FreedomPop has been working for a while now to popularize entry-level free data. You buy a relatively inexpensive portable modem, and you get a small pool of data every month for free. Need more data, pay extra. They’re bringing that same business model to smartphones starting today.
The phone isn’t the most exciting handset ever, the HTC EVO Design 4G, but it does come with actual 4G in the form of Sprint’s aged (but still pretty quick) WiMAX network. The good news is it’ll only run you $100 to pick it up. For that price it’s REALLY decent hardware.
FreedomPop has built all of its services off of that network, so I would image that if you’re not in good WiMAX coverage that you’ll fall back on to Sprint’s improving 3G infrastructure. As Sprint has been going through their “Network Vision” clean up, I personally saw a decent little bump to network speed and reception in LA.
The FreedomPop plan starts you off with 200 voice minutes, 500 texts, and 500MB of data per month. Stepping up to unlimited voice and texts adds $11 a month. You can bump up data as well, 2GB for $20, 4GB for $35, even 10GB for $90.
We’re starting to see some pretty cut throat competition from the smaller virtual carriers, with Republic Wireless recently scoring the Moto X, but no one has had the guts to offer up a free plan yet. Now if only we could start talking about some LTE FreedomPop…