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Is the FreedomPop acorn set to become a mighty oak?

A new mobile broad­band ser­vice is about to be pub­licly test­ed cour­tesy of Free­dom­Pop, the start­up that launched its man­i­festo last year promis­ing free wire­less broad­band for all.

The beta ver­sion pro­vides 500MB of free data each month, with rev­enue com­ing from a range of oth­er addi­tion­al ser­vices.  These include a $2.99-per-month upgrade to pre­mi­um sup­port, which will pro­vide device replace­ment and five-star cus­tomer care.

So what’s new about FreedomPop?

Any inquir­ing busi­ness devel­op­ment asso­ciate, prod­uct man­ag­er and chief tech­nol­o­gy offi­cer will no doubt be ask­ing what makes Free­dom­Pop stand out from the crowd. For one thing, it’ll be offer­ing a free data stick and a free mobile hotspot. Users will be asked to make a refund­able “deposit” of $49 for the data stick and $89 for the mobile hotspot.

Those who need more than 500MB of data a month can get access to extra at rates appre­cia­bly low­er than those cur­rent­ly on offer from tra­di­tion­al car­ri­ers.  A month­ly fee of just $10 will bump capac­i­ty to 1 GB and $34.99 will secure a thump­ing 5GB.

FreedomPop’s beta comes at a time when mobile plat­forms are attract­ing grow­ing inter­est from small and medi­um sized busi­ness­es seek­ing inno­v­a­tive new adver­tis­ing for­mats.  We recent­ly report­ed that 72 per­cent of SMBs are plan­ning to main­tain or increase their spend on mobile adver­tis­ing in the com­ing year, and the Asso­ci­a­tion of Online Pub­lish­ers is urg­ing ad agen­cies to take mobile much more seri­ous­ly if they want to gen­er­ate more revenue.

More to come

Com­ment­ing on the launch, Free­dom­Pop CEO Stephen Sokols said, “It’s a true beta.  We approach it as a Web com­pa­ny.  We are going to work out the kinks.”

A lit­tle fur­ther down the road, the car­ri­er has plans for add-on sleeves that will lend the iPod Touch mobile broad­band capa­bil­i­ties as well as pro­vid­ing a mobile hotspot for the iPhone.  That lit­tle pack­age will cost $99, and is expect­ed to make its debut with­in the next month to six weeks.

In 2013, the com­pa­ny has plans to move into LTE ser­vice via the Sprint net­work and pro­vide a new don­gle giv­ing Android tablets and iPads broad­band capa­bil­i­ties (at present, they’re main­ly sold with WiFi capa­bil­i­ties only).

Free­dom­Pop may be an acorn just now, but with its ver­sa­til­i­ty it has ambi­tions to become an impres­sive oak.

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