Author Topic: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?  (Read 8019 times)

Hey It's Me

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 715
    • Moe's Journal
Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« on: January 22, 2015, 10:04:50 PM »
Hi guys,

This topic was posted about a while back (I believe 2013), but that was in relation to Freedom Pop's wifi hotspot service, so I figured I'd ask again.

I just checked out FP's site, and noticed they offer a $0/month service for 200 mins, 200 messages, and 500mb of data (as long as you purchase one of their phones - the cheapest being $100.)

http://www.freedompop.com/phone/plans_voice?experience=phone.default

This almost seems too good to be true; anyone have experience using FP for their cell phone service. Users from NY (where I live) would be even more helpful. What's the catch??

Thanks so much,
Moe

SaintM

  • Guest
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2015, 03:00:32 AM »
The catch is you are limited to Sprint's data service for everything--VOIP calling, messaging, and data.  Sprint's data network isn't as reliable as its voice network and other companies' voice/data networks.

Hey It's Me

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 715
    • Moe's Journal
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2015, 07:51:53 AM »
Hmm... okay.

Another kind of silly question: if I'm currently on a T-Mobile plan (phone has been 'unlocked'), can I switch to an AT&T/Sprint MVNO?

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3957
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2015, 08:59:08 AM »
Hmm... okay.

Another kind of silly question: if I'm currently on a T-Mobile plan (phone has been 'unlocked'), can I switch to an AT&T/Sprint MVNO?

AT&T, yes. Sprint, no. GSM versus CDMA and all that stuff. GSM MVNOs are typically cheaper than CDMA (excuse the Sprint MVNOs that datamine), with T-Mobile MVNOs cheaper than AT&T for $20+ "unlimited" talk and text with data plans and AT&T MVNOs technically cheaper for sub-$20 PAYGO usage. Look into Airvoice and Puretalk USA on the AT&T end, and P'tel on the T-Mobile end.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27911
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2015, 09:43:53 AM »
If you need reliable service, pay for it.

That being said, my wife uses the free service and loves it.  The lag on calls is such that she can't answer in time, but she just calls back.  Outgoing calls, and call quality, is just fine.  It's just too much of a lag for incoming calls.  She hardly ever uses voice, mostly text, so it doesn't matter much (and when she is using voice, most of the time she's initiating the call, like to a customer service or family member or whatever).  And everyone knows now to just text her to tell her to call them if they need something more than a text provides.

Well worth the savings for the few (inbound) calls she gets to have to call back.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Hey It's Me

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 715
    • Moe's Journal
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2015, 10:43:47 AM »
Hmm... okay.

Another kind of silly question: if I'm currently on a T-Mobile plan (phone has been 'unlocked'), can I switch to an AT&T/Sprint MVNO?

AT&T, yes. Sprint, no. GSM versus CDMA and all that stuff. GSM MVNOs are typically cheaper than CDMA (excuse the Sprint MVNOs that datamine), with T-Mobile MVNOs cheaper than AT&T for $20+ "unlimited" talk and text with data plans and AT&T MVNOs technically cheaper for sub-$20 PAYGO usage. Look into Airvoice and Puretalk USA on the AT&T end, and P'tel on the T-Mobile end.

Thanks so much - that was very helpful! I looked into the Superguide, but wasn't 100% sure after reading it; thanks for clarifying. :)

seattlecyclone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4844
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2015, 10:48:31 AM »
I use FreedomPop's mobile hotspot service, but not their phone service. It works well, but you can't get service in a lot of places because Sprint's network isn't as extensive as others. You get what you pay for. I like having a no-monthly-fee service that has a high probability of getting me connected when I want to. But if I needed mobile data access for some reason, I would probably look elsewhere.

Hey It's Me

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 715
    • Moe's Journal
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2015, 12:06:55 PM »
I use FreedomPop's mobile hotspot service, but not their phone service. It works well, but you can't get service in a lot of places because Sprint's network isn't as extensive as others. You get what you pay for. I like having a no-monthly-fee service that has a high probability of getting me connected when I want to. But if I needed mobile data access for some reason, I would probably look elsewhere.

That seems to be the general trend in the responses: go with FP because they're free, but expect some service issues along the way. I make most of my calls via wifi and VOIP anyways, so I think this might be a good option for me in the times that I don't need it. I think I'll try it and report back, so others can take advantage of my loss/gain, haha.

IamDavin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
  • Location: Chicago Burbs
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2015, 04:34:53 PM »
If you need reliable service, pay for it.

That being said, my wife uses the free service and loves it.  The lag on calls is such that she can't answer in time, but she just calls back.  Outgoing calls, and call quality, is just fine.  It's just too much of a lag for incoming calls.  She hardly ever uses voice, mostly text, so it doesn't matter much (and when she is using voice, most of the time she's initiating the call, like to a customer service or family member or whatever).  And everyone knows now to just text her to tell her to call them if they need something more than a text provides.

Well worth the savings for the few (inbound) calls she gets to have to call back.

Kinda digging up an old thread here.  I am using Ting currently.  I usually use data in the bucket up to 500mb for $12.  I was curious if there was a way to use a mobile hot spot from FP for data when needed. 

I have read reviews saying that FP will nickel and dime you to death.  If you don't use a certain amount of mins.. they charge you.. and obviously if more than 500 mb they charge you.

Those of you that are actually using FP.  Is this the case?  I tried to sign up for their free plan online.. and they tried to automatically enroll me in data rollover for $4 a month. 

What does your monthly bill look like with FP?

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27911
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2015, 04:40:08 PM »
They got rid of the minimum use thing like a year ago.  My monthly bill for my hotspot and backup phone is $0. Those sit in drawers generally, but are good backup.  (My main phone is with Sprint, and I pay for unlimited data.)

My wife's phone, which she uses daily, is $0. 

My home internet with them is 9.99 for 12.49GB.

Had issues going over early on (two years ago) but now I never do.  Bills have been as stated above for well over a year.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

seattlecyclone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4844
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2015, 05:06:17 PM »
I have read reviews saying that FP will nickel and dime you to death.  If you don't use a certain amount of mins.. they charge you.. and obviously if more than 500 mb they charge you.

I have a FreedomPop mobile hotspot. They do try to auto-enroll you in extra services (free for the first month!!1) when you initially sign up. If you turn these off, and opt out of the "automatic top-up" feature, it really is free and there is no possibility for hidden charges. They'll just cut you off when you hit the monthly free data cap. At that point you can choose to log in to pay for more data if you really want, or you can just go without until the next month starts.

One thing to note: many of the lowest-priced mobile hotspots they're selling now only work on the WiMax network, which will be turned off later this year. Opt for a device with LTE in the description if you want to be able to use it for more than a few months. I snagged a refurbished one from Newegg earlier this year for only $40, but that model seems to be out of stock now.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2881
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2015, 06:49:45 PM »
I have read reviews saying that FP will nickel and dime you to death.  If you don't use a certain amount of mins.. they charge you.. and obviously if more than 500 mb they charge you.

I have a FreedomPop mobile hotspot. They do try to auto-enroll you in extra services (free for the first month!!1) when you initially sign up. If you turn these off, and opt out of the "automatic top-up" feature, it really is free and there is no possibility for hidden charges. They'll just cut you off when you hit the monthly free data cap. At that point you can choose to log in to pay for more data if you really want, or you can just go without until the next month starts.

One thing to note: many of the lowest-priced mobile hotspots they're selling now only work on the WiMax network, which will be turned off later this year. Opt for a device with LTE in the description if you want to be able to use it for more than a few months. I snagged a refurbished one from Newegg earlier this year for only $40, but that model seems to be out of stock now.


I still have the Photon and coverage is spotty at best. Considering getting an LTE device at this point, and getting a phone would be tempting too, like the Galaxy. That way it can be used as a backup phone and hotspot (I'm assuming you can use it as a hotspot at least...maybe not).

The Galaxy is on sale right now at Freedompop and also Groupon. Unbelievable considering I paid about that much for the Photon itself several years ago and now Wimax is going bye-bye :(

I don't know, I might be willing to try it out and ultimately replace PagePlus if it's good enough. While Wimax coverage is horrible, I've heard much better things about LTE. Maybe I should just sell my Photon and be done with it, then consider the Galaxy or LTE hotspot.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 06:59:37 PM by jplee3 »

IamDavin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
  • Location: Chicago Burbs
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2015, 07:43:22 PM »
Awesome!  Thanks everyone! Exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for.

FYI - Groupon is running a sale on LTE FP devices right now.  I picked up the Freedom Spot 803s fro $40. 

https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-4g-lte-wireless-internet-with-hotspots-or-usb-modem?deal_option=3d1e9a68-c6db-4138-a0fa-f62b54e72647

The MiFi version looked a little better but I noticed it only supports 4G and not 3G.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 08:03:58 PM by IamDavin »

seattlecyclone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4844
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2015, 08:23:27 PM »
Awesome!  Thanks everyone! Exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for.

FYI - Groupon is running a sale on LTE FP devices right now.  I picked up the Freedom Spot 803s fro $40. 

https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-4g-lte-wireless-internet-with-hotspots-or-usb-modem?deal_option=3d1e9a68-c6db-4138-a0fa-f62b54e72647

The MiFi version looked a little better but I noticed it only supports 4G and not 3G.

That's the one I have. It works well, but it's kind of bulky. Most of the weight is in the battery, so battery life isn't really an issue.

Regarding 3G, the free service only supports 4G areas. If you want to use your device in a 3G-only coverage area, you have to pay something like $4/month to upgrade your plan to that option.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2881
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2015, 08:44:09 PM »
Has anyone tried out BYOD?

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27911
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2015, 09:15:50 PM »
Has anyone tried out BYOD?

Yes.  My wife is using a iPhone 4S (my old one) on the free plan.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Hey It's Me

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 715
    • Moe's Journal
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2015, 11:14:43 PM »
I just got my FreedomPop phone in the mail yesterday. Everything works well so far, but I'll keep everyone posted after a few more days of use.

IamDavin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
  • Location: Chicago Burbs
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2015, 07:18:59 PM »
My hotspot showed up from Groupon with no charger and what looks to be a dead battery... so if you can find it elsewhere for the same price might be better

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2881
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2015, 09:21:19 AM »
I just got my FreedomPop phone in the mail yesterday. Everything works well so far, but I'll keep everyone posted after a few more days of use.

Thanks! Please do. BTW: where are you located?

IamDavin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
  • Location: Chicago Burbs
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2015, 03:35:49 PM »
Just a heads up for anyone needing a charger.  I looked for some online and found car chargers for around $10-15. 

I also just got a bluetooth speaker for listening to audio in the Honda Insight and bringing with me on workouts/jobsites.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F4B2LZM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It came with a USB charger.  I found that it fit and worked with the Freedom Pop hotspot.  So seems like most Motorola / mini USB chargers may work with these.

FP did auto enroll me in a few different things.  So thanks again for letting me know to dive in and change those settings.  One sneaky one was under services and had me enrolled in some Premier service costing $8.33 a month.

Hopefully I found everything and it will be free for the 500 MB.

Thanks again everyone for the info!  Starting to use Google voice again with hangouts /dialer for free use with wifi / freedom pop.

Hoping it will bring the Ting bill down to $5-10 a month.

seattlecyclone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4844
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Freedom Pop for Cell Phone Service?
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2015, 08:13:18 PM »
That particular hotspot should charge with any micro USB cable, hooked up to any computer or USB AC adapter. Standardized charging ports are so nice. In our household we have two phones, two Kindles, a FreedomPop hotspot, an Android tablet, and an external USB battery that all can charge with the same cord. We just leave a few chargers plugged in and connect them to whatever device needs charging.