Free and low-cost carrier FreedomPop is shaking up the staple family market with a new free basic bundle and plans with more data that start under $20.
FreedomPop on Tuesday said effective immediately, families can connect and use unlimited talk, unlimited text, and up to 1 GB of shared data for up to 10 lines. A $5 line fee applies to the first two lines. The carrier is also offering family options with 2 GB, 4 GB, 10 GB, and 25 GB of shared data, starting at $15 per month. The 4 GB plan will run right around $35, while the 10 GB and 25 GB plans will cost $75 and $160, respectively.
The company said it’s offering a temporary bonus of 500 MB of free data for each family member.
“For families with kids and home WiFi, paying a premium for unlimited data is just a waste of money. Many families can’t afford more than $150 per month for mobile phone bills, and they are forced to pay for heavier data plans they don’t use,” FreedomPop COO Steven Sesa commented. “Now families can be connected for free, with no reason for any family member to be left off the grid.”
The move comes as FreedomPop looks to expand its presence in the United States and amid a fierce carrier battle for lucrative family accounts.
Back in November, Verizon EVP John Stratton noted at an investor conference the carrier was working to defend its high-quality base and grow its accounts, particularly multi-line accounts from families. And judging by other promotional offers in the space from the likes of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, families are a prime target. Even fellow wireless outsider Google’s Project Fi has taken aim at families, offering group plans back in October.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure in September admitted the carrier was trying to lure away Verizon’s family subs, explaining the inherent value those accounts carry.
“A prime customer will stay with you about two and half times more than a sub-prime customer,” Claure said. “So there’s a reason why our marketing campaign targets one specific carrier, which is the biggest one…That is because Verizon has a large amount of families that are prime. And if you can capture that, which is what we want – prime families are more than individuals with a single line – you start seeing the business provide a very different life customer value and profitability changes.”
In this case, what remains to be seen is whether families will spring for FreedomPop’s lesser known brand despite the cost savings and the fact that the MVNO uses both Sprint and AT&T’s networks.