It's no longer a summertime tease: FreedomPop's freemium mobile phone service is now officially a go. Launched in beta today, the operator's basic plan offers consumers a voice/text/data bundle that nets them 200 anytime minutes, 500 texts and 500MBs for the price of, well, nothing per month -- and it's contract-free, too. There's also a more robust unlimited voice and text package for chattier users that runs about $11/mo. Keep in mind, FreedomPop's network piggybacks on Sprint 3G, WiMAX and LTE, so coverage, reception and call quality (it's VoIP) will be vary depending on your location and any data overages will cost you $0.01/MB and $10/GB.
It's not all free champagne and strawberries, though -- there is an actual price of entry, and it comes in the form of HTC's EVO Design, offered at a very reasonable $99. Users accustomed to more device choice will have to hold out until later this year, as FreedomPop does plan to add other Android devices to its lineup. For now, though, it's extremely slim pickings. But can you really look a gift horse in the mouth? We didn't think so, freeloaders.
FreedomPop Launches The First 100 Percent Free Mobile Phone Service
FreedomPop commemorates its one year anniversary with the launch of America's first-ever free voice, free text and free data phone
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- FreedomPop, the free wireless internet company, today on its one year anniversary launched its beta of the world's first completely free mobile service with free voice, text and data. The company will give users a guaranteed 500 MBs of data, 500 text messages, and 200 anytime voice minutes free every month for life. FreedomPop will also offer heavier users unlimited voice and unlimited texting for just $10.99 per month with no contracts or commitments – 80 to 90 percent less than similar plans offered by large carriers, saving consumers over $1,000 per year.
"FreedomPop is changing the mobile market forever with the sole intent of bringing better value to consumers and increasing accessibility," said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop's CEO and co-founder. "FreedomPop's mission is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, convenient and essential communication services. With this launch, we've just taken our largest step to date towards delivering on this objective."
The FreedomPop Phone service will initially be available on the HTC Evo Design smartphone, which will sell for at a 65 percent discount for just $99. Later this year, additional popular Android handsets will be offered.
"The historically staid mobile operator industry is not only ripe for disruption; it is being disrupted today by creative pricing and service delivery strategies," said Rich Karpinski, senior analyst with Yankee Group. "Combining more economical voice over IP-over-cellular technology with emerging freemium business models such as these provides choice for customers looking for mobile service alternatives while pressuring incumbent carriers to respond as well."
The FreedomPop Phone comes a year after FreedomPop launched and took the mobile market by storm, offering free 4G over mobile hotspots. Led by outstanding consumer demand and organic growth, FreedomPop has demonstrated the commercial viability of its freemium model, while giving away more than half a billion free MBs of data to date. The company has also raised over $16 million in financing it is putting toward disruption of the $200 billion mobile phone service market where consumers currently pay over $1,500 per year on average.
"A user paying $1,500 per year for mobile services today can save well over $1,000 per year for the same plan with FreedomPop," Stokols added. "That is real value, real savings and a real meteor to the current market dynamics."
To sign up for access of FreedomPop's Phone now go to FreedomPop.com/phone.