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Free data service aims to disrupt US mobile market

A US start-up backed by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom and his venture capital firm Atomico is aiming to disrupt the wireless broadband market with a commitment to deliver free high speed data services to its users. FreedomPop has launched the beta version of its service and will be offering 500MB of free data usage to each of its customers using US wholesale operator Clearwire’s WiMAX network.

The firm will sell excess data beyond the initial 500MB at $0.01 per MB. Users will be able to trade unused data capacities with each other on a social network. FreedomPop said that it aims to switch the service onto Sprint’s LTE spectrum sometime in early 2013.

Similar free or low-cost services have been launched in Europe in recent months. In the UK, MVNO Samba Mobile launched a service that offers free mobile data in return for viewing adverts.

In France, low-cost 3G operator Free managed to acquire nearly four per cent of the country’s market share in just 80 days by offering low-cost commercial mobile plans such as its €2 per month no-contract offering for 60 minutes voice and 60 SMS per month.


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