back to article FreedomPop aims to gut US wireless oligopoly with free smartphone

By the end of the summer, FreedomPop aims to offer US users a smartphone for around $100 that gives unlimited texts, 200 voice minutes, and 500MB of data a month for free, with no contract. "This is a long-term ploy," Steven Sesar, FreedomPop's COO told The Register. "This is a real threat to the major carriers. The price point …

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Expensive

I'm not sure where the information came from that ~$100 month significantly undercuts Verizon or AT&T. I pay $120 + taxes a month for my Verizon plan with unlimited voice and text with 10GB data... I'm not sure what advantage a phone service with limited retail presence, the wonky Sprint network and dated phones really has to offer anyone.

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Re: Expensive

It doesn't say $100/month. It says $100, period.

The assumption is that people will pay for extras. That's an assumption that has failed for many other businesses, it will be interesting to see if it works for them.

My first thought is that $100 for a phone with some voice & data is a great deal for regular visitors to the US. I'd consider one, to use on business trips without paying roaming charges.That usage pattern won't make any money foir this company, though.

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FAIL

Re: Expensive

First paragraph of the article: "By the end of the summer, FreedomPop aims to offer US users a smartphone for around $100...". It is best to check your info before you go around correcting people...

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Re: Expensive

> It is best to check your info before you go around correcting people...

I'm not sure what your point is.

The first line does not say $100/month. It just says $100.

The rest of the article indeed states that they are hoping to make their money on extras on the back of a freemium model which is pretty much what the US landline system uses: free local calls, charges for long distance.

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FAIL

Re: Expensive

> It is best to check your info before you go around correcting people...

FreedomPop aims to offer US users a smartphone for around $100 that gives unlimited texts, 200 voice minutes, and 500MB of data a month for free

...

Users will be able to buy a second-generation smartphone like the HTC Evo for $99 to get the service ... This gives access to the free calls, text, and data service.

FreedomPop is betting enough people will sign up for extra services – unlimited voice calls costs $10 a month,

It's best to actually read the article before commenting on it.

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Re: Expensive

Yes.

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Re: Expensive

" I pay $120 + taxes a month for my Verizon plan with unlimited voice and text with 10GB data.."

damn! I remember when the UK (fixed line) comms were so much more expensive that the US.

In the UK you can get that for about 22 quid a month

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Game-changer

So, the equivalent comparison is $100 down & $28/mo for unlimited voice, SMS, and 2G data.

So, for @Don's use case, that's $2400 per 2-yr VZW contract in direct savings. Even if you add a bit more for 5G or 10G of data (which is more than 95% of normal usage), it will save over $1000 over contract time.

Watch out.

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Wow might be time for me to get a cell phone as I doubt I would even hit the minutes they provide free per month with how much I make phone calls. Depending on how well the internet works on it I MIGHT be tempted to pay for that though a small monthly fee for some connectivity

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Pint

FreedomPop has been accused of being email spammers

Reportedly... buried deep inside the registration page is a tick-box to allow scraping all your contacts. Then FreedomPop starts spamming away, and (according to this report) simply will not stop.

Just today I received a spammy email from FreedomPop, mentioning by first name some unknown 'friend' that what was probably a PayPal contact arising from an ebay purchase. It was pure spam, and obviously matched the process described in the news.

Based on the report combined with my own experience (just one email so far), I recommend that Google Gmail and other email providers assign FreedomPop the Spammer flag and redirect their items to the Spam folders.

FreedomPop might wish to adjust their approach. Otherwise their reputation will be further self-trashed.

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Meh

Re: FreedomPop has been accused of being email spammers

Hmm. Thanks for the warning.

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WTF?

Re: FreedomPop has been accused of being email spammers

What mechanism could FreedomPop use to acquire your contacts list?

You'd either need to be running an app that has permission to read the phone's contacts list, or a password that allows access to your Email account. Or maybe, just maybe, acquire it via unencrypted Emails you send?

Or if you call/text someone, Freedompop acquires this and re-uses the info to text spam?

I don't think so, you'd better check your 'puter for viruses.

All I can see in the Ts and Cs about this is:

Refer a Friend... friend's email address... FreedomPop stores this information ... Your friend may contact us at unsubscribe@freedompop.com to request that we remove this information...

I say: If in doubt, don't refer a friend.

That post was upvoted a lot - everyone must know something I don't - please tell!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FreedomPop has been accused of being email spammers

I've used FreedomPop a few months back when they first launched, and I know from first hand experience that you have to enter your gmail address and provide them with the password. Then you have to select the box for your contacts in order for them to get those email address. Not sure but it sounds like who ever wrote that report was just not paying any attention at all to what was going on.

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Thumb Up

article headline perfeclty clear to me, it describes Ovivo's current UK biz model

Did anyone jump the conclusion that this was an expensive or $100/month deal?

Nah. Clearly what is says on the tin, cheap phone and free limited voice/text/data package.

This is what Ovivo has been offering in the UK for over a year now - completely free calls/text/data ad supported via periodic browser redirection. Plus add ons for more calls, texts, data. Choose your own new or used handset or tablet. I have been a happy user for about half a year now.

Someone with always pop up and report on the imminent likely death of Ovivio's biz model,. have been doing so since it started, these reports have so far turned out to be exaggerated.

As a user of the service - it suits a low user well - I also wonder how long it can go on. Could imagine paying a few £ for a bit of extra monthly data but unfortunately Ovivo's first step up the bolt-ons seems expensive for what it is.

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