Los Angeles — FreedomPop, the MVNO that offers free and low-cost wireless voice and data service, is expanding its selection of LTE-equipped phones with the launch of three Samsung Android phones, which join the recently launched LTE-equipped iPhone 5.
The company, which resells Sprint-network service, is adding LTE phones to phase out its 4G Mobile WiMAX selection because Sprint is replacing WiMAX service with LTE service.
Separately, FreedomPop began offering a free Android app that lets users locked into carrier contracts take advantage of FreedomPop’s service. These users can save money by downgrading their current carrier’s voice and data plan and using FreedomPop’s voice and text service directly from their existing phone, the company said. The MVNO’s service includes 200 free minutes of voice calls, 500 free texts, and 500MB of high-speed data per month.
An iPhone app with the same capabilities became available earlier this year. The app works with all iPhones.
In addition, the company announced its first “Unlimited Everything” plan, which costs $20/month and provides unlimited talk, text and data. Data consists of 1GB/month of 4G data and unlimited 3G data after the cap is reached.
For its free and low-cost services, FreedomPop eschews traditional circuit-switched cellular calling for VoIP calls placed through FreedomPop phones running FreedomPop’s VoIP app. Consumers can also bring their Sprint-network 4G LTE or WiMAX phones to the FreedomPop network. To adapt their existing 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.
The MVNO’s other smartphone plans include a $10.99/month plan offering unlimited voice and text and 500MB of data. Additional fees are charges per each MB in excess of the cap. The same terms are available with a full-year up-front payment of $79.99, which comes out to $6.67/month.
The new LTE smartphones taking advantage of the company’s plans are the $99 Samsung Victory, $199 Samsung Galaxy S3 and $349 Galaxy S4.
The Samsung Victory features Android 4.12, dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 4-inch 800 by 480 screen, 4GB embedded memory, 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, EVDO Rev. A, LTE, and MicroUSB v2.
The Galaxy S3 features Android 4.4, 4.8-inch 1,280 by 720 HD Super AMOLED display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 16GB embedded memory, 8-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, and simultaneous HD video and image recording. It also features Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, EVDO Rev. A, LTE, and MicroUSB v2.
The Galaxy S4 features Android 4.4, 5-inch 1,920 by 1080 Super AMOLED display with 441 ppi, 1.9GHZ quad-core CPU, 16GB of embedded memory, 13-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, dual shot, and simultaneous HD video and image recording. It also features Bluetooth v4.0 with EDR and low-energy profile, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, EVDO Rev. A, LTE, and MicroUSB v2.
Freedom Pop, founded in 2011, sells its products and services through its web site, Amazon, Newegg and Walmart.com. The company is backed by Mangrove Capital, DCM and Skype Founder Niklas Zennstom's Atomico.