Los Angeles — FreedomPop, the MVNO that offers free and low-cost wireless voice and data service, is launching its first cellular-equipped tablets.
FreedomPop’s tablets and phones are equipped with the company’s VoIP app, which provides a unique phone number so that users can initiate and receive voice calls as if they were making traditional circuit-switched cellular calls.
The first two tablets offered by FreedomPop are the first-generation iPad Mini with a 7.9-inch screen at $319 and the Samsung Tab 3 for $199, both with 4G LTE.
Large carriers currently do not offer cellular tablets with phone numbers, “partially because of the potential to cannibalize high-margin phone plans,” the company said.
The addition of voice calling to tablets is needed for using apps such as WhatsApp or Uber, which “require a device phone number to integrate seamlessly,” said Steven Sesar, FreedomPop co-founder and COO.
Although FreedomPop offers its own tablets and phones, consumers can bring their existing Sprint-network devices to FreedomPop to add the MVNO’s service because FreedomPop service uses the Sprint network.
The company’s tablets join a growing list of mobile phones and devices available from the company, including the iPhone 5, Android smartphones and portable Wi-Fi hotspots.
The products can be purchased at FreedomPop.com, Amazon, Newegg and Walmart.com.
The MVNO offers 200 free minutes of voice calls, 500 free texts and 500MB of high-speed data per month. The company also offers multiple paid plans. An Unlimited Everything plan 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.
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 a month.