Los Angeles-based mobile virtual network operator FreedomPop has grown since launching in 2011; all along offering their basic mobile service-package for free. The plan includes 200 minutes voice, 200 texts, 200 MB data; with users paying only when they go over. The company also offers higher-priced plans with more of everything that customers can subscribe to from the start. As detailed on VentureBeat.com: FreedomPop has now announced the next phase in their development. Starting in Spain, with plans to roll out in additional markets over time, their mobile plans will allow WhatsApp users to communicate via WhatsApp absolutely free and at any time. The free use of Facebook-owned WhatsApp won’t be contingent on the subscriber having remaining data-usage available. The ability to use WhatsApp will always be free with FreedomPop.

The huge popularity of WhatsApp in Spain informed FreedomPop’s decision to launch the WhatsApp-enhanced mobile offering there (as well as legalities particular to some markets that dictate what mobile providers may offer). With WhatsApp enjoying a wide user-base globally; FreedomPop can reap benefits from WhatsApp’s strong brand-name. FreedomPop’s decision to partner with WhatsApp wasn’t the result of any sales pitch by Facebook. They chose WhatsApp because of its worldwide popularity and number of users, and there is no formal partnership in place between the two companies.

FreedomPop’s free entry-level plan is not an afterthought, as it would likely be if offered by traditional mobile providers. The WhatsApp announcement shows that FreedomPop is committed to further development of their vision. The business-model here strays from that of the established telecom giants. Rather than expanding and then phasing out the free offerings; FreedomPop is developing them, a move which fits well with how they envision the future of mobile communication. The old business-models just may not apply here if FreedomPop’s growth is any indication.

Learn more from this FreedomPop review