FreedomPop really, really wants to punch the mobile wireless industry in the neck. (Or turn it on its head, whichever seems less violent to you.) The company has offered startling wireless solutions for a while now, starting out with a plan that gave users 500 MB of data, 500 text messages and 200 voice minutes for free. Other low-cost and value-added offerings followed, including free 4G LTE data on tablets, and it has also begun making its own inexpensive tablets and smartphones instead of just buying out (almost all of) Sprint's refurb inventory. In November, FreedomPop also made it possible to call some 52 countries for free for 100 minutes per month.
The company's latest shot across the rest of the mobile industry's bow is a WiFi network that FreedomPop bills as an "LTE alternative," in that mobile users on any carrier can use a WiFi hotspot (one of 10 million in the U.S. alone) to call, text or use data.
It's unlimited, carrier-agnostic, and costs $5 per month. And the best part is that you can either ditch your current carrier and roll with FreedomPop or keep your current plan and use this offering as a way to keep your monthly data and text fees down.
Your device will automatically connect to a hotspot, and the handoff to another hotspot is designed to be seamless.
FreedomPop COO Steven Sesar described the unlimited WiFi plan as web-centric and software-focused, and he told us that there's no need to root your phone or anything of the sort. FreedomPop's service runs on top of whatever phone you have, and you manage it with the free FreedomPop WiFi app.
Of course, you can maintain a stable of trusted WiFi hotspots, but the app will find more for you anywhere you go, enabling you to stay connected wherever you are (or at least, whenever you're around a WiFi hotspot).
There's an intelligent WiFi Radio Manager feature in the app as well, which is designed to preserve your device's battery life by toggling the WiFi radio on or off when needed.
"As wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T commit billions to build LTE networks, companies like Google and Comcast are investing in WiFi-based networks to deliver mobile data access to consumers at a lower cost," said Sesar in a press release.
He also told us earlier this month that the grand plan is to expand internationally, beginning with a rollout in Europe sometime in the first half of 2015, followed by Asia.