Freedompop offers free ( albeit limited ) monthly cellular service. There is a small startup cost involved.
Every month, Freedompop will give you 500 SMS', 200 talk minutes and 500mb data for free.
Yes, you read that right - "free", "gratis", "free lunch". All ya have to do is spend a few bucks to set it up.
Before we go further, there's a few things you need to know about Freedompop:
- Freedompop run on the AT&T network, so their SIM card should work in any AT&T cell phone.
- Freedompop SIM cards are not tied to any particular account. Once they're set up, the SIM can be given ( or sold ) to anyone and as long as the phone is used once a month, will stay active.
- You can have multiple FP SIM cards in your possession. What this means is that when you run out of minutes/texts/data on one SIM, you can switch to another SIM with its available balance of services. This is not as confusing as it sounds if you use Google Voice.
- Freedompop does not use traditional cellular or SMS protocols - all their services are provided over data channels. This means that you may get "more for your money" by using VoIP solutions such as Google Hangouts to make your voice calls.
How to get started
- You can buy a Freedompop SIM or phone+SIM from Freedompop ( not recommended )
- You can buy a Freedompop SIM card for your AT&T cellular phone for 99¢ or $5, depending on promotions or sales
- For $14.95, you can buy a Freedompop SIM card that's already been set up for you, and has been associated with "Freedompop Friends" so these SIM cards get 1GB data per month instead of 500mb. This vendor's stores: Ebay store or Amazon store. Due to popularity of this seller's products, you may find empty stores.
If you deal with Freedompop directly, I'd suggest you go to a Walmart or somewhere and load a disosable / reloadable debit card and put $5 on it ( maybe more, up to you ). Freedompop will try to shyster you into buying more fancy services when you visit their site, but all you need to to is spend the $5 to disable the "auto top up". This option will be in small print below all the other "fancy service" offers. Your free service will not be in jeopardy if FP can't charget your card later ( the reason you only put $5 on the disposable/reloadable debit card is because FP has a long history of "accidentally" signing folks up for services they didn't ask for or want )
To reiterate: all you need to do to activate your Freedompop service is pay $5 to turn off the "auto top up" on your account.
Once activated, your Freedompop service requires you to make a call or send a text or view a web page once a month or it'll be deactivated for disuse.
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