US-based MVNO FreedomPop has launched in the United Kingdom, offering free SIM-only tariffs bundles that include minutes, texts and data.

FreedomPop, which uses Three UK’s network, is offering 200 minutes, 200 texts and 200MB of data, which is free for life after a one-off activation fee of £7 (€9.50).

The MVNO is also offering a promotional plan for the first 10,000 users to sign up to the service consisting of 1000 minutes, 1000 texts and 1GB of data free for a month.

FreedomPop makes its money through bolt-on services such as international calling, data rollover and higher allowances for heavy users.

The company also offers usage alerts and virtual international phone numbers, which allows users in other countries to call for free, as additional chargeable services.

The arrival of the “freemium” operator in the UK marks the first leg of FreedomPop’s intended expansion into 20 new markets over the next 12 months.

In an interview with European Communications in July, Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop CEO and co-founder, said the MVNO was aiming to hit one million users in the UK within the next 18 months, in a bid to challenge the country’s low-cost tariff providers.

[Read more: MVNO Europe forms to fight for fair access, competition]

Stokols said: “The UK has had many mobile providers and services enter the market, but none of them offer a completely new business model enabling free service, guaranteed for life.

“Similar to the US, FreedomPop will deliver unprecedented value to consumers with an easy-to-use, high-quality mobile service. We believe everyone should have access to mobile services, and we’re going to make that a reality in the UK.”

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