FreedomPop goes freebie with new mobile service

The same startup looking to disrupt the broadband industry with free Internet unveils a mobile offering that has no monthly charges, costs or carriers.

Charlie Osborne Contributing Writer
Charlie Osborne is a cybersecurity journalist and photographer who writes for ZDNet and CNET from London. PGP Key: AF40821B.
Charlie Osborne
2 min read

FreedomPop, provider of "freemium" services including free broadband and 4G, has announced a mobile service that gives users free voice, text and data usage without a contract.

FreedomPop Overdrive Pro
The FreedomPop Overdrive Pro mobile 3G/4G hot spot. FreedomPop

FreedomPop's new service will give users a guaranteed 500MB of 4G data for free, unlimited texts, and 200 voice minutes per month. Users registered on the network will also be given free unlimited calls to each other. The service will launch later this summer on several phones running Google's Android operating system.

The service will enable the first-ever all-data devices running 100 percent VoIP over cellular networks, according to the Internet provider.

"The quality of over-the-top VoIP services is now at a stage where we can deliver the major mobile services completely free to consumers," said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop's CEO and co-founder.

In October last year, the Los Angeles-based firm began shipping the iPod Touch sleeve, which allowed the mobile device to connect to 4G networks to make free calls via Skype and any other voice-over-IP application.

Jonathan Chaplin from investment firm Newstreet called the new phone service "game-changing," rather than simply disruptive. By offering free 4G wireless to the general public and enjoying profit margins of over 50 percent on the company's freemium features, FreedomPop says that the business model it follows is commercially viable.

In April, the company announced the introduction of the Overdrive Pro mobile hot spot, which offers both 4G and 3G coverage via Sprint. After purchasing the router for $39.99, users can connect up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices and sign up for a free, basic plan that provides 500MB of data per month.