Did you know you can get access to the internet for free anywhere? I didn’t, until yesterday anyway. A firm called FreedomPop got in contact with us to tell us about their services, and I am blown away by what I found. They are offering free access to the internet for everyone. When things like this happen I tend to look for a catch, or see if the history of the company can tell me anything about the services offered, or indeed how offering free internet can be a sustainable business model, and so I have spent the last week looking into all of that.
The campaign I focused on was their Franklin R850 deal, a 4G to WiFi hotspot device, with free access to the web. An intro price to be sure, but one that comes with all manner of add-ons, enough to pique my interest at the very least.
So before moving onto the product itself let’s take a look at who we are dealing with here. FreedomPop have been around for the last half decade after all, what have they been doing all this time.
FreedomPop was founded in 2011 by Stephen Stokols and Steven Sesar in California. The goal of the firm seems to be offering an alternative to cell networks, integrating calls, texts and internet access all over either WiFi or 4G LTE networks. They have deals setup throughout the country, as well as in the UK, integrating with AT&T and Sprint in the US, and Three in the UK. They have been getting a lot of external funding from big companies, like Intel, and to me at least it seems they are here to stay. I am always for more competition on the market, and a viable alternative to standard cell networks is right by my technological alley.
FreedomPop Frank R850 Deal Review
The R850 is a great entry level product, when I last looked at it the price was a little higher than I would have advised paying, but considering that FreedomPop is offering the build at $19.99, it becomes far more attractive. One of the things we need to get out of the way early is the expected peak speeds. the R850 is no category 6 build, so expect this thing to top out at maybe 60Mbps in perfect conditions. It’s a shame, as FreedomPop themselves offer up to 100Mbps connection speeds.
Design wise there is nothing to write home about. It’s a compact and clean build, with a simple display on the top. The matte finish is nice, but the size is the key selling point for me. I can switch this on, and slide it into a pocket. The battery life is excellent, on a full charge you can expect to get around 10+ hours out of it, though that will go down if you are streaming so bear that in mind. Still, unless you decide to stream Stephen King’s The Stand start to finish you’ll be covered for a day. Get the latest deal now!
As good as all this is, it’s only as good as the offer coverage, and a look at the FreedomPop coverage maps tells us that no matter where you roam, you can be guaranteed a connection. It’s a sticking point for me, so it is nice to see such a wide reach from the firm. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. If all FreedomPop were selling was a middle of the road mobile WiFi hotspot then we would be in trouble. It’s the service provided that has me raving, so let’s dive into the more interesting side of the review.
FreedomPop Service Review
I already mentioned the coverage offered by the firm, and it is here that the vast coverage is put to good use. The asking price of the service is $19.99 at the beginning, and this is a non recurring fee, not a subscription. So for the first month you get access to the premium plan. It’s 2GB of data, the price is low enough for that to be an excellent deal, considering you get your R850 with that. After the first month you go onto the Basic package, which will cost exactly zero dollars per month, and gives you 500MB of data. Get 100% Free 4G Wireless Internet Service with FreedomPop’s Franklin R850 now!
There is no contract, no commitment and you can cancel at any time, but honestly, I don’t know why anyone would. Having 500MB in the pocket for emergencies is excellent, and it opens you up to a fair few deals offered by FreedomPop on the fly. They have some excellent call and text packages to compliment the data plans for example.
For me, the services on offer here represent the future of telecoms, integration between WiFi networks and phone networks can only be a good thing, reducing the amount of signals bouncing around, and allowing lower and lower prices for all the service,s especially when we consider that via FreedomPop connecting to google and calling your mother are all handled over the same network.
FreedomPop R850 Deal Conclusion
So the core tech in this offer might be a little middle of the road, but the service on offer is light years ahead of the competition. I have looked at everything the firm have to offer, and this dedication to service excellence is hardly unique to this offer.
The core deal here is a bit of a stepping stone from my perspective. The company seems to have some powerhouse players behind them, and the goal is clear, bucking the trend of monopoly players, showing that affordable 4G data is not only a possibility, but an imperative. Expect to see all the other players jump on FreedomPop’s pricing bandwagon as the months go on.