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FreedomPop to Launch Free Mobile Phone Service this Summer



Are you ready for free mobile phone service, including voice, data and messaging? Freemium mobile broadband provider FreedomPop announced today that it plans to introduce a free mobile phone service  this summer. Users will get 500 MB of data, 200 voice minutes and unlimited messaging for free. Like it does with it's mobile broadband service, Freedom Pop will make money on overage charges when users go over the plan limits and by selling add-on services including unlimited voice for $10 per month or 2 GB of data for $19/month.

Voice calling will be VOIP, meaning it will use data (similar to Skype) rather than regular voice channels. I suspect that the free service, like FreedomPop's current broadband, will run on Sprint/Clearwire's WiMAX network exclusively. According to Forbes, FreedomPop initially plans to offer refurbished HTC EVO 4G WiMax capable phones for $99. FreedomPop told TechCrunch that it will eventually provide Sprint 3G and LTE service and allow customers to use any Sprint phone. I think there's likely to be an extra cost for acccess to 3G and probably LTE. FreedomPop currently charges mobile broadband customers $3.99/month for up to 500 MB of 3G data. LTE isn't currently available from FreedomPop.

Update: A Prepaid Phone News reader shared a recording of a call between him and FreedomPop support said the the $99 phone would be the Samsung Galaxy S II rather than the HTC EVO 4G and that the launch date for FreedomPop phone would be August or September.

Related:
FreedomPop Expands Mobile Broadband Coverage With 3G Roaming
FreedomPop Launches - 500 MB/Month of Free Mobile Broadband

31 comments:

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  1. "Are you ready for free mobile phone service, including voice, data and messaging?"

    Oh, I'm ready for it. Unfortunately, they aren't ready for me. No WiMAX coverage.

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    1. That's going to be a problem for many. Even though it probably won't be free, FreedomPop 3G/LTE, when it arrives, will be the real game changer.

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    2. Doesn't that depend on the LTE carrier. sprint's LTE coverage is still missing huge parts of the US.

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  2. This sounds interesting.

    So are we looking at Unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data for $29? Bring your own Sprint phone?

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  3. https://freedompop.zendesk.com/v2/recordings/4310891/REdddf74ee4bcedfe402406e121167bd4d listen to this guys. it's my call to freedompop themselves. the rep said that it's coming sept. or aug. and they will be getting the galaxy s4... alternate link: http://api.twilio.com/2010-04-01/Accounts/AC498e3e9d01a4be25b2a36ed1ec19ed59/Recordings/REdddf74ee4bcedfe402406e121167bd4d.mp3

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    1. Thanks, I've added your recording to the post.

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    2. I am laughing so hard!! Man, why don't these companies let their service reps know what is going on?! This reminds me of Tracphone releasing the BYOP CDMA program. Thanks for the laugh

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    3. I 'm fairly certain that this is an "android" operating system and the rep is confusing the os with a proprietary software attached to FreedomPops network. Another words, it is not unlocked

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  4. Don't we lready have an unlimited talk, text and data wi-fi hybrid plan from Bandwith and it's Republic Wirless division over the Sprint network?

    What am I missing here, other than the free phone from Freedom Pop?

    http://republicwireless.com/what-it-costs

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    1. No free phones from FreedomPop, but their phones are a lot nicer and less expensive than Republic's. Republic service costs a lot more, esp. after taxes are added.

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    2. Freepop signed a deal with TextPlus in January, so it looks like they will provide the voice and text service. Data for voice and text will not subtract from the free 500mb.

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    3. FreedomPop told Forbes it will eventually allow its customers to bring any Sprint device to the FreedomPop service through Sprint's bring-your-own-device MVNO program.

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    4. It appears that the Freedom Pop service is $29 and Republic's is $29 as well. Doesn't Freedom Pop charge taxes?

      HELLS BELLS

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    5. There are no taxes with FreedomPop. Republic's unlimited service is $19/month plus about $7 in taxes

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  5. If people want to really play it safe, Lycamobile has their $19/month unlimited talk and text. Just be prepared for really poor CS. That is usually the trade-off for superior plans.

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    1. hey man how is lyca data speeds and what city are you in? i have an extra line on t-mobile and t-mobile pay as you go rates are way to high lyca pay as you go is low. i want to switch that from t-mobile to lyca mainly for the minutes but with data being that low i would use some. and are you using a locked t-mobile phone?

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    2. 1. Lyca "4G" data speeds are very slow, 200-400 mbps in my strong tmobile signal area. 2. Keep your tmobile line and number in case you are not satisfied. Can't trust your number to Lyca's porting dept if you really "want to play it safe." 3. Lyca *roams* on tmobile, so the phone must be unlocked.

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    3. I was surprised to see that Lyca mobile data speeds have increased. I was getting 5.5 MBPS download speed today. Really do not know when did this change happened. I was not using it for a long time thinking it will be slow, but was really surprised to see such a download speed. BTW, I live in DFW region.

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    4. I checked again, and Lyca has somewhat faster download: 645-1770kbps vs. 199-327 two weeks ago. However, Ping is still very long at 696-853ms, and upload only 128-137kbps. This phone, same location has done 7545kbps down, 5279 up, and ping 35ms on Ptel. Servers still in the UK? Ping still has too much latency for some things to work OK here on the East coast.

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    5. Just tried Ptel in my Tmobile 4G hotspot, to compare to the somewhat faster Lyca speeds I just reported on the East coast, 645-1770kbps. The Ptel hotspot did: 62-68ms, 4.73-4.90kbps down, and 1.49-1.84kbps up. (7-year old MacBook without the fast-n WiFi).

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  6. Free? You get what you pay for! Would you trust Freedom Pop with and emergency if you was stuck outside of city limits?

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    1. With FreedomPop you can get something for no money, just some time. You have to turn off AutoCharge, read the terms and conditions twice and monitor your usage, considering the 3-hour lag in recording.

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  7. Wow this looks like a pretty good deal. I might have to give it a shot when it comes out.

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  8. I don't think it makes sense for FP to launch phone service with only WiMax coverage...phones would be useless outside the WiMax areas...I have the FP overdrive Pro mobile hotspot...I get 3GSprint at home but need to hit downtown SF to get 4G coverage...

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    1. You just solved the WiMax issue you raised. Carry a hotspot as a backup.

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  9. As soon as this is ready, I'm in. This is great news and (cliche alert) a REAL GAME CHANGER!

    For those worried about coverage or reliability. Just downgrade your current plan to a PAYG and carry the SIM around with $10 on it for emergencies.

    Simple.

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  10. I'm so excited about this...but...have to change back to CDMA phones??

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  11. dennis, thanks for this news. although personally may not get this, but may instead look at getting a freedompop hotspot to use with my iphone and with my macbook. looks like a really great deal either with the new freedompop phone or just the hotspot. so thanks for the freedompop news coverage.

    oh, was reading an article from TheStreet where Anton Wahlman was predicting something along these lines but from Google for a predicted Chromephone. that Anton Wahlman seems to spout off a bunch of crap but he was in the ballpark in writing about something like this. here's a link to page three of the article.

    http://www.thestreet.com/story/11936809/3/the-chromephone-and-its-market-structure.html

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  12. i spoke to thw same rep again... https://freedompop.zendesk.com/v2/recordings/4503176/REcf3e6627efa8986ced5ec1e2556a78ad she basically said they have no idea of what phones will be compatible with the service... we'll just have to wait till aug. or sep.

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  13. So many people are calling CS since the phone announcement they have turned off the phones. They hang up on you with 1 minute while you are on hold, after they tell you to email for "immediate service, M-F, 9-5 PT." The email creates a ticket, and it is taking 3-5 days in my recent experience to get a rep assigned. Plus there is something wrong with their system when you order optional services. They charge you, but you don't always get the service, and your account says you have not ordered any (optional) services. There are serious growing pains here. The boss said on Facebook they are busting their butts to get to all tickets within 48 hours, but I just don't think they can do it.

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