Meet Niklas Zennstrom’s New, Mysterious ‘Free Broadband’ Venture: FreedomPop

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I’d never heard of FreedomPop until earlier this morning, when the company announced a partnership with U.S. wireless broadband network operator LightSquared.

FreedomPop, according to the press release and the laughably amateurish landing website, aims to offer ‘free wireless broadband, voice and mobile services for all’. Allllllright!

No word on whether butter cookies are also included in the offering.

It may seem like a joke, but FreedomPop is apparently spearheaded by Skype, Kazaa and Rdio co-founder Niklas Zennström, and backed by his venture capital firm Atomico.

It’s difficult to find any detailed information about the venture anywhere, so we’re left with the superlative-laden tidbits of info that we can find in the press release linked above:

“LightSquared, a wholesale carrier building a nationwide wireless broadband network that will create consumer choice and drive industry innovation, and FreedomPop, a disruptive new company that will offer free broadband and voice services to all Americans, have signed a wholesale network agreement.”

“As LightSquared’s 4G-LTE network comes online starting in the second half of 2012, FreedomPop will use the company’s world-class network to power its mobile broadband service and provide advanced wireless services to customers across the country.”

Poised for a debut in 2012, with ‘underserved markets’ as its initial target, FreedomPop’s self-proclaimed objective is “to ensure that every American has access to fast, free and convenient communication services”. Exactly how they intend to keep it free is the million dollar question.

Says Matt Ingrid, COO of FreedomPop (sidenote: I haven’t found any information about this person on the Web, which is a rare occasion for tech company executives):

“The Internet is a right, not a privilege. With the economic efficiencies delivered by LightSquared’s wholesale business model, we can achieve our objective to deliver flexible high-speed wireless access to anyone at a fraction of the cost and inconvenience seen in today’s market.”

I’m still wondering if this isn’t actually some sort of elaborate hoax.