This past Wednesday I read an article in USA Today about a company known as FreedomPop. They asked themselves the question a lot of us should start asking on our own. Why am I paying so much for phone coverage? They want every person to have access to a smartphone and for a lot of people (including me) the plans from major companies out there are insanely expensive. This company is pioneering a new movement that they hope will shatter the whole smartphone market.
Just to give you some background, FreedomPop started up about a year ago with the motto “the Internet is a right, not a privilege.” In the year since they have created a massive network piggy backing on Sprint. This isn’t some small start up company with no foundation, they have entrenched themselves in the mainstream market with Sprint. Now you may be asking what do they offer that’s so amazing? Well let me give you some pros and cons.
- Free!!!! Yes you heard me right, if you really wanted to you could get their phone service for free. The basic plan is 500 texts, 500 minutes, and 500mb of data for free. All you have to pay for is the phone($99) and voicemail ($2.50) per month. Compared to some basic plans out there that’s absolutely insane. Paying about two fifty a month is pretty acceptable for people who want some of the perks of having a smartphone but don’t use it as much.
- $11 dollars: that’s all you pay for unlimited calling and texting and 500mb of data. This a plan I believe about 90% of people could live with but only 10% of people believe they could. In a world conquered by wifi and the Internet becoming easier to access for free the idea of needing unlimited data is starting to die off. Think of all the places you go to on a daily basis and you will find a majority offer wifi. Now take into account that the phone you get with FreedomPop is a smartphone by HTC. It has wifi, Android, and a pretty good touchscreen. For about $13 dollars a month I’m pretty sure we could all start living on 500mb.
- Sprint: FreedomPop will be piggy backing on Sprint’s network whose coverage may not be as good as Verizon or AT&T but still delivers the speed and coverage that’s better than companies like MetroPCS. This union could lead to better phone options.
- Lack of Phones: They only have one phone on their site but do plan to grow in the future. There is also debate on the voice service, VOIP, being unreliable but a lot of that is a matter of personal opinion. Since it’s also quite new, coverage may have some unseen quirks. LTE support should also be coming in the future so it’s a waiting game for now.
- Coverage: Since they are piggy backing on Sprint it is believed that their coverage would mimic Sprint’s map. But they don’t exactly show that they just tell you if you’re covered. There are also priority questions between Sprint users and FreedomPop users, is it equal or unfair? Nobody can know for now.
- Beta: personally I would wait another year to let them get firmly established since they have already sold out for many areas. This will allow you to see what other phones they might offer in the future as well. Patience is required but heck if I can get phone service for free and maxed out at $13 a month. Well. I will totally wait!
FreedomPop is a great idea and a lot people believe that if the word spreads then it’s popularity will rise. Their service is being compared to that of Amazon, because they are willing to lose money to gain popularity and eventually turn a profit. If this all pans out you could see me reviewing their phone service one day.
Are you willing to give a new service like FreedomPop a try right now or will you wait a little longer?