FreedomPop Uncorks ‘Free’ Mobile Service

3G/WiMax Combo Offers 500 Megabytes of Data, 500 Text Messages and 200 ‘Anytime’ Voice Minutes

Taking aim at cellular and traditional phone services and cost-conscious consumers , FreedomPop has introduce a beta version of a free mobile service that serves up to 500 megabytes of data, 500 text messages and 200 “anytime” voice minutes per month for free. And that offer is good “for life,” the company said.

The startup also launched a no-contract, premium-level service for heavier users that runs $10.99 per month. The initial service will be offered on the HTC Evo Design smartphone, an older Android- and 3G/Wi-Max-based model that FreedomPop is selling for $99. Other  Android-based handsets that can use the FreedomPop services will be offered later this year, the company said.

"FreedomPop's mission is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, convenient and essential communication services. With this launch, we've just taken our largest step to date towards delivering on this objective,” company CEO and co-founder Stephen Stokols said, in a statement.

In July, Stokols told Multichannel News that more than 100,000 people had signed up for the FreedomPop Phone beta after the program was announced.

In August, FreedomPop launched the Novatel-made FreedomSpot 5580, its first mobile hotspot that rides both Sprint’s Long Term Evolution and 3G wireless network.  FreedomPop provides those customers with 500 MB of monthly usage before tiered pricing plans apply. 

FreedomPop, founded in 2011 and backed by Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom, has raised about $16 million.