Home - , , , - FreedomPop Launches Bring Your Own Sprint Phone Program

FreedomPop Launches Bring Your Own Sprint Phone Program

Upstart freemium Sprint MVNO FreedomPop has just gotten even more disruptive of the mobile status quo. FreedomPop now allowing users to activate certain clean ESN Sprint phones. According to Gizmodo the eligible phones are :
  • HTC EVO 4G
  • Samsung Epic 4G
  • Samsung Epic 4G Touch
  • Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB
  • LG Optimus S
  • Motorola Photon 4G
  • HTC EVO 3D
  • Boost Prevail by Samsung
  • Galaxy Nexus by Samsung
  • Nexus S 4G by Samsung
Among the phones on the list, the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Nexus are LTE phones, the rest are WiMax except for the Optimus S and Samsung Prevail which are 3G only.

I'm not sure if this list is 100% accurate as I just tried activating a clean ESN Motorola Photon 4G that's not currently active on any operator and got shot down with a  "Snap, looks like we do not currently support your phone model" message.

I did an online chat with FreedomPop support and was told that "Your phone will likely work after we fix some bugs in the system."

Update Nov 19, 8:11PM PST - Regarding the activation errors with allowed phones, FreedomPop posted on their Facebook page that "we are working on fixing this on our site and hope to have the current issue corrected after tonight. After the update you should not have issues activating your phone."

Update Dec 13 - Users are continuing to be unable to activate most of the phones on the Gizmodo list. There are active threads on HowardForums and SlickDeals where people are reporting their successes and failures. So far only the HTC EVO 4G, HTC EVO Design and Samsung Epic 4G Touch have been reported as activating successfully.

Update Dec 18 - FreedomPop posted on the SlickDeals forum that they have stopped activating the Samsung Epic 4G Touch (aka Galaxy S II) due to "...some bugs that we are working to fix. The device should be supported again very soon"

Update Dec 20 - The issue with the Samsung Epic 4G Touch (Sprint's name for the Galaxy S II) seems to have been resolved as two people reported being able to activate an S II today.

If you have a phone you want to try go to www.freedompop.com/byod and please share your experiences in a comment. If you don't have a qualifying phone, FreedomPop will sell you a refurbished HTC EVO 4G for $99.

FreedomPop's free plan includes  200 Voice Minutes, 500 Texts and 500 MB of 3G or 4G data per month. Additional data is 2.5¢/MB.

Their are also two paid plans:
$7.99/month - 500 Voice Minutes, Unlimited Texts and 500 MB of 3G or 4G data
$10.99/month - Unlimited Voice Minutes, Unlimited Texts and 500 MB of 3G or 4G data
For an extra $9.99/month you can upgrade any of the plans to 1 GB of data per month with 1¢/MB overage data. Visual Voicemail is also available as a $2.49/month add-on.

Voice service on all plans uses VOIP, meaning that it uses the network's data transport rather than the voice channel. I doubt that VOIP will work very well, if at all, on Sprint's legacy 3G network. But VOIP over a good WiFi or WiMAX connection should be quite usable. I think that many users, like myself, who communicate mainly by text and social media, will be perfectly happy with FreedomPop's limited voice availability, especially at the price of free.

Related:
FreedomPop Launches First Phone For Free 500MB, 200 Minutes, 500 Texts Plan
FreedomPop's CEO Says Free Mobile Phone Service Will Include 200 Minutes, Unlimited Texts

52 comments:

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  1. just left a voicemail with em' for the optimus s (LS670)

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  2. I've had a bad experience with FreedomPOP's internet service is abysmal. Do a little shopping and you can find better.

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    1. really? I did a lot of shopping and could not find anything with a lower price than FreedomPop for light internet usage. Now, if you use a lot of data, that's another story.

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    2. I've had the FreedomPop WiMax USB stick for almost a year. It works at my house and lots of other places, it's fast, the first 500 MB/month is free, I like it. There were a couple of billing issues but FP resolved them promptly when I contacted them

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    3. OP bought the wrong hotspot for coverage. Get the 3G/4G modem if WiMax is spotty where you use it. 3G should work everywhere the Sprint map shows. I have both and the service works as expected. Even at my house, which is two houses out of range according to the 4G map.

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  3. Nexus S 4G did not work either

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  4. had some trouble at first with msl they provided for my epic 4g touch, sprint chat couldnt give me msl and tech support told me to go to a store-didnt. Ended up rooting, flashing custom recovery and flashing some zip file because it was being iffy about showing msl, but I got correct msl now im up and running. Good bit of data to go with my tmobile $15 plan wouldve considered switching but cant port number

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    1. so you on the t-mobile unlimited messaging plan for that price still also?

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    2. yes, been having it for a good while, using it on my iphone 4 with mostly wifi and mo+ gvoice app if I ever need minutes..was considering switching to lyca 16 but no mms, and I use that alot, might switch to Unlim Text & Web later

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    3. see I have 3 lines. main line on t-mobile unlimited text $15 a month. then i have 1 on t-mobile pay as you go I pay $10 for every 90 days. then one on boost pay as you go for $10 every 90 days also. I was considering upgrading the $15 to $30 unlimited text 5gb 4g speeds and 100 minutes plan but rather keep $15 plan. so I think I am going to move my boost pay as you go line to airvoice either for their $10 pay as you go every 90 day plan or their $10 monthly plan at .04 cents a minute and ,066 cents data per mb. I have wifi at home and school just need a little internet for on the road. so this would be perfect for me to use this line for data and voice and use the other line and stay on my $15 dollar plan. now I don't know if you have two lines to do this but even if you just have one then maybe airvoice is a better option than lyca plus its at&t network.

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    4. I only have 1 line, two phones is an inconvenience for me so wont use freedompop phone much only emergencies, If I were you I would just add money to $15 plan instead of tmo-paygo or boost... .33¢/min on tmo-paygo if adding $10 unless gold rewards and .20¢/min on boost, I have good tmo coverage so if necessary I'd get lyca paygo for .02¢/min but again if I use up the $1 extra I add, I call via wifi, BUT I would keep boost for .50 data/day if you can find a phone you can tether with.. just my .02¢

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  5. cannot validate my galaxy nexus (sprint) and my nexus s 4g (sprint),both with clean ESNs as of few minuites ago.. i get the same error as the author.. ("Snap....")

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  6. Replies
    1. 2G and 3g plus 4G WiMax or 4G LTE depending on the phone.

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  7. how about activating a virgin mobile HTC Evo 3D

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    Replies
    1. It's on the list of eligible phones so it should be OK to activate once they get the kinks out of the system. Right now the failure reports are out numbering the success.

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  8. Hey Dennis, just tried to activate an Optimus S and an Epic 4G and got the same errors you did. Still, once the bugs get worked out, this might get me to move from ST.

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  9. not refurbished, the offering new phone, see what it says " If you would like to start enjoying 100% free voice, text, and data today, we can offer you a special promotional offer - 50% off a new HTV Evo 4G smart phone, just $99.

    CLICK HE

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    Replies
    1. If you click all the way through the order process for the EVO 4G, on the screen where you enter your credit card info it says:
      Shopping Cart:
      Pro 500MB (4G/3G) Data Plan FREE
      HTC EVO 4G (Refurbished) $99.00
      Basic 200 voice and text FREE

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    2. Early in the order process where FreedomPop shows the EVO 4G and you can chose one of 4 photos of it, it states "Refurbished Phone" with so little contrast it is almost unreadable

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  10. If you buy a FreedomPop HTC EVO 4G, can it be used as a BYOSD on other Sprint MVNO's?

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    Replies
    1. I don't know. But probably although you might have to flash a stock ROM.

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  11. FreedomPop really needs to fix their system, you must use a different email address for each and every device you have with them. I had to get a new email address to add a 2nd device with them, now I got to get a 3rd if I want their phone too (I don't think so).

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    Replies
    1. If you have gmail you have unlimited email addresses. Just add + and any characters after your account name.

      User@gmail
      User+Bob@gmail
      User+Joe@gmail

      All go to the same inbox

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    2. thanks, did not know you could do that. Does it work only with gmail? what about yahoo? or outlook?

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  12. I have an OG EVO 4g, and I am trying to activate it with freedompop and when I enter the MEID it says it does not exist. Is anyone else having that problem?

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    Replies
    1. Just about everyone is having problems activating phones on FreedomPop. They say they are working on it and hope to have it fixed by tomorrow.

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  13. Talking over WiFi will count against your voice minutes, that's a bummer.

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    1. Is that true? Source?

      If it is true you can use Talkatone or GroveIP for WiFi Voice until May 15 and then Hangouts. I plan on doing that anyway as the FreedomPop calling app reportedly doesn't play nice with Google Voice

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    2. I found it in their faq, the link is kind of long:

      http://www.freedompop.com/faq_answer.htm?categoryId=22177943&categoryTitle=Freedom%20Phone%3A%20Getting%20Started&articleId=27634516

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    3. I guess there is no reason for me to byosd a phone to FreePop. I will just keep using Vonage and Bobsled apps with their modem and the calls will be free. RingPlus+ has a better business model for phone service I think.

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    4. Using Talkatone or GrooveIP does NOT use voice minutes. I use the service currently and my bucket of minuets is still full. It will use lots of data if you use it much.

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    5. This is not true when it comes to Google Voice based calls. Only if you use the Messaging app they provide will you be charged voice minutes. The calls I have made with GrooveIP have not counted to my bucket. It will cost with some cases 1Mb/min in data though.

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  14. I have the RingPlus Free 300 plan and like it very much, my only complaint, is that they do not have call waiting (I emailed support about it, was told they will have it soon).

    I also suspect they don't handle some calls correctly, like it will just ring forever when it should get some recording. Like when calling a disconnected number. I have not tested this with a disconnected # (I don't know any), so does anybody know any test number(s) that reports it is disconnected or other, so I can test this with?

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  15. With the free plan do you still need to provide them with a credit card?

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    Replies
    1. I believe so but I won't know for sure until I can activate ny Motorola Photon.

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    2. yes, it also has an auto charge, but you can turn it off.

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    3. You must register a CC. Even if you turn off auto-charge they may charge you according to the TOS. I have auto-charge turned off. I was charged 99c last month because I only used 3mb instead of the minimum 5mb. One other time their billing system made a mistake and charged me $2 for overages, even though I had not come close to going over (they credited this).

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    4. The 99¢ inactivity fee is supposed to have been waived. See the FreedomPop blog post: blog.freedompop.com/we-are-listening/. However, I was charged the fee last month. FreedomPop refunded the 99¢ when I complained about it and mentioned the blog post.

      But you are correct that FreedomPop can charge you even if you have auto-pay turned off.

      With autopay turned off data is supposed to stop at 400MB. But there's a four hour delay in data reporting. If you do a big download or are streaming video you can easily go from less than 400 MB to over 500 MB before the system cuts you off. When that happens, FreedomPop will take $2 from your credit card and charge 2¢ per MB for the data used over 500 MB. If the overage is less than $2, the remaining balance can be used for future overages and will rollover and stay in your account indefinitely until needed.

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    5. Thanks, Dennis. I searched their website, my account, TOS and could not find this post about the inactivity fee, because I had read it before. I will try for a refund.

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  16. Any success yet for anyone trying to get their BYOD work on freedompop?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I've seen several reports of successful activations on HowardForums and SlickDeals. Success has been reported with the HTC EVO 4G, HTC EVO Design and Samsung Galaxy S II

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    2. cannot activate my sprint evo 4g (clean esn), per freedompop fixing on the glitch.

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  17. so let me get this right - if i port my phone to FP, i can always use my GV # and use the 'data pipe' which is what is used by FP app to make/receive calls as well? which means I do not need to share my FP phone number with anyone?

    essentially, i will be using GrooveIP now and hangouts whenever GV is totally integrated into hangouts?

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    Replies
    1. That's what I plan to do. I'll post an update when I get my phone activated on FreedomPop.

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  18. System must still be buggy. I tried activating my HTC EVO Design 4G (Sprint) Unlocked phone and got the "Snap, looks like we do not currently support your phone model..." message.

    Will check out other Sprint MVNOs until in the mood for dealing with FreedomPop customer service.

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    Replies
    1. how u got your phone unlocked, sprint said that i need to contact the new service provider to unlock the phone, that means Freedompop can help with unlocking the phone? (i have sprint evo 4g).

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    2. Unlocking only applies to GSM phones. There's nothing to unlock on CDMA phones. A clean ESN, inactive EVO 4G should work on FreedomPop.

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    3. Sprint may have thought you were asking for the master subsidy lock (MSL) code needed to manually reprogram some Sprint phones with your new provider-assigned phone number and Mobile Subscriber ID phone number. RingPlus gives you the MSL code for your phone in your online account after they activate it. The idea behind the MSL code is to prevent your phone from being programmed on other networks like Verizon Wireless.

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    4. I see, then freedompop is not fully functional on my evo 4g, only works when there is wi-fi. the data does not work :(

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  19. Got a HTC Evo Shift 4G and from numerous articles says it's supported. Called Sprint to verify a clean ESN but got the "Oh snap..." message when try to activate.

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