Los Angeles-based free wireless internet and mobile phone service provider, FreedomPop is taking center stage among the growing trend of mobile apps offering unique opportunities to consumers. The new wave telecom company launched in October 2012 and offers free mobile advantages in the same way that Skype offers free voice and video services and Dropbox offers free data services. Through innovative techniques the company offers its customers free 4G cell phone service with free wireless internet and free broadband for home use. The internet service utilizes Sprint’s LTE network, 4G WiMax and 3G CDMA networks.
The company has taken to Twitter about an endeavor to expand to Europe, which offers their free services to customers, regardless of whether they use FreedomPop as their own primary carrier. Their free talk and text app was previously available to only Android users; however, due to customer demand the company recently expanded their availability to include Apple iPhone users over the Sprint network as well. They will offer “like-new” refurbished iPhone 5 handsets for around $350 but existing Sprint customers can use their compatible iPhone 4, 4s of 5 to download the app. The FreedomPop free plan includes 200 voice minutes, 500 megabytes of data and 500 text messages a month; their other plans start at just $5 a month. The app also allows 100 minutes of free international calling to over 30 different countries, including Mexico, China, the UK, Brazil, Hong Kong and India and will be expanding to over 100 markets within the coming weeks.
Customers who place international calls on a more regular basis can enjoy 500 minutes for only $5 per month or purchase an unlimited plan for $10 per month. Anyone who has downloaded the app (available here) can utilize these features. In addition, the company is offering the ability for customers to have their own international number for around $9 a month; this means that if a customer from Texas calls a friend in Shanghai frequently it could save their friend money as well because they would be able to call a forwarding number. With an estimated 20 million Americans making international calls from their smartphones every month the savings by using FreedomPop could be substantial; the company estimates that around $150 is spent monthly on average by consumers making international calls. That means FreedomPop could potentially save people around $1,000 annually.
The company offers other products as well such as Samsung Galaxy tablets, LTE Hotspots, USB sticks and mini tablets. If a customer switches to the FreedomPop phone service plan they won’t have to sign up for a contract and can choose to cancel service at any time.
FreedomPop was founded by Stephen Stokols and Steven Seasr in 2011. Despite the recent rumors of acquisition talks by cell-phone carrier Sprint no official deals have been made between the two companies. It is estimated that around half of FreedomPop subscribers utilize their free services and the other half has converted into paying customers.