updated 12:34 pm EDT, Tue October 1, 2013
Free service offers 200 minutes, 500MB, 500 texts each month
Mobile data provider FreedomPop has launched its free cellular service for smartphones, one it revealed in July. The service, which provides a free allocation of data, voice minutes and text messages each month, similar to its existing free Internet hotspot service, with the carrier using Clearwire's WiMax 4G phone network for coverage.
While the monthly service itself is free for the basic allocations of 500MB of data, 500 text messages, and 200 VoIP-based minutes of calling, FreedomPop does charge for extended allocations. A $8 plan adds 500 more minutes, and unlimited texts, while a $11 version provides both unlimited calls and texts, while data usage over the initial 500MB costs a penny per megabyte. Customers will also have to pay $99 for a refurbished HTC Evo Design, though The Verge reports that other phones will be available in the future.
A free smartphone service with no monthly contract could prove popular to light mobile users. While the choice of smartphone is severely limited and incurs a $99 upfront cost, not to mention relatively low allocations when compared to other carriers, those requiring a basic service will probably live with the restrictions, if only to avoid paying further for it.