AMSTERDAM, February 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Today a crowdfunding campaign has started on Indiegogo, to raise startup capital for CrowdFone. The company will launch this summer, initially in the Netherlands; a mobile operator with a novel approach!
CrowdFone will be the first Open mobile operator in the Netherlands: It will offer tariffs without bundles, will charge the same unit prices for prepaid and postpaid voice/data/sms, offers an open source app and an open API, and promises to communicate openly with its customers. Users will be able to pay via iDeal, Paypal and Bitcoins. CrowdFone will pay its customers interest on the balance of their prepaid account in countries where the regulator approves.
The company will be an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) on a Dutch 4G (LTE) network, with automatic fall-back to 3G and 2G where necessary.
CrowdFone will not offer bundles; customers will pay only for what they actually use, and will have full control over their settings and balance. E.g. by setting separate limits for voice, data and sms, and alarms when usage is near set limits. Costs for usage will be rounded to the smallest possible unit. Prepaid balance will remain valid indefinitely, customers will even be able to transfer prepaid balance back to their bank account.
The target group is the technically oriented customer who will be offered many more technical options than is common in mobile telecom. For example, it will be possible to connect Asterisk and other IP PBX systems to the CrowdFone network for true fixed/mobile conversion.
CrowdFone founder Paul Coerkamp: "It's time for a mobile operator with a different approach to the telecom industry: Open communication, transparent tariffs, and we'll actively include the community to influence our priorities and contribute to innovation on our network. There are so many technical possibilities that are currently underused, we call on everyone to help us to change this."
Ivo Wentholt, founder of Sharewire, a leading Dutch app developer and CrowdFone's partner for the development of the CrowdFone app: "Not only is their App and API open, it also applies to the development cycle. As far as we know this is a first in the Netherlands, and certainly in the telecom market which traditionally is quite closed. We are looking forward to implementing an innovative product together with CrowdFone."
CrowdFone needs startup capital of at least €200.000. The funds will be used to finalize the contract with the host operators, build technical infrastructure and develop the mobile App and API. In order to raise this amount, a range of "Perks" is offered on the Indiegogo campaign website. No share participation is offered to ensure full independence, enabling the company to deliver on its promises. CrowdFone plans to go live in the summer of 2014 and intends to branch out to other countries soon after, depending on success in the Netherlands.
CrowdFone is an initiative of Paul Coerkamp, Hans Smeets and Doug Lockyer, who each have earned their stripes in the telecom industry and are co-responsible for the current mess. Through this initiative they take full responsibility.
- Type of company: Start-up, LLC under Dutch law ('Besloten Vennootschap')
- Brand name: CrowdFone©
- Website: http://www.crowdfone.com/press
- Crowdfunding campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/crowdfone
- Press contact: Paul Coerkamp, founder
- Email: email@example.com
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