FreedomPop Launching WiFi First Phone, Intel Powered, In 2016
Sprint MVNO FreedomPop will be launching its WiFi first phone in 2016. Intel, that recently invested in FreedomPop $36 million, will power their first smartphone with new Intel’s Sofia platform. FreedomPop branded smartphone will run and will be priced under $200 and made by a well-known manufacturer that wasn’t named.
Intel will benefit from this partnership as well since the company hasn’t done well in mobile world yet. With FreedomPop, they will have a chance to change that. FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols said to Fierce Wireless that phone will be offered in markets where they offer service which means in the U.S. and U.K. for now. The carrier plans to add more markets next year in Europe and outside of it but since CDMA technology is not spread outside of the U.S., first FreedomPop branded smartphone will be GSM compatible and not CDMA made for Sprint network.
Currently, FreedomPop offers free and paid service plans in the U.S. on WiFi and Sprint network but will be revealing new partner in 2016, GSM-based. The carrier is offering free service plan with 500 MB of data, 200 voice minutes and 500 texts each month. In the U.K., they operate on the GSM –based carrier Three and are selling only SIMs. There, FreedomPop also offers free service with 200 minutes, 200 texts, and 200 MB but they are not selling smartphones. At launch, FreedomPop expected to start selling their own GSM phones just in time for holidays but 2016 is not too far off either.
Intel’s Sofia platform will be able to sense when WiFi signal is too weak and to seamlessly switch to cellular before a call is dropped and to control phone’s speeds which will give FreedomPop ability to boost users’ download speeds for additional cost.
“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. Intel’s investment shows the considerable opportunity we have to bring more mobile choice and value to consumers.” – said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop founder and CEO.
Source: Fierce Wireless