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Prepaid Operator Profile: FreedomPop

This is one in a series of Prepaid Phone News' series of comprehensive US prepaid mobile operator profiles. These profiles cover all the major US mobile operators' prepaid plans as well as MVNOs which offer a good value.

Overview: FreedomPop launched as a Sprint mobile virtual mobile operator (MVNO) in October, 2012 with $7.5 million in funding from Mangrove Capital, DCM, and Skype Founder Niklas Zennstom's Atomico. FreedomPop said it had over 500,000 active users as of February, 2017.

FreedomPop uses a "freemuim" business model that provides users with a limited but generous amount of free data plus VOIP calling and data based messaging services.

FreedomPop makes money by selling devices and extra features like voice mail and faster data and by charging overage rates for data, texts and minutes after the free allotment is used up. Another, rather sneaky revenue source is that new FreedomPop accounts come with one month free trials of paid plans and extra cost services. The free trials automatically become paid services if the customer doesn't opt out before the trial month ends. FreedomPop doesn't make very clear that customers must cancel the free trials to avoid being charged and the process for cancelling the trials is not very intuitive. Many new customers fail to cancel the paid features in time and get charged. Please read the Account Management section below for detailed instructions on how to opt out of trial plans and services. If you do get charged for a service you did not want FreedomPop has a good record of refunding unwanted charges to customers who complain. See the Customer Service section below for ways to contact FreedomPop.

FreedomPop offers three entirely different types of service, each on a different network. There's Sprint network service, AT&T network service and a global roaming SIM service, that's no longer available to new users but which still works for users who already have a FreedomPop global SIM.

Sprint network service: FreedomPop launched as a mobile broadband only service offering 500 MB of free WiMAX data per month on the Sprint network. Paid 3G EVDO and free LTE mobile broadband were added in April and August of 2013 respectively. WiMAX service was shut down Nov. 6, 2015 but LTE and 3G mobile broadband service still available.

In October 2013 FreedomPop launched its FreedomPhone service which provides 500 MB of data, 200 voice minutes and 500 texts per month on the Sprint network at no charge. FreedomPhone is an all-IP service, calling and texting uses a custom Android app that routes them over the phone's data connection rather than the traditional voice and signaling channels. Use of the FreedomPop app is not required and many users prefer to use their own calling and messaging apps such as Hangouts.

Throttled data: FreedomPop Sprint based plans are throttled to 1 mbps. A $4.99/month Speed Boost Add-on is available that provides un-throttled data.

Global GSM service (no longer available to new customers): In January, 2016 FreedomPop began offering FreedomPop Global GSM service to customers in the US. The GSM option uses a Three UK based SIM that roams at no cost in 25 countries including the US, where FreedomPop Global uses the T-Mobile and AT&T networks but seems to prefer AT&T. Data on the Global service is limited to  2G, 3G and HSPA+ 4G, LTE is not available. Data traffic is routed through a server in the UK which is probably responsible for the high pings of 300ms or more which I have experienced consistently.

Since August, 2017, the global SIM no longer connects to AT&T and uses T-Mobile exclusively in the US. T-Mobile has a smaller network than AT&T and in some major markets T-Mobile 3G and HSPA+ service is only available on the 1700 Mhz band that few non-T-mobile devices support.  That makes FreedomPop's AT&T based LTE SIM a much better choice for use in the US. However, the LTE SIM is US-only and does not work in Europe.

According to FreedomPop, the Global SIM works in; Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Denmark and the United States. It's been confirmed as working in most of those countries, however users have consistently reported that it does not work in Hungary or Denmark.

Unlike FreedomPop's Sprint based free plan which comes with 500 free MB of LTE data per month, the free GSM plan only includes 200 MB.  200 voice minutes and 500 texts per month are also available using the FreedomPop "Messaging" VOIP and messaging app.

Zero-Rated WhatsApp SIM (no longer available to new customers): In August, 2016, FreedomPop launched its WhatsApp SIM in the US. The WhatsApp SIM is a version of the Global GSM service that works in the same countries as the Global SIM and includes unlimited free WhatsApp calling and texting that doesn't count against the included 200 MB of free data. The WhatsApp plan only includes 100 minutes and 100 texts while the Global plan includes 200 minutes and 500 texts.

As of August 2017, the Global and WhatsApp SIMs are no longer sold by FreedomPop but continue to work on T-Mobile in the US and in the European countries where they have always worked.  FreedomPop has been emailing Global SIM users urging them to "upgrade" to an LTE SIM. The upgrade to actually an additional line of service. After "upgrading", be sure to downgrade to the free plan and remove the promotional services it come bundled with. Upgrading does not deactivate the Global SIM so it can still be used.

AT&T Based GSM LTE SIM: In December 2016, FreedomPop launched a new US only mobile broadband service running on the AT&T network that includes LTE. GSM LTE plan pricing is identical to that of the Global GSM plans with the free plan including 200 MB of data per month. See the table below for details of the paid plans.

FreedomPop Plans and Pricing

FreedomPhone Sprint Based CDMA Plans
Monthly Cost Voice Minutes SMS Data 1
Free 2 200, overage 1¢/min 500, overage 1¢/text 500 MB overage 2¢/MB
$19.99 unlimited unlimited 1 GB overage 1.5¢/MB 
$24.99 unlimited unlimited 2 GB  overage 1.5¢/MB
$29.99 unlimited unlimited 3 GB  overage 1.5¢/MB
$34.99 unlimited unlimited 4 GB  overage 1.5¢/MB
1 Data throttled to 1 mbps
2 Current customers, click here to downgrade to the free plan.

FreedomPop Family Plans (Sprint based). In March, 2017, FreedomPop launched new Family plans on the Sprint Network. Unlike FreedomPop's other plan types, there is no free Family plan option. There's a $5 per month, per phone line charge. The Family Plan is available for 2-10 lines. Each line gets unlimited calling and messaging using the FreedomPop app. Family plan data is shared between all the phones on the plan. The following data plans are available (prices listed do not include the $5 per phone line charge:
  • 1GB Shared - Free
  • 2GB Shared - $14.99/month
  • 4GB Shared - $34.99/month
  • 10GB Shared - $74.99/month
  • 25GB Shared - $159.99/month
Family plans include the premium voice, group messaging, multimedia messaging, and visual voicemail service at no extra charge.

At this time, Family plans are only available for new activations and do not support BYOSP. Family plan customers must purchase phones specifically authorized for family plans from FreedomPop.

Mobile Broadband Plans (Sprint CDMA)
Included Data 1LTE Only or 3G/LTEPrice Per MonthOverage rate
500 MBLTE OnlyFree2¢/MB
500 MB3G/LTE$3.992¢/MB
2 GBLTE Only$17.991.5¢/MB
2 GB3G/LTE$19.991.5¢/MB
3 GB3G/LTE$28.991.5¢/MB
4 GBLTE Only$28.991.5¢/MB
4 GB3G/LTE$34.991.5¢/MB
5 GB3G/LTE$39.991.5¢/MB
10 GB3G/LTE$79.991.5¢/MB
Data throttled to 1 mbps

FreedomPop Global Data-Only and GSM LTE Hotspot Plans
Monthly Cost Data
Free 200 MB overage 2.5¢/MB
$12.99  1 GB overage 2¢/MB
$19.99 2 GB overage 2¢/MB
$31.99  3 GB overage 2¢/MB
$33.99 4 GB overage 2¢/MB

FreedomPop Global GSM and GSM LTE Phone Plans
Monthly Cost Voice Minutes SMS Data
Free 200, overage 1¢/min 500, overage 1¢/text 200 MB overage 2.5¢/MB
$19.99  unlimited unlimited 1 GB overage 2¢/MB
$24.99 unlimited unlimited2 GB overage 2¢/MB
$29.99  unlimited unlimited 3 GB overage 2¢/MB
$34.99 unlimited unlimited4 GB overage 2¢/MB

FreedomPop WhatsApp SIM Global GSM Plans
Monthly Cost Voice Minutes SMS Data 1
Free 100, overage 1¢/min 100, overage 1¢/text 200 MB overage 2.5¢/MB
$20.99  unlimited unlimited 1 GB overage 2¢/MB
$29.99 unlimited unlimited2 GB overage 2¢/MB
1 Unlimited data for WhatsApp use.

Addons:

Visual Voicemail $2.49/month
MMS and Group Messaging $1.99/month
Data rollover $3.99/month: rollover up to 500 MB/month of unused data, maximum rollover 20 GB
Usage alerts $1.99: email alert sent when 200 MB of data are left with an option to purchase discounted overage data.
Online Security $2.99/month: Internet Security and Antivirus
Premium Voice (CDMA only) $3.99/month Lets customers make calls on the Sprint voice network when data connection quality is too low to support VOIP calling. Premium Voice calls are limited to 200 minutes/month on the free plan and 500 minutes/month on the $10.99 unlimited voice plan.
Hotspot $3.99/month
VIP Support $3.99/month
Speed Boost $4.99/month: removes the 1 mbps speed throttle on Sprint plans
Premium Plus $7.99/month: A bundle that includes Visual Voicemail, Premium Voice, MMS, Hotspot, Speed Boost and Data Rollover.
FreedomPop Premier $10.99/month: A bundle that includes Visual Voicemail, MMS, VPN, Data Compression, Data Rollover, Usage Alerts, Speed Boost, Pay As You Go Boost (half price overage), Premium Support, Hotspot and Online Security.

International Rates: FreedomPop offers a free international plan which includes 100 minutes of VOIP calls to over 50 countries, including calls to mobile numbers in 14 countries. International text messaging is not available. Paid plans with more minutes are also available. See FreedomPop Adds Free and Paid International Calling Plans for prices and included countries.

International Roaming: FreedomPop Global GSM roams at no extra cost in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.

Coverage: 

FreedomPop CDMA uses the Sprint native network, which is the smallest of the four national operators. There's no roaming. FreedomPop's interactive coverage map does a good job of indicating where service is available and lets you zoom in to see block by block coverage.

FreedomPop Global GSM uses the T-Mobile network in the US with no domestic roaming.

FreedomPop LTE GSM uses the AT&T native network with no roaming.

Devices:
Phones: FreedomPop sells a variety of pre-owned LTE Android phones and iPhones.
Mobile Broadband: FreedomPop sells pre-owned LTE hotspots and USB modems.
SIMs:LTE GSM SIMs are sold online by FreedomPop and by third parties including some Best Buy and Target stores.

How to Buy: FreedomPop SIMS, phones and mobile broadband devices can be purchased from the FreedomPop site. Phones and hotspots are also available, often at discounted prices, from Groupon, Woot, Choxi, StackSocial and Newegg. 

FreedomPop requires a credit or debit card and its associated billing name and address as well as an email address when purchasing a phone or SIM andwhen  activating a phone or SIM acquired from a third party. 

FreedomPop allows multiple devices per user. It's best to activate each line as a separate account and a unique email address as that allows each account to act as a Freedom Friend for the other accounts. Each line gets an extra 50 MB of free data for each Freedom Friend it has. See the Freedom Friends section below for more information. Multiple devices on different email addresses can share the same name, address and credit or debit card,

BYOSD: FreedomPop supports Bring Your Own Sprint Device (BYOSD). Any phone that passes Sprint's MVNO Financial Eligibility Criteria is allowed. The following types of phones should pass:
  • Used postpaid Sprint phones that have been completely paid off by the original owner completing the terms of their contract or equipment installment plan or paying an early termination fee.
  • Phones from Sprint's prepaid brands (Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile or Sprint Prepaid) that have been used for at least 12 months on the Sprint brand they were sold for.
  • Brand new Sprint postpaid phones that were purchased at full retail price from Sprint or a manufacturer store like the Apple Store for iPhones or Google Play for Nexus and Pixel devices.
  • Unlocked "Universal" phones that have been approved by Sprint like the Motorola G4 and G5 series.
  • Phones purchased from independent Sprint MVNOs like Ting or TextNow.
  • Effective April 17, 2016,  Sprint will no longer allow new never activated Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint Prepaid phones to be activated on MVNOs. Phones from these prepaid brands must be used for 12 months on the service they were sold for before they can be activated on Sprint MVNOs, including FreedomPop.
Unfortunately the rules don't always work as advertised and some phones that should work don't. The only sure way to know if Sprint will allow a phone to be activated on FreedomPop is by trying to activate it at http://www.freedompop.com/byod.

How to Activate: 
GSM: LTE GSM and Global SIMs are shipped pre-activated. so no activation is needed. SIMs purchased from a third party should come with activation instructions. You also need to set the correct APN.
  • The APN for Global SIMs is: freedompop.foggmobile.com See the FreedomPop Help page for help with setting the APN.
  • The APN for LTE SIMs is: fp.com.attz See this FreedomPop Help page for APN setting instructions.
Sprint based devices: Activate Sprint network devices sold by FreedomPop at http://www.freedompop.com/activate. Activation is free for FreedomPop devices.

Activate Sprint network BYOSD phones at http://www.freedompop.com/byod. , BYOSD activation is supposed to cost $19.99 but is often on sale for as little as 99¢. See our latest Prepaid Phones on Sale post for current deals.

Once online activation is complete, the phone needs to run its Hands Free Activation sequence. To initiate Hands Free Activation of a new phone simply turn the phone off and then back on.  With used phones you may need to perform a network reset to wipe out the previous network settings and prepare the phone for activation. To perform a network reset:
  • iPhone and iPad: Open the dialer and dial ##UPDATE## (##873283#) and tap Call.
  • Most Android phones and feature phones: Open the dialer and dial ##SCRTN# (##72786#) - if prompted for your passcode enter your phone's six digit MSL which can be found in the Your Device section of your my.ringplus.net account page. After performing a network reset the phone will restart and run Hands Free Activation to complete the activation process
  • Google Nexus Phones: Open the dialer and dial *#*#72786#*#* - if prompted for your passcode enter your phone's six digit MSL which can be found in the Your Device section of your my.ringplus.net account page. After performing a network reset the phone will restart and run Hands Free Activation to complete the activation process
  • Virgin Mobile Android and feature phones: If ##72786# doesn't work to bring up the network reset prompt, dial ##VIRGIN# (##873283#) and choose Edit. If prompted for your passcode enter your phone's six digit MSL which can be found in the Your Device section of your my.ringplus.net account page. Change the MDN to 0000001234 and the MSID to 0000005678. The restart the phone and Handsfree activation should run. If it doesn't click or tap the Activate Phone option on the home screen.
Payment Options: The only payment option is by credit or debit card. A valid payment method is required at all times on all plans, including the free plan. Auto Pay is available.

Free Plan Billing:

If Automatic Top-up is enabled your card will be charged $15 whenever your remaining data goes below 100 MB and your cash balance is under $2. The $15 is added to your balance to cover potential overages.

If Automatic Top-up is disabled and your account balance is greater than $0, when you have used all of your plan's allotted data you will be charged the 2¢ or 2.5¢ per MB overage rate until you account balance reaches $0

However, data reporting is delayed by 3 hours (sometimes more) so it's possible to exceed your plan's data limit before the system detects that you have less than 100 MB left. If this happens, the system will charge the customer $5, deduct the overage charge and add the remainder to the account's cash balance.

To turn off Auto Top-up (recommended): Go to Billing and click the Account Credit & Top-Up Settings link and chose slide the toggle under next to  Automatic Top-up to Disabled. You must have an account balance of at least $5 to turn off auto top-up. You must have at least $5 in your account to turn off Auto-top up. If you don't you will see a warning advising you that if you turn Auto-top up off you will be charged $5 which will be added to you balance.

Balance expiration: unused account balances expire after 30 days. Expired balances can be restored by clicking the reactivation link on the Credit Balance tab of your Billing Overview page.

Account expiration: plans automatically renew every month with plan and usage fees charged to your credit or debit card. If the charges are declined service will be suspended.

Getting More Free Data: There are two ways to get additional free data, Freedom Friends and FreedomPop Offers.

Freedom Friends: FreedomPop allows users to earn up to 500 MB/month by connecting with FreedomPop friends. You can invite your real life and social media friends to join FreedomPop and if they do you both get an extra 50MB per month from each friend up to a maximum of 500 MB per month.

A faster and easier way to get Freedom Friends is to connect with strangers on social; media who are already FreedomPop users. There's a SlickDeals Forum thread, Facebook Group and a Facebook Page where FreedomPop users share their email addresses so that other users can add them as Freedom Friends. It only takes a few minutes to gather up a dozen or two email addresses and enter on the Freedom Friends page on the FreedomPop site for a quick 500 MB/month boost. It's a good idea to use a dedicated or disposable email address as your FreedomPop account email to avoid exposing your primary email to the world.

An other benefit of Freedom Friends is that Friends can share data with each other, up to 100 MB per friend with a maximum of 500 MB shared per month. If you are running out of data you can ask a friend to give you some using a link on the FreedomPop site. Effective Aug. 28, 201, the total amount of free data an account can receive from having Freedom Friends and receiving shared data from Friends is capped 500 MB per month.

FreedomPop Offers: You can earn an unlimited amount of free data by completing offers. They involve things like taking surveys, signing up for brand email blasts and downloading PC and smartphone apps.

Account Management: FreedomPop provides an online account management portal at https://my.freedompop.com with detailed call, messaging and data use records. It also lets users add FreedomPop friends and share data with them, see available free data offers and add and remove add-on services and switch plans.

To downgrade from a paid plan to the free plan:  Go to My Account > PlansDetails and Plan Management > To downgrade your plan, click here The last link "To downgrade your plan, click here" is in a small font. You will need your FreedomPop password, which you should have received in an email from FreedomPop, to complete the downgrade. In order to downgrade to the free plan the customer must have a $5 or greater account balance. If you have a balance less than $5  you will be prompted to authorize a $10 top up when you try to downgrade. You can save $5 by turning off auto top-up for $5 before trying to downgrade to the free plan. The $5 or $10  top up gets added to the account balance and can be used to pay for overages. Account balances expire approximately every 30 days. Expired balances can be (and should be) restored using the reactivation link on the Credit Balance tab of your Billing page.

Downgrading a plan is retroactive to the beginning of the plan month. If you have used more data than is included with your plan your downgraded to your balance will be set to zero and any further use will trigger a top up. If you are over or close to the limit for the plan you are downgrading to, power off your phone the day before downgrade to avoid unexpected charges due to delayed reporting.

Customer support by phone or email is not available for free plans. 

To disable extra cost services you don't want: Go to your online account page and click the View link next to the service's name. Then click the tiny To deactivate the ... service, click here link in the bottom right corner of the page.

Also check https://www.freedompop.com/acct_overview.htm as some users have reported that FreedomPop has a additional service listed there and is billing for it.

Tethering: (using phone as a modem for a laptop or other device) Using the Hotspot app on most phones requires a $3.99 add-on. Some 3rd party tethering apps may work without the add-on, depending on the phone make and model.

Call Forwarding, Call Waiting and 3-Way Calling: not supported.

"Secret" Codes:
##786# (most Sprint phones) displays the phone's MSID, ESN, MEID, PRL, call and data counters and version numbers.

Free information services calls
911 - Emergency services are available through the phone's native dialer, not the FreedomPop app.

FreedomPop Quirks:

The FreedomPop Messaging App, which is also used for calls, offers reasonable call quality when used with a good WiFi or 4G signal. There's a bit of lag but volume and clarity are good. Call quality is degraded but still usable with a strong 3G signal. But with a weak signal or only 2G data calls break up so badly that it's impossible to carry on a conversation. This happens in locations where other phones on the Sprint network are usable for conventional cellular voice calls.  FreedomPop is now offering Premium Voice, a $3.99/month plan add-on that lets customers to make and receive calls on the Sprint voice network when data connection quality is too low to support VOIP calling.

As a freemium service FreedomPop needs users to sign up for add on services. They make it easy to add extra cost plans and services but not always so easy to remove them. When you activate a device, by default you get signed up for multiple offers and add-ons which are advertised as free trials. However, they are only free for the first month, if you don't cancel them before the month is up they will automatically renew and you will be charged for subsequent months. It's sometimes possible to decline some of the add ons and trials during the initial sign up but you have to read the sign up pages carefully to find the link to opt out of each one. But other free trials can only be disabled after you have signed up and your SIM or device has shipped

Customer Service:
Phone support (paid plans only): 888-701-1353: Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM (PT). Hold times for tech support average 20 to 30 minutes but holds for billing or order support can be much longer.
Email support  (paid plans only): Requires creating a ticket at http://www.freedompop.com/contact. Slow to respond
Community Support Forum: https://forums.freedompop.com
Cranial Borborygmus: A third party site with very detailed instructions on setting up and using FreedomPop: cranialborborygmus.com
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter (Twitter is currently the best and fastest way to get support from FreedomPop).
Slickdeals Wiki (good tips for avoiding unexpected charges!)

Phone Sales and General Information Web Site: www.freedompop.com.

FreedomPop Pros: Free phone and data service, BYOSD, online usage records.

FreedomPop Cons: Sneaky billing practices that require extra care and diligence to avoid unexpected credit card charges. Limited support options.

Updated 11/9/2017: FreedomPop Website changes and a $5 top-up is now required to switch to the free plan.

96 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. Tried FreedomPop, had high hopes for their disruptive approach, but this is still technically beta testing services, and it shows. Even sitting still in an area with great coverage, I could not place calls or send texts. The app constantly crashed or disconnected, and when it did work, would send text messages multiple, duplicate times. So sending one text might have actually dinged my account for anywhere between 3 and 5. I have great hopes that FreedomPop can work out the bugs, but until then, I couldn't recommend it unless you are on a WiFi connection most of the day, and not moving between connections, in which case, having mobile seems sort of counter productive.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Their sales approach is one of the most annoying I have ever experienced. You have to give an email address and physical location JUST TO SHOP THE SITE. Then they funnel you to a path, buy a phone, hotspot or home router, and it's impossible to comparison shop.

    I thank you for this site, I don't think this information is available anywhere else and certainly not this easy to read.

    ReplyDelete
  3. FreedomPop's new coverage map appears to show that they have limited roaming now. If so, you may want to update this profile, and add their new coverage map to your map page.
    http://electronics.woot.com/plus/free-mobile-phone-service-from-freedompop

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The coverage map that Anonymous linked to below appears identical to the Boost Mobile one. I don't see any coverage in places where Sprint postpaid roams like Elko NV and Boonville CA. Where do you see roaming?

      Delete
    2. See Marquette, MI (49855) and Escanaba, both in the MI upper peninsula were there is no Sprint network at all. Also, West from Escanaba along the WI border. These areas show 3G coverage where Verizon has service. I suppose it might be a regional or local operator there.

      Delete
    3. There is also a big, new coverage area West and South of the MI-WI border near Lake MI. This is a large, white hole on the Boost map, since Sprint has no network coverage except along the Lake MI, until you get further South. See Nashville and Antigo, WI.

      Delete
    4. I tried signing up for service with an address in Escanaba and and got a message saying that FreedomPop has no coverage there. Data roaming is expensive and I believe it's unlikely that FreedomPop is offering it given their pricing.

      Delete
    5. It makes perfect sense that you cannot sign up for a new account in Escanaba. They are not going to sign you up if you live in a roaming area and perhaps lose even more money on your "free" service. Their new map shows coverage in places where there is no Sprint network now. It their new map is correct, a FreedomPop phone should still work in those places in roaming mode, even if you cannot sign up for a new account there.
      Also, FreedomPop used to show WiMax and 3G coverage in Lansing, MI, but they would not let you sign up. You can sign up there now, 6-9 months later.

      Delete
  4. Here is the correct map link for FreedomPop's new LTE-WiMax-3G coverage map:
    http://www.freedompop.com/coverage3g4g

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jason in PortlandMarch 15, 2015 at 8:30 PM

    Found myself needing a new line of service on a new device and decided to give FreedomPop a try since they're currently running the $24.95 refurbished ZTE Force with free shipping promotion. Sprint coverage is okay in my area and they do have LTE, far from the best however it works.

    Seems the trick to ordering from FreedomPop is to carefully read each page, do not just enter your information and click on the green buttons. I was able to opt-out of their optional wifi hotspot service for an extra $1/mo. by unchecking a box. It does state that the other 'free trials' must be canceled BEFORE they bill for the next month by contacting them and insisting on switching to the free plan. I copied the information to a local file so I know what to ask to cancel before the trial is up. BTW, they're currently offering 1GB of LTE data for $15/mo. and unlimited calling and texts for $4.99, which differs from the prices above.

    After placing the order, the next webpage told me their devices ship in 1-2 weeks.

    Another big gotcha is they tried to sell me a WiMax computer modem, clicking on a small "skip" link got me through without accepting it. Again, reading the page before continuing was the key to avoiding an expensive and unwanted surprise!

    There was one plus: I was given the option of selecting a phone number from a multiple-choice list of available numbers, and could try different area codes or cities if I wanted to see availability of a given area code. Although there's no way to get a specific number, this is far better than most Sprint MVNOs, where you get whatever number the network assigns.

    Also received two e-mails with additional information, again, read the e-mails, make sure everything is as ordered.

    Now to wait for the phone and give the service a try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jason in PortlandJuly 4, 2015 at 2:41 PM

      Just wanted to add that it did take the full two weeks to receive the phone (last week of March), so the month-long free trial was more of a 20-day free trial. I seemed to avoid the problems others have reported with buying pre-owned devices; the phone was received in like-new condition with an upgraded OS and was ready to use out of the box.

      As much as I liked the idea and the price for the unlimited service, it just wasn't for me, so I downgraded to the free plan via the website by downgrading both the voice and data several days before the plan would have billed. I received an e-mail upon successfully and fully downgrading. My card statement and the Freedompop account portal both confirmed I was not charged for any service other than the initial phone purchase.

      The thought of needing to keep a credit card number associated with free service was a bit unnerving, so I ported out the number to another service, then called to fully cancel the account. The number they now give on the site to cancel is 888-906-3184 (same hours, M-F 9-5 PT), after slogging through the phone tree I lucked out and immediately reached a representative who canceled the account. Again, I received a cancellation e-mail shortly thereafter.

      For the "tl:dr" types out there: If one has excellent Sprint 4G LTE service at the exact locations they live, work, and play, are willing to take the time to thoroughly read signup pages and e-mails, and keep track of their card statements on a regular basis, then Freedompop may be the right service for them.

      Delete
  6. Since they're going to be offering service in the UK and will only be giving those users 200mb free, I wonder if they're going to charge them after they use 100mb of data. I don't know why they say "500mb free" when you're either suspended or charged around the 400mb mark. I love their service but there are some deceptive practices I find very annoying, and that deception hurts their image with the public.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FreedomPop stops free data at 400 MB because there's a 3 hour delay between when data is used and when Sprint reports it to FreedomPop. The 100 MB cushion reduces the change of users exceeding the 500 MB limit and being charged even though auto refill is off.

      3 UK's billing system may not have a delay. If it doesn't there would be no need to shut off data at 100 MB.

      Delete
  7. Also, everything "Jason in Portland" said is spot on. Be careful when signing up for service. Many people don't read everything and just blindly click and then complain when they're billed. The info about the service, fees and everything, is presented to you when you sign up. READ IT so you know what you're getting into. If you do that you're more likely to appreciate the service despite it's burps and hiccups and occasional gas. lol

    ReplyDelete
  8. I ordered the $29.99 LG Optimus F3 over 4 weeks ago from Freedompop site and it still hasn't shipped. Beware if you are trying to get this phone. Previously, I tested out the SIII which worked pretty well, however used I didnt think it was worth the $99.99 I paid so I sent it back to Groupon and received my refund no problems. Shipping from Groupon was prompt. During my testing, the service worked well in the Denver area, where Sprint just won PCmag's "Fastest Mobile Network 2015". If I ever receive the F3, I think it will work well. Free cell service will be sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  9. New "Surprise" for all FreePop users: You are suspended if you don't use your hotspot for a couple of months. Hotspot just stops working.
    To re-activate, you have to log into OLAM. Push the reactivate button. Connect to hotspot via WiFi and navigate to your admin account. Log in. Find the right menu and update profile.
    After download, and maybe a restart you can finally use your hotspot again.
    I am on a paid plan, so I think this affects all mobile data accounts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the heads up. However I'm unable to confirm that FreedomPop is deactivating devices for inactivity.

      I just tried using my Bolt Stick WiMax US modem. It was last used May 12, which is over two months ago, and it still works today. Either the new policy doesn't apply to all users or it takes more than two months of inactivity to trigger the deactivation.

      Did your device get deactivated? If so how long was it inactive? You can use the activity logs on the OLAM to see when it was last used.

      Delete
  10. FreedomPop offers $18/Month plan for iPhone customers, will start selling financed iPhones.

    ReplyDelete
  11. FreedomPop still has access to the Sprint WiMax network in the DC area. Mine has been connected to the '4G' network since 11/5. I just shut it down and it reconnected. Speeds are good, ~6Mbps, so I know it's not 3G.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have had both the WiFi device and a few free phones almost since the beginning of freedom pop,all my devices are on a free plan, when I first started it did not work well at all but helped in a pinch. (I end of month on my real phone or giving employees temp phones) potential times the phones and devices got tossed in a drawer and forgot about until needed. Each time I tried the devices again they worked a bit better. Now several years later I have the devices I have my employees take them in situations and the WiFi hot spot has made a permanent spot on the dash of my truck, between sharing free data from the phones to extra data from "referrals and reoccurring offers for extra data I am able to use my online invoice program and look up materials from my tablet and my online rent collection software it all works great! I don't get as good of service as I do with my main number, but I think I get more value than I pay, normally $0.00 a month

    ReplyDelete
  13. FreedomPop is selling Global SIMs that advertise the 200 minutes and 500 sms along with 200 mb again. I just ordered one for $9.95, shipping included. They do not mention VOIP for voice, and they did assign a phone number. Premium Voice for incoming calls is enabled in my account, but I am not charged for that as a separate service.
    I just found this link for $7.95:
    http://www.freedompop.com/offer/voicesim8deal?utm_campaign=100%25+Free+Talk%2C+Text+%2C%26+Data++w%2F+Global+3-in-1+SIM+-+FreedomPop&utm_term=TEXT_LINK&utm_medium=groupon&utm_adgroup=selfserve&utm_source=impactradius

    ReplyDelete
  14. FreePop has zero-rated data WhatsApp service in the US now:
    http://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/freedompop-launches-zero-rated-data-whatsapp-service-u-s
    Send text, pictures, movies and don't pay for the data.
    Let the rants and fake outrage from jealous outsiders and self-imagined 'legal experts' begin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How much does the zero-rated data service cost?

      Delete
    2. The SIM costs $9.99 plus $1.99 shipping.
      Unlimited WhatsApp use is free as long as you cancel the free trials of add on features that Freedom Pop enrolls you in when you buy the SIM and downgrade from the paid plan they start you on to the free one.

      Delete
  15. Does the $19.99 BYOP activation fee apply to the GSM service?

    How much does the GSM sim cost?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Global GSM SIMs come pre-activated, there's no activation fee. The list price of a SIM is $15 but they are usually on sale for much less currently 99¢ at Global SIM wuth free Selfie Stick - FreedomPop

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your reply.

      Does the sim come with a US phone number or a UK number?

      Will MertoPCS consider this number to be a T-Mobile network number if I want to port it to MetroPCS to get a port-in credit?

      Delete
    3. The global SIM is data only. On my Android phones, in Settings > About phone > Status, Phone number is listed as Unknown.

      FreedomPop gives you a US number for calling and messaging using their app. https://www.twilio.com/lookup lists mine as a Bandwidth.com VOIP number.

      I have no idea if MetroPCS will give the port in credit for porting VOIP numbers.

      Delete
  16. Is it possible to switch between two GSM sims on the same phone and get twice as much free data this way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would think FreedomPop would have implemented some sort of measure to prevent people from doing that.

      Delete
  17. Between unlocked AT&T phones and unlocked T-Mobile phones which ones work best with the GSM sim?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For use in the US most phones from either carrier should work well. You need a phone that supports GSM and UMTS on the 850 and 1900 Mhz bands. Most T-Mobile and AT&T phones support those bands. T-Mobile still has UMTS on the 1700 Mhz band in a few markets so support for that band is a plus. I don't consider UMTS 1700 Mhz essential as FreedomPop prefers AT&T and rarely connects to T-Mobile and the vast majority of T-Mobile UMTS is on 1900 Mhz.

      For Europe you need a phone that supports GSM on 900 and 1800 Mhz and UMTS on 900 and 2100 Mhz. Relatively few phones from either carrier support all those bands so check the specs before you buy if you plan to use FreedomPop in Europe.

      Delete
  18. Since FreedomPop doesn't support LTE on their GSM service how well does VoIP work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess no one knows lol

      Delete
    2. Apparently not

      Delete
  19. Can you keep the unused data you get from Freedom Friends if you pay for data rollover?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can rollover up to 500 MB/month of your unused data, it doesn't matter where the data came from.

      Delete
  20. "Data on the GSM service is limited to HSPA+, LTE is not available. Data traffic is routed through a server in the UK which is probably responsible for the high pings of 300ms or more which I have experienced consistently."

    How does this affect VoIP? Is it even usable for calls?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With that kind of latency I don't think VoIP would work.

      Delete
    2. Does latency even affect VoIP?

      Delete
  21. without LTE, what kind of speeds are people getting? No complaints since its free... Using 2 sims to get twice the data is fine, but you also have 2 phone numbers. Even if you never use it for voice, you still have the hassle of sim swapping all the time, but that might still work for you since its free.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm getting
    4.04 DL
    .098 UL
    190 ms Latency

    ReplyDelete
  23. Does the data rollover add-on cost $1.99 or $3.99?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Can I swap out FreedomPop or Sprint LTE sims on a Sprint phone in order to get more free data the same way its done on a GSM phone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does anyone know?

      Delete
    2. Sprint doesn't support SIM swapping. Sprint SIMs are supposed to stay with the phone they came with. Swapping is sometimes possible but it requires completely deactivating the old SIM and then calling Sprint to activate the new one. Doing that with FreedomPop which, charges for activation and for support, would be costly and time consuming.

      Delete
  25. Thanks for the info. Am I right in assuming that on GSM phones I can swap out FreedomPop sims without any restrictions or cost? And be able to use additional free data without any limitations?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Does FreedomPop charge taxes on the free plan?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, no taxes are charged on the free service. They charge California sales taxes on SIMs and phones shipped to California addresses. I don't know if they charge sales taxes in other states or not.

      Delete
  27. Does FreedomPop charge a fee for Sprint phone swaps?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Are number port ins free with new line activations on Freedompop?

    ReplyDelete
  29. I can't find an option to swap my phone on the Freedompop site. Anyone here know how to get this done?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FreedomPop doesn't have any automated way to swap phones. You have to activate the new phone and then contact support to have them transfer the FreedomPop phone number to the new phone if you use their messaging and calling app.

      Delete
  30. I'm considering giving my kids Freedompop service on the free plan. Is there a way to disable overages for data, talk and text? Thank you. If it matters, I would be using BYOD phones using their Sprint service.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can turn off auto top ups. When you do that you will be charged $5 which is added to your account. When overages eat up the $5 you will have a zero balance and there won't be anymore overages.

      Delete
  31. Thank you Dennis. Is that true for data overages as well? This paragraph below concerns me:

    "However, data reporting is delayed by 3 hours so it's possible to exceed your plan's data limit before the system detects that you have less than 100 MB left. If this happens, the system will charge the customer $5, deduct the overage charge and add the remainder to the account's cash balance."

    Is there a way to absolutely prevent overages? Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are using Android Jelly Bean or later you can set the phone to block data usage after a specified amount has been used in a month. The setting is in Settings > Wireless Networks > Data Manager > Restrict Data.

      There's no similar restrict data feature in iOS unfortunately.

      Delete
  32. I'm unclear about the free plan.

    Must one use the Freedompop app to get the 200 voice minutes and 500 texts?

    Is use of the Freedompop app zero rated for data consumption?

    Can anyone recommend a VOIP app that would function acceptablely on Sprint 3g?

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  33. FreedomPop lowered plan prices for the FreedomPop Global GSM plans. For example, the 1GB/month plan is now $12.99, down $1/month.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Correction: I meant to say the price is $12.99 for 1GB on the Global Data-Only plan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, where on the FreedomPop see do you see the Global data-only plans listed?

      Delete
    2. The plans are shown within my account. Should I email you a screen shot?

      Delete
    3. No that's not necessary. I'll update the post. Is the 1 GB the only one that's different than what I have?

      Delete
    4. WhatsApp plan GSM price went up $1-2 for 1 and 2GB; to $20.99 and $29.99.
      Global GSM prices for 2, 3, 4GB are now $24.99, $29.99, $34.99;
      Above changes visible in my account.

      GSM LTE phone price went down: 2GB is now $24.99, based on recent email ad.

      Delete
    5. For the other Global Data-only plans, 2GB is now $19.99; 3GB is still $31.99; and 4GB is now $33.99.

      Delete
    6. You should add this plan to the CDMA mobile broadband list:
      Casual 4GB (4G only) $28.99. Same 1.5c overage.

      Delete
  35. Please explain footnote 1 under the FreedomPhone CDMA Plans.
    Why are the 1GB and 2GB rates different from the table rates for 1GB and 2GB plans?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The $24.99 1 GB and $29.99 2 GB plans include unlimited throttled data after the first 1 or 2 GB.

      With the $19.99 1 GB and $24.99 2 GB plans your are charged 2¢/MB for any data used beyond 1 or 2 GB.

      Delete
  36. New, low-cost Family Plan from FreedomPop announced:
    https://www.wirelessweek.com/news/2017/03/freedompop-shakes-market-free-family-plans

    ReplyDelete
  37. Here is a link to a FreedomPop Family plan page:
    https://familymobile.freedompop.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hofo ID: Grateful4AdviceMarch 23, 2017 at 8:21 PM

    Thanks Dennis, you saved me money Despite removing a service from the services tab under My Account, when I went to
    https://www.freedompop.com/acct_overview.htm
    I was still enrolled. I would not have known to unenroll from that link if not for this helpful article.

    Freedom Pop lists my account as renewing two days sooner than the 30 days I was expecting.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I lost my phone. Does anyone know how to change your phone? I am on the free plan and dont have access to customer service. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Add your replacement phone as a new line. Direct message @FreedomPopHelp on Twitter and ask them to transfer your FreedomPop account to the new line.

      If you don't use Twitter, message njfulwider5 on the FreedomPop forum and ask him for help with the transfer.

      Delete
  40. Dennis, need your opinion on this: I used my Sprint Moto E 2 on Ringplus for over a year, then on Ting for a month without any issue. On 3/23 I cancelled Ting (don't care about the number) and removed my phone from the device. Then I checked on Ting's BYOD checker to make sure phone was free. So I signed up FreedomPop's BYOD. But FP couldn't activate my phone saying phone is not released by Ting yet. I've been going back and forth between FP and Ting for the past few days. Ting stated that The device is released and has been since 48 hours after deactivating, the 48 hours is simply the time it requires for that update to show across all systems. The device is inactive and free to go in their and MVNO database, which I confirmed with swappa, Ting, Tello and other online ESN checkers. But FP insisted that the phone is not cleared, hence can't be activated. I don't know how to go forward at this point. With Ting at least I can get a quick answer with chat. The FP rep only answers his/her forum message once a day. Is Twitter quicker for help? Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a similar experience switching a Moto E from RingPlus to FreedomPop last month. The Twitter @freedompophelp is much faster at responding than the forum. He seems to work M-T 9-5 PT and responded to me the same day during those hours. However I got the same "your phone has not been released from your previous provider response" as you.

      But my phone did eventually activate.

      What I did is every day i did a network reset and let the phone try to activate and after a few days it did. To do a network reset;
      Open the dialer and dial ##SCRTN# (##72786#) - if prompted for your passcode enter your phone's six digit MSL.
      After performing a network reset the phone will restart and run Hands Free Activation to complete the activation process.

      Delete
  41. Thanks Dennis. I've been doing network reset almost every day and it always failed after 5 tries. On my FP homepage, there's a red bar above the usage dashboard. Also the FP Messaging app on my phone shows 303 error "account not active". I wonder if FP has to do something on their end first before I can successfully do a carrier reset. Anyway I'll try to be patient and hope it to be fixed mysteriously. Thanks again for the reply.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dennis - update: I DMed their Twitter account and they "escalated the case to the Development Team". We'll see how it goes.

      Delete
    2. Final Update. FP Twitter DMed me saying their Development Team activated my phone. I went to my FP homepage, sure enough, the red bar is gone. Did the ##72786# reset successfully. Now everything is working. Tell your reader to use Twitter to get quick support. Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  42. Tip for thrifty FP users: Need more than free 700MB LTE/month on the GSM service but you only have one phone and don't want to swap SIMs? You have already added 500MB with Freedom Friends. Just buy another LTE SIM and add another 500MB via Freedom Friends to that account/line. When you need more data, log out of your FreedomPop app and log into the second account or line using the app. After using the extra data, log out and log back into your main account or line to make and receive calls with your regular phone number. Buy more SIMs as needed.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Global phone SIM works for mobile data in BlackBerry 9900, OS 7.1. Opera Mini and BlackBerry World working. Trying to make Voxofon work for OTT voice and SMS.

    ReplyDelete
  44. My freedompop global sim data-only stopped working.
    A few days ago I received an urgent email that says "FreedomPop is moving to its newer faster LTE network. In order to ensure you get up to 5x your current speeds, and ensure ongoing reliability, we urge you to upgrade your old SIM now. Get a free upgraded SIM and new line today."
    Does that mean Freedompop is cutting off 3G data service and offering only LTE data??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The newer LTE SIMs work on both LTE and 3G on the AT&T network and are AT&T-based and US-based SIMs. The global SIMs are technically from a UK operator that are roaming in the US. FreedomPop seems to be doing away with that practice.

      Delete
    2. FreedomPop is no longer selling the Global SIM but they have not not announced that the service is ending. My Global SIM works. If yours doesn't check your FreedomPop online Dashboard to see if there's an error message. If FreedomPop still shows your service active try re-registering your phone on the network (On Android: Settings > Mobile Networks > Network operators > Select automatically).

      People who accepted FreedomPop's offer to upgrade to a "free" LTE SIM have reported that they are;
      1) Charged a 99¢ activation fee
      2) The LTE SIM's service has a different phone number than the Global SIM they upgraded from.

      The LTE SIM is great for US use but it doesn't work in Europe. I have both SIMs and I'm going to hold on to my Global SIM for as long as it continues to work.

      Delete
  45. My Sprint phone won't let me turn on hotspot. I assume FP is blocking it. Is there any way of activating my phone on a FP mobile broadband hotspot plan or a way of getting my phone to turn on hotspot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hotspot is available on FreedomPop as a $3.99/month add-on. Or search the xda-developers subforum for your phone to see if anyone has found a free workaround.

      Delete
  46. On 8/25, I noticed that my data-only Global SIM could not register on AT&T.

    On 9/1, I noticed that my talk/text/data Global SIM also could not register on AT&T.

    In the US, it seems Global SIM can only roam on T-Mobile now. This is very bad news not just because AT&T has better coverage overall. It's also bad because T-Mobile is upgrading 3G to LTE, and Global SIM is 3G only.

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1895309-T-Mobile-UMTS-HSPA-Shutdown

    Previously, both my LG Risio and LG Phoenix 2 worked on AT&T/HSPA. Now LG Risio can only get T-Mobile/EDGE. LG Phoenix 2 now gets T-Mobile/UMTS, because Denver still gets 3G on AWS (UMTS band 4) and this phone happens to support that band.

    By the way, you can use "SignalCheck Lite" or "Network Info II" to see if you are now on T-Mobile (MCC+MNC is 310260). I use "Network Cell Info Lite" to see which UMTS band the phone is using.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My global SIM used to be on AT&T most of the time but for a couple of weeks it's been staying on T-Mobile. It looks like the Global SIMs are T-Mobile only now.

      As long as the Global SIM still works in Europe, I can't complain. The LTE SIMs are a better choice for the US.

      Delete
    2. I get 60% shorter ping and double speed on LTE SIM compared to Global SIM, using a Vzw Moto E4, unlocked. Voice quality has much less latency with the LTE SIM.

      Delete
  47. Confirmed. It seems as though the Global TMobile only transition happened gradually. Mine finally started locking permanently on TM in the last week.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I think that if you are paying for their service they should offer call forwarding and call waiting and 3 way calling. I would pay the extra charges for it.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I heard Freedompop is discontinuing service on the Global SIM and all of them will quit working on 1/3/2018

    ReplyDelete
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