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FreedomPop launches Unreal Mobile in response to potential T-Mobile/Sprint merger
- Unreal Mobile is a new MVNO carrier from the same people behind the popular FreedomPop service.
- Unlike FreedomPop, Unreal Mobile will be a high-end, full-service MVNO carrier on the Sprint network.
- Unreal Mobile will give you unlimited data, talk, and text on the Sprint network for $15 per month, contract-free.
Popular MVNO carrier FreedomPop informed us today that it is starting a new mobile carrier with a different setup than you’ve come to expect from the company. The new MVNO is called Unreal Mobile, and it is in a public beta starting today.
A rep from Unreal Mobile told Android Authority that the new MVNO is a direct response to the potential T-Mobile-Sprint merger. In case you are not aware, the two companies are looking to merge to better compete with their much larger rivals Verizon and AT&T.
However, the two companies face an uphill battle to get the merger approved by regulators. The biggest issue they face is how to prove that the new T-Mobile/Sprint combination won’t hurt competition within the mobile industry.
FreedomPop, sensing an opportunity, decided to build an “unreal” MVNO service that would never get approved if it weren’t for the current climate at Sprint. After all, if Sprint is trying to prove that the T-Mobile merger won’t hurt competition, how would it look if it were rejecting competition from its MVNOs?
Thus, Unreal Mobile was born. According to FreedomPop, Unreal will offer unlimited data on the Sprint network for the incredibly low price of $15 per month, with no contract. What’s more, your monthly fee will include access to a VPN service, built-in encryption, mobile ad-blocking, and the ability to use your Unreal Mobile number on any device, including tablets and computers.
For $15 a month, you get unlimited everything as well as a slew of other features. But what's the catch?
“A year ago, there was no way Sprint would have allowed us to offer Unreal,” said Mauricio Sastre, FreedomPop SVP Strategy and Carrier Relations. “Today, however, their hands are tied, as Sprint and T-Mobile are held up in regulatory approvals contingent on their ability to demonstrate that competition won’t suffer.”
This ambitious undertaking does have us asking a few questions. For example, what will be the speed and usage limits for this “unlimited” data? Most MVNOs impose a speed threshold for its service; in the case of Cricket Wireless, that speed is 3Mbps and the usage threshold is 22GB per line per month.
Samantha Lewe, the CEO of Unreal Mobile, told us that the $15 plan is throttled after 2GB of monthly data usage. She clarified that data rolls over from one month to the next, and users can actually throttle themselves if they choose to save up high-speed data for when they really need it.
Also, what are the details on the VPN and ad-blocking services? Lewe said that there will be an Unreal Mobile account management app (pictured below), where users will be able to control the VPN and ad-blocking. And if you’re concerned about the number of VPN nodes available, Lewe says that there will be “over 50,” though she admitted she did not know the exact number.
Finally, we asked Lewe about the ability to have multiple devices connected to your account. She said that you “need a SIM for your primary phone, which uses a normal voice network, but Unreal Mobile virtualizes the number and leverages VoIP technology to enable the user to use the same number on multiple devices.” So, for example, a user could have a primary smartphone with a set phone number and SIM card, and then have a secondary phone, tablet, or computer that also has the same number associated with it.
This all seems pretty interesting, but we’ll have to see if the users who want these types of features are also the same users who want to be throttled after only 2GB of monthly data. It seems there would be little crossover there.
Unreal Mobile is expected to launch in the summer. You can sign up for the beta by clicking the button below.