where key incoming messages went missing due to my Ovivo number being deactivated, I would never again use a freemium service for my main number.

    But... very much looking for a decent occasional user tablet 3g solution since Ovivo went titsup and Vodafone reneged on their legacy non-expiring credit SIM deal where I had kept my SIM & account alive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ovivo

      I'm happily using a 3 PAYG 321 SIM in my 3g tablet.

      £0.01 per meg, non-expring credit.

      Been good so far.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I dont know what i want......

    .....but I want it NOW !

    Where can I apply?

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