Los Angeles — FreedomPop, the no-contract MVNO that offers free and low-cost cellular voice and data plans, launched a new $5/month service that delivers unlimited voice, text and data to Android smartphone and tablets via home Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi hot spots.
With Google and cable companies investing in outdoor Wi-Fi networks and hot spots, said COO Steven Sesar, FreedomPop can leverage those buildouts “to offer access to the largest nationwide Wi-Fi network with talk, text and data.”
FreedomPop’s service requires a free app downloaded from the Google Play store. The app delivers automatic connection to more than 10 million hot spots, making it unnecessary for users to manually connect through device settings or authentication pages. Many of the hot spots are closed to public access, the company contended.
The service can be used with any Android smartphone on any cellular carrier, but users don’t need to use a carrier-activated phone. FreedomPop provides the mobile number and the voice, voice mail and texting services, a spokesman told TWICE.
The plan, said Sesar, gives “cash-strapped consumers an alternative to high-priced LTE data plans or a way to simply cut down on their cellular-data usage.” With “ubiquitous Wi-Fi,” he said, consumers “can truly cut the carrier and still get consistent high-speed mobile data in most places.”
Almost 90 percent of data consumed by mobile users is over Wi-Fi, Sesar said, so “consumers are spending hundreds of dollars each year for only 10 percent of their total data usage.”
FreedomPop, which launched free and low-cost cellular service in 2012, offers a mix of LTE-equipped tablets and phones equipped with the company’s VoIP app, which provides a phone number so users can initiate and receive voice calls as if making a traditional circuit-switched cellular call.
Although FreedomPop offers tablets and phones, consumers can also bring their existing Sprint-network devices to FreedomPop, which will load it with the company’s software.
All FreedomPop smartphones and tablets come free with 200 voice minutes, 500 texts and 500MB of high-speed data per month. The company also offers multiple low-cost paid plans.
The company’s devices can be purchased through FreedomPop.com as well as from Amazon, Newegg and Walmart.com.