FreedomPop has been active in the USA for some time now, but it is only recently that they’ve come to the UK.
Why should you care? Free data – that’s why. There have always been deals from the mobile networks and MVNOs that give cheap data, but nobody has given it away completely free before.
FreedomPop uses Three’s network, so they don’t own the infrastructure themselves, but that makes no difference to you the consumer and Three he a very robust data network.
They don’t just do mobile data, they offer free texts and calls too – however this is offered via their app (click here for their iOS app) as a voice over IP solution so you don’t get the QoS you would with a network based voice call. However, we’ve only used FreedomPop for data so we can’t comment on much else.
So, the free allowance gives you 200mb if data per month. Whilst this isn’t a lot (and certainly wouldn’t suffice for heavy usage…but you can upgrade at competitive rates), we find it plenty for staying online between the office and home, etc. It’s worth noting that FreedomPop isn’t our main mobile connection, but the nano SIM has been used in an iPad mini and a 3G dongle with great success.
You do need to pay for the SIM card and to activate it – a total of £7.99. We assume this is to avoid people ordering hundreds of the cards. This is a one off payment though, and seems manageable to us.
You can get a micro or nano SIM card. The nano SIM slotted straight into our iPad mini. For the 3G dongle we needed an adapter such as this to change the nano sim to a full size SIM:
The 3G dongle we’re using is a great bit of kit, it lasts for a whole day of usage and is small enough to stick in your pocket. It is not 4G but can still push up to 21Mbps over a decent 3G connection:
In summary, this is actually the real deal. You often hear about free data deals which, when you look into them, have unreasonable caveats such as long term contracts. Whilst there is an initial payment of a few quid, this seems like a great deal for lightweight data usage.