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Free mobile voice, text and data plans coming to UK through FreedomPop
The free, basic carrier service offered by FreedomPop has been gaining momentum in the US, with around one million subscribers already making use of the network. As planned, the service is heading to the UK this July and will offer customers 200MB of data, 200 texts and 200 minutes of voice calls each month at absolutely no cost.
The basic free plan isn’t quite as generous as the 500MB, 500 minutes and 500 texts plan offered to US customers, likely to encourage more users to take up some of the company’s paid plans. Not only can customers purchase additional data or call packages, but FreedomPop also offers paid for data rollover services, anonymous web browsing, and the ability to add a second phone number to the SIM for cheaper foreign calls. For example a UK subscriber could add a US-based number to their SIM card for a £2 per month charge, allowing them to make calls at cheaper local US rates.
“In the UK there is a lot of interest in the lower-use end of the market which is where we plan to wipe out the guys offering £5-£10 data plans.”
In the US, around 49 percent of customers pay for additional data and services. Come the UK launch, there will be around 12 add-on services available to customers, which will increase to 20 or so within a year. This will likely put the squeeze on low-cost contract-less UK carriers that have sprung up recently, such as GiffGaff which offers 100 minutes, 100MB and 300 texts for £5 a month or iD Mobile’s £5 500MB data only offer. However, it remains to be seen if Freedom Pop offers a compelling deal once the add-ons start piling up.
The network hopes to attract 100,000 UK subscribers this summer. FreedomPop also plans to release its service in other European countries and in parts of Asia too. If you’re interested, you can already sign up for the beta program on the company’s website.