Close on the heels of securing strategic financing from Intel Capital, Intel Corporation’s global investment organization, to expand its FreedomPop branded smartphone lineup – the US based innovative service provider is set to bring a unique Intel powered Wi-Fi first – device in the market by early 2016.
The funds will support the 2016 commercial launch of a Wi-Fi first smartphone, which will utilize Intel’s new Sofia platform, allowing users to easily take advantage of the rapidly growing ecosystem of Wi-Fi hotspots for mobile voice, text and data services.
“Mobile consumers continue to look for more ways to save on mobile bills, and a Wi-Fi first smartphone allows them to use a more cost-effective network,” said Sam Spangler, vice president of the Platform Engineering Group and general manager of Phones at Intel Corp. “We look forward to working jointly with FreedomPop in improving the customer’s Wi-Fi first experience via this new smartphone utilizing FreedomPop’s Wi-Fi network.” Directors Thomas Urban and David Johnson led the investment for Intel Capital.
The Intels’ SoFIA based Wi-Fi first smartphone will be very competitively priced and will include technology oriented to a Wi-Fi first world, including seamless Wi-Fi-to-cellular switching, the ability to throttle and boost network speeds at device level, and high quality VoIP calls. The smartphone will be available in multiple markets, with launch details to be announced at a later date.
“We’ve upended the mobile market with free text, data, and voice services for any U.S. mobile user, and now we’ve formed a strategic alliance with Intel to bring cutting-edge, yet affordable, devices to consumers,” said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop founder and CEO. “Intel’s investment shows the considerable opportunity we have to bring more mobile choice and value to consumers.”
FreedomPop was the first company to create America’s most cost effective mobile data network. With auto-connect access to the nation’s largest aggregated Wi-Fi network, the company offers any smartphone or tablet user – with any wireless carrier – unlimited voice, text and data on nearly 10 million Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide for just $5 per month, making it the lowest cost unlimited plan on the market.
The funding announcement was made at the Intel Capital Global Summit in San Diego, which brings together more than 1,000 startup CEOs, venture capitalists and technology decision makers from the Global 2000 for three days of invitation-only discussions and deal-making.
FreedomPop provides disruptive mobile services so that no one is left off the “connected grid.” Founded in 2012, FreedomPop is rewriting the rules of the global telecoms industry and is backed by Mangrove Capital, DCM, Partech Ventures and Skype Founder Niklas Zennstom’s Atomico. The company offers a suite of devices, services, and innovative social sharing and incentive benefits, providing consumers access to free high-speed Internet and mobile phone services worldwide.