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May 19, 2015

US company FreedomPop arrives in the UK with offer of free mobile data, calls and text’s

FreedomPop-LogoA company that offers free mobile data, calls and texts! Could this really be happening in the UK?

Well according to FreedomPop, this is exactly what is going to happen this summer. FreedomPop will offer British users 200MB of data, 200 texts and 200 minutes of voice calls per month, completely free of charge. All they need do is pop one of the company’s SIM cards into an existing handset.

So, What’s the catch?

FreedomPop has been operating in the US since 2011, where it reportedly has half a million customers. The free tariff in the US is much more generous, however, with 500MB of free data, 500 texts and 500 minutes. “We found users in the US typically use more data and the alternative plans start at around 500MB,” FreedomPop co-founder Steven Sesar explained to the BBC.

“In the UK there is a lot of interest in the lower-use end of the market which is where we plan to wipe out the guys offering £5-£10 data plans.”

What, you may be wondering, does FreedomPop get out of the deal? It hopes to convince users to upgrade to paid-for services, such as extra data allowances that can be carried over from month to month, and the option to add international phone numbers to SIM cards, potentially allowing a British user to have a secondary US number on the same account.

Market watchers warn, however, that customers will have to be on their guard to avoid running up extra charges. Rob Kerr from mobiles expert at comparison site uSwitch said:

“The more data-hungry users should be careful about out-of-bundle charges and make sure they do their research before they go over their allowance.”

Yet, even the free FreedomPop deal could have several potential uses. It could be paired with a cheap handset to give a teenager a low-cost phone with a reasonable data allowance. Likewise, it allows a dual sim smartphones owners who have something like the honor 6+ to buy a cheap secondary sim just for family or as an emergency backup. FreedomPop also provides an app for Android and iOS devices that allows you to receive FreedomPop calls and texts on any other device, such as a tablet.

FreedomPop will piggyback on the Three network in the UK, which could be bad news for those in outlying rural areas, where the network’s coverage is patchy.

The FreedomPop UK website is open now and lets you check availability, or does it? Actually, all it does is demand your address and email address and tell you it will send more details soon. An underhand way to harvest your contact details without actually delivering what’s promised. Not an encouraging start.
We could be deemed as being a bit sceptic here but we have sent our details and will bring you more news when/if we receive the sim.

Source: BBC/Tech

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini