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FreedomPop Brings WhatsApp Zero-Rating to the US

Freemium Sprint MVNO and Global SIM provider, FreedomPop has announced a new version of its Global SIM called the WhatsApp SIM that includes unlimited use of FaceBook's wildly popular WhatsApp messaging and calling app. This feature, which was originally only offered to FreedomPop's Spanish users, is now available in the US.

In addition to unlimited WhatsApp, the new SIM also provides 200 MB of data per month for free along with 100 VOIP minutes and 100 SMS using FreedomPop's Messaging app. As with other FreedomPop plans, users can get up to 500 MB of additional free data per month by connecting to other FreedomPop users as Freedom Friends. FreedomPop also offers paid WhatsApp plans with more data and unlimited VOIP minutes and SMS. The following plans are available:

  • Free - unlimited WhatsApp, 100 VOIP minutes, 100 SMS and 200 MB data.
  • $20.99 - unlimited WhatsApp, unlimited VOIP minutes, unlimited SMS and 1 GB data. 
  • $29.99 - unlimited WhatsApp, unlimited VOIP minutes, unlimited SMS and 2 GB data.
Making data for free for some apps or services, but not all,  is called zero rating and it's a controversial practice because it gives the zero rated service(s) a competitive advantage. The internet has traditionally allowed all content and service providers equal access. The FCC has issued a Net Neutrality rule that appears to prohibit zero rating. However all four national operators have instituted zero rating schemes and the FCC has not taken any action against them.

WhatsApp SIMs are available now FreedomPop.com/WA for $9.99 plus $1.99 shipping. Current FreedomPop users do not automatically get zero rated WhatsApp. But according to a post by a moderator on the FreedomPop Forum, current global SIM users can add free WhatsApp by clicking here. Warning, clicking that link change your plan without any "are you sure" type on prompt. If you use the FreedomPop app for calls and text  you might not want to change to the WhatsApp plan. That's because the WhatsApp plan only includes 100 minutes and 100 texts and the Global plan includes 200 minutes and 500 texts. If you switched to the WhatsApp plan and want to go back to the Global plan, click here. In any case, plan changes do not actually take effect until your next billing cycle.

The WhatsApp SIM works on more than 30 networks in 25 countries including the US, UK, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy. Data is HSPA+, LTE is not available. In the US, FreedomPop Global and WhatsApp SIMs use both AT&T and T-Mobile. The SIMs identify themselves as being from the Three UK network so an unlocked phone is required.

Source: FreedomPop


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  1. this is just like ChatSIM. have a ChatSIM on an old unlocked iphone for only doing whatsapp. got the ChatSIM on amazon and it's good for a year and after which you have to renew for $15 a year. ChatSIM is based in italy and got a uk number. can use around the world because of roaming agreements. in the United States, it's on at&t on my iphone. when registering a ChatSIM, you have to upload a digital picture of your ID (used my work badge). they have strict requirements over there in europe when buying sim cards. most Americans on prepaid will balk at this.

    with ChatSIM, you get "unlimited" but only when sending whatsapp text of only words and emojis. you have to pay extra for a prepaid amount of "multimedia credits" to cover the data to send pictures. what ChatSIM comes with is a very limited amount of data for only sending text (words and emojis) which are really miniscule tiny amounts of data.

    the problem that ChatSIM has, and what the Freedompop whatsapp sim will have, is that users will not realize that they have to lock down the data usage on their smartphones. these sim cards are suppose to know the difference in the data being used on phones and only allow data for whatsapp text, but that's not what happens in reality. the other apps on the smartphone will suck the free data dry and the sim may get suspended. expect to see these sorts of complaints with the FP free whatsapp sim card after users wonder how the 200mb is used up.

    the good thing about the free version of the FP whatsapp sim is you get 100 VOIP minutes and 200mb. the VOIP data and the 200mb data if it is only a bucket of data, that gives a lot more to play with in terms of sending whatsapp texts with pictures. but if you send really big pictures or send audio recordings on whatsapp and if your smartphone is not locked down to not use cellular data with other apps, then you will be in for a surprise when the FP sim is sucked dry. just putting your phone on wifi will not stop your phone from using data. data may still used when your phone is suppose to be asleep with its screen off. really got to lock it down.

    these sort of sim cards are good for an extra phone or a kids phone or someone who never calls and only texts and DOESN'T DO ANYTHING ELSE ON THE PHONE.

    for anything beyond that, just use a regular prepaid mvno that you already use.

    1. maybe the freedompop whatsapp sim card is really chatsim but branded with freedompop.

  2. No LTE, no deal.

  3. Typo in first paragraph, second line?

  4. Interesting article, but a quick warning. If you haven't logged out of your FreedomPop account, and click on the "click here" link above, your account will change to the What'sApp version with no confirmation. (I expected an "opt in" option.)

  5. Freedompop.com does not even have ANY details on this Global SIM service!
    I saw some third-party ads (DealNews) about the Freedompop "free Global service" for 1.99$ for a one-month trial, but without any details, please be careful. Freedompop has a history of charging you automatically left and right (they have your credit card number when you registered) for something you never even knew that you actually ordered!
    Do you get a US phone number when you enroll? If you are in Spain and a friend in Spain (who is not on FP) calls you over the cellular network of the local carrier, is it a local call or an international call?

    1. See Prepaid Operator Profile: FreedomPop | Prepaid Phone News for a description of all of FreedomPop's plans and add-ons.

      It's easy to get free service with FreedomPop as long as:
      1. When you sign up, FreedomPop will enroll you in a promotional plan that's only free for the first month as well as a bunch of extra-cost services. Be sure to downgrade to the basic free plan and remove all the free trial plans and add-on services from your account as soon as you sign up. My post liked above tells you how.
      2. Watch you usage and be careful not to go over your plan limits so you don't get hit with overage charges.

      I've been using FreedomPop as my daily driver for a couple of years and have not had any unexpected charges to my credit card.

      FreedomPop gives you a US number that only works for calls made or received using the FreedomPop app. I'm not impressed with the app. I use Hangouts for free calls to and from US and Canadian numbers. For international calls use an OTT voice messaging app like Hangouts, FB Messenger or WhatsApp, ideally WhatsApp with the new WhatsApp plan. You friend in Spain doesn't need to be on FreedomPop they just need to use the same app as you.

  6. Tried to sign up using my Freedompop VOIP number but WhatsApp says it is not a valid number.

  7. Dennis, @ Freedopop, Will iphone 6 att prepaid work with it? I searched but not sure.

    And also, not sure of Whatsapp is zero rated with them is working or not.

    1. A FreedomPop LTE SIM will work in an AT&T Prepaid phone. The WhatsApp SIMs aren't available anymore and they required an unlocked phone.

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