FreedomPop has introduced a beta version of a free wireless service that includes voice, data, and text. The company totes its new initiative as the “first 100% free mobile phone service.”
There is a small catch, however. Users will have to purchase the HTC Evo Design 4G WiMAX, which runs Android 4.0, for $100. The device will use 4G data on Sprint’s WiMAX platform, not its LTE network. Generally speaking, LTE smartphones tend to have a faster data connection than WiMAX devices, and since Sprint is now committed to LTE, its WiMAX network will not be growing. While the HTC Evo is the only smartphone being offered on the beta release, the company plans to add more handsets down the line.
The free plan will include 200 free anytime minutes, 500 MB of free 3G/4G data, and 500 free texts per month. Users will be able to purchase additional data in a pay-as-you go format for $.02 per MB. Alternatively, users can opt for data packages starting at $10 for 1GB, $20 for 2GB, $35 for 4GB, and $40 for 5GB. An unlimited voice and texting plan will also be available to users for $11 per month. Users won’t have to sign a contract either, allowing them to cancel at any time.