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FreedomPop offers unlimited WhatsApp chats in over 30 countries

You can chat to your heart's content, even while you travel.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 17, 2016
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Don't want to pay a fortune for mobile service, but can't stand the thought of being unable to message your friends? FreedomPop thinks it can help. The sometimes-free carrier has launched an offer that gives you free, unlimited WhatsApp messaging in over 30 countries, including the US. And yes, that includes when you travel -- it should be that much easier to let the folks back home know how you're doing. In a chat with VentureBeat, the company says that there's "really no reason" you need to pay for voice or text in the modern era. This is just taking a logical step, he argues albeit an odd one when WhatsApp isn't nearly as popular in the US as it is elsewhere.

This kind of offer isn't new elsewhere in the world. Nextel Brazil has offered free WhatsApp use, for example. It's new in the US, however, and may draw some criticism from critics who believe these exceptions (known as zero rating) violate the spirit of net neutrality. It certainly has a financial incentive to give away WhatsApp access. Getting to use just one app could entice you to upgrade from the free basic plan (which stops at 200MB of US data, 100 minutes and 100 texts) to get the full internet on your phone. For now, though, it's at least a useful tool for travelers and cost-cutters.

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