FreedomPop is a relatively new player on the wireless scene, but as you can see from reviews, they are making a big splash with the way they bring voice, SMS and Wi-Fi data plans to the masses. In 2014 they began selling a Wi-Fi only phone that operated exclusively over Wi-Fi signals. And then in January of 2015 they launched a $5 per month plan with unlimited voice and data that took advantage of more than 10 million FreedomPop Wi-Fi hotspots. These hotspots range from national chain locations like Starbucks, McDonalds, Walmart and Home Depot to smaller local businesses, and they are spread throughout the country. That number is expected to grow to 25 million hotspots later this year.
This is all done through an app that will automatically log you into the hotspots when you are within range, allowing you to do make calls, text and surf the internet just like on other phones. When the service launched it was available only on Android devices. “iOS is far more closed, whereas Google has committed to make Wi-Fi as seamless as possible,” FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols said. But the iOS app is now available for consumers as well.
The $5 plan offers an alternative to the escalating data prices that other carriers charge. Studies show that as much as 90% of the data used by most cell phone consumers takes place over Wi-Fi, between home, work and other public locations. This means they are paying a premium each month for what amounts to only 10% of their total data use. Switching to a $5 plan would save hundreds of dollars each year.
According to Cnet, the company goal is to have more than 90% Wi-Fi coverage across the top 200 metropolitan markets by the end of 2015. To find out how the coverage looks in your area, go to the FreedomPop “Check Availability” page and enter your zip code and email address. You’ll also see an updated coverage map of the U.S. which shows the massive areas covered by these hotspots.