FreedomPop has partnered with Clearwire and Sprint to offer 4G (WiMax) mobile phone service for free. The plan allows for up to 200 minutes of talk, 500 text messages and 200 voice minutes for free, but requires the purchase of a phone from FreedomPop and utilizes Sprint and Clearwire's abandoned WiMax technology.
Free cell phone service sounds like its too good to be true, but FreedomPop plans on profiting as customers go over their allotted data limit -- when it begins charging $0.025 for every megabyte. FreedomPop now offers Americans an unlimited voice and text plan for $10.99 per month, along with the 500 megabyte data limit, and a similar $7.99 per month plan, that offers 500 minutes and unlimited texts.
Interested cell phone subscribers should note that they also have to pay $99 plus tax for the HTC EVO Design 4G, a Sprint phone that debuted in 2011, and the only handset that currently works on the FreedomPop network. VP Tony Miller told TechCrunch that the device’s ROM is modified so that phone calls are rerouted over data plans, and FreedomPop does not have to pay for voice from Sprint, which would mean the company would have to charge customers $15-20 per month for the free plan.
The HTC EVO Design 4G specs a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of storage and a sharp 4-inch screen with 275 pixels-per-inch (ppi). The HTC EVO Design 4G also specs a 5-megapixel main camera, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing shooter and a microSD card slot.
FreedomPop said that the HTC EVO Design 4G would be capable of sharing its 500MB of data with other devices, such as a tablet or laptop, at no extra charge. However, FreedomPop users are limited to Sprint’s WiMAX network, developed with Clearwire to compete with LTE. Sprint stopped developing the service last year when it became clear that LTE was a superior technology, opting to use WiMax as prepaid 4G for Boost and Virgin Mobile customers.
Instead of paying the standard $0.025 for every megabyte over the 500MB limit, FreedomPop offers customers double the data for an additional $9.99 per month, with a 30 day free trial. By signing up for 1GB, users save $2.50 a month compared to the free offering.
FreedomPop will also charge users $2.50 per month for voicemail service. FreedomPop was founded in 2011 by offering free wireless connectivity for up to 500 megabytes of data on specific devices sold by the company. FreedomPop has no current plans on rolling out its service to any countries other than the U.S.