The endless commercials for $45/month phone plans may soon be getting a run for their money. FreedomPop, a Los Angeles based company, is now revamping the way consumers can communicate with their world, and at a much lower price. Founded in 2011, the company originally offered mobile and internet services with base packages free of charge. A partnership was created with Sprint in April 2013 to allow 3G and 4G access to users with Sprint compatible devices and since then, FreedomPop has begun selling their own line of lower-cost smart phones and tablets that come with free amounts of talk, text, and data.
This year, FreedomPop has released a $5/month Wi-Fi hotspot service that allows users unlimited voice, text, and internet usage as well as an automatic sign-on feature. Instead of having to obtain a password and go through the steps of logging in to a public wireless network, customers can download FreedomPop’s app that will search for Wi-Fi networks and automatically connect.
Currently about 10 million hotspots are available throughout the U.S.A. in businesses such as Burger King, Panera, and McDonald’s and 15 million more are expected to be launched by April 2015. Currently, the Wi-Fi service is only available to Android devices due to the complexities of Apple’s sign-on platform, but FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols hopes to have an update to the iOS app soon, which would allow millions more to have access to their service.
Can a Wi-Fi only plan completely take the place of a regular cellular data plan? Not necessarily, but it depends where you live and the amount of data you use. If you live in an area with multiple hotspots and use lots of data, FreedomPop could be a great money saver.
FreedomPop’s model resembles those of other phone services such as Republic Wireless which offers a similar Wi-Fi/cellular combination plan, but Republic Wireless requires you to use only the phones they provide. With the $5 Wi-Fi plan, you can dig out your old “X” brand smartphone from the junk drawer and connect to one of the 10 billion hotspots available automatically to call, text, or surf the web.