FreedomPop, the wireless service provider offering free and cheap no-contract plans on Sprint’s network, today announced it’s now allowing customers to bring their old Sprint phones to activate on its $0/month wireless plans. We’ve confirmed with the company that will also soon include iPhones.
The company has been around since 2011 with various hotspot products and recently launched its first smartphone direct to customers alongside the world’s first completely free mobile service. A guaranteed 500 MBs of data, 500 text messages, and 200 anytime voice minutes for free each month would sound enticing to anyone, but previously customers would have to pay $99 for an almost two-year old HTC Evo Design to get it. Despite that, FreedomPop says it “immediately sold out” of stock when it launched last month.
That’s about to change today as FreedomPop will now let Sprint customers bring their own device to activate on its free and cheap plans. Although there is no mention of it in the carrier’s press release and some are reporting iPhones aren’t supported, we’ve confirmed FreedomPop will support the iPhone 4 and 4S as well as 20 other Sprint devices initially. Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop’s CEO, tells us it will be another few weeks before the iPhone is compatible, and eventually all Sprint smartphones will be supported. Around 600 devices, including iPhones, will be supported by the end of the month.
While T-Mobile’s new Uncarrier strategy has been getting a lot of attention as a more transparent way of offering wireless service to consumers, FreedomPop is truly attempting to change the face of the industry by offering 100% free mobile and internet services. The strategy isn’t completely lost on the big carriers– T-Mobile just started offering 200MB of free data for iPad and tablet users. That compares to 500MB, 500 texts, and 200 voice minutes Freedompop offers for all of its users. The problem up until now has been lack of devices, but it will be interesting to see how many customers it can attract when it starts supporting the iPhone and Sprint’s line up of Android devices. We also confirmed earlier this year it will soon be supporting iPads via an LTE accessory for tablets.
FreedomPop will also start offering the HTC Evo 4G for $99 off contract today, an even older device than the Evo Design it first launched, but the real news here is clearly the bring your own device support for Sprint phones. A deal with another carrier partner in the future could give FreedomPop the ability to offer the BYOD option for devices other than Sprint smartphones.
FreedomPop claims its free plan will save consumers around $1,000 a year, while those that step up to its paid plans will save 80 to 90 percent compared to other carriers on average.
A list of compatible devices starting today include:
- HTC EVO 4G
- HTC EVO 3D
- Samsung Epic 4G
- Samsung Epic 4G Touch
- Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB
- Boost Prevail by Samsung
- Galaxy Nexus by Samsung
- Nexus S 4G by Samsung
- LG Optimus S
- Motorola Photon 4G