While they each seem like a necessary evil, the big guns of mobile have gotten increasingly greedier and more expensive at every turn. The plans from the likes of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint sometimes cost more than some average households are willing to cough up each month.
Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) may offer a solution. For those that don’t know, MVNOs lease the same towers from the aforementioned carriers to allow customers to connect at a discounted rate while the virtual network handles the customer service, etc.
FreedomPop was founded in 2012 by a capital investment venture led by creators Stephen Stokols and Steven Sesar to start a new carrier that molds free, open Internet with the traditional mobile telecom services. The company has a base focus with phones that work completely over the internet via voice over IP and supplements that when you are away from Wi-Fi with carrier towers.
FreedomPop originally launched with a limited run of phones compatible with Sprint. In 2016 the company expanded to “global compatibility” with a new partnership providing coverage with AT&T’s network. A year later it inked a deal with Target to sell service inside its stores to compete with Walmart and Straight Talk.
What are FreedomPop Rate Plans?
As mentioned above, FreedomPop starts at a free tier for just Wi-Fi enabled smartphone plans and moves towards more traditional monthly rates as you add data and voice away from Wi-Fi connections.
FreedomPop offers two versions of free plans. You can choose between either a CDMA backed line by Sprint or a GSM line with AT&T.
- CDMA option: 200 minutes talk time, 500 texts, and 500MB data per month
- GSM option: 200 minutes of talk time, 500 texts, and 200MB of 4GB LTE data
What about plans with more data?
FreedomPop has competitive rates for plans at 2GB, 5GB, and 10GB of data, and they get cheaper if you commit to longer terms.
Discounts are applied when pre-paying quarterly, semi-annually (6 months), or annually — much like Mint Mobile. Suffice it to say, the longer your commitment, the bigger the discount.
Here’s how it breaks down monthly when committing with various prepaid terms:
- Monthly: $24.99/mo
- Quarterly: $13.99/mo
- Semi-Annually: $11.99/mo
- Annually: $9.99/mo
- Monthly: $34.99/mo
- Quarterly: $18.99/mo
- Semi-Annually: $17.99/mo
- Annually: $14.99/mo
- Monthly: $59.99
- Quarterly: $24.99
- Semi-Annually: $22.99
- Annually: $19.99
What is the handset selection like at FreedomPop?
There are a number of phones available to purchase from FreedomPop, including those from LG, Samsung, and Apple. Selection is fairly robust but you won’t find anything near the high end of the spectrum.
Under Google, for example, the only options we see today are Nexus 5, Nexus 6, and Nexus 6P. Indeed, there are no Pixel models to choose from.
Are there any deals at FreedomPop?
There aren’t any special promotions or deals on rate plans or new accounts, at least at this time. Looking at the shop is a slightly different experience, though. Some phones have instant discounts; other devices are refurbished and cheaper than buying a brand new model.
Can I bring my own phone to FreedomPop?
Yes, FreedomPop does offer you the opportunity to bring your device to its network. Check the device’s compatibility at the BYOD page to make sure your current model works well with its networks.