Los Angeles – FreedomPop, the MVNO that offers free and low-cost wireless voice and data service, is expanding its smartphone selection beyond Android phones to include the iPhone 5.
The company, which resells Sprint-network service, also began offering a free iPhone app that lets users locked into carrier contracts take advantage of FreedomPop’s service. These users can “save hundreds of dollars per year by downgrading their [current] voice plans and leveraging FreedomPop’s free voice and text service directly from their existing phone,” the company said. The app works with all iPhones.
FreedomPop doesn’t yet offer an Android app that provides the same capability for Android phones that operate on networks other than Sprint’s.
Through its online store, FreedomPop has begun selling the LTE-equipped iPhone 5 for $349. It joins multiple WiMAX-equipped Sprint-network phones in the company’s selection. The company plans to offer LTE-equipped Sprint-network phones to replace them.
FreedomPop’s free plan includes 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages and 500MB of data per month. Other plans start at $4.58/month for unlimited cellular voice and text with 500MB of data.
For its free and low-cost services, FreedomPop eschews traditional circuit-switched cellular calling for VoIP calls placed through phones running FreedomPop’s VoIP app. Consumers can also bring their Sprint-network 4G LTE or WiMAX phones to the FreedomPop network. To adapt Sprint phones for FreedomPop service, users hit a web link to update their phone with FreedomPop’s OS update, which also changes the phone’s branding on the smartphone screen.
Freedom Pop, founded in 2011, sells its products and services through its website and Amazon. The company is backed by Mangrove Capital, DCM and Skype Founder Niklas Zennstom's Atomico.