updated 10:31 am EDT, Thu July 10, 2014
Free FreedomPop service will be similar to current US plan
FreedomPop, a carrier which offers free cellular service for smartphones, is going to expand its service into Europe. The mobile phone network will be teaming up with Netherlands-based carrier KPN to test the service in Belgium, before working with other providers in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Spain, along with Pacific Rim markets in the "coming months."
The same basic free plan it currently offers in the United States will be provided to European consumers, CEO Stephen Stokols told TechCrunch. As well as the 500MB of data, 200 voice minutes, and 500 text messages at no charge, a paid tier will be available, and while it will be competitive, it is "not locked down yet."
While US customers can choose to buy a device from FreedomPop in the US, Europeans will just have the SIM-only plans available to them. Stokols claims the reason behind it is because "Euro markets not as device-centric as the US," with the SIM-only approach also helping lighten the load on "device procurement and logistics."
FreedomPop may find itself useful for travelers, giving them a free service instead of enduring the high roaming rates of their home carrier. Though the European Commission has managed to drive down roaming charges to their lowest levels in the continent, with the view to ending roaming by Christmas 2015, it will only apply to Europeans traveling within Europe itself, making FreedomPop attractive to non-European international travelers, such as from the United States.