FreedomPop unveils free voice/text/data wireless service

FreeomPop (teaser 001)

FreedomPop previously caught our attention with its no-commit 1GB of free home Internet each month and an iPad sleeve with Sprint 4G LTE data. But the upstart mobile company isn’t resting on its laurels and is pushing ahead by adding free VoIP calling and texting to its data service.

With 500MB of data on top of unlimited texting and 200 minutes of call time, you can now basically turn your iPod touch into an iPhone and pay nothing for calls. Who said that freemium model doesn’t work for a wireless service? Jump past the fold for additional highlights and a promo clip…

Billed as the “first-ever all-data devices running 100 percent VoIP over cellular networks,” the new FreedomPop Phone service gives you a guaranteed 500 megabytes of 4G data for free, in addition to unlimited texting and 200 voice minutes each month.

FreedomPop users get to call each other for free, too.

Per the small print, the 500Mb of free data is offered only on Sprint’s 4G  network. FreedomPop is hoping to make money by upselling you to paid plans, which include a $4 per month tier for 3G data and a $10 per month tier for unlimited calling.

Here’s a teaser.

One of the more noteworthy features of the service is data sharing where you can request and transfer bandwidth with FreedomPop members and folks on Facebook and Twitter, in 50MB chunks.

It’s not all peachy, though: customer complaints include deceptive advertising and failure to inform users  unambiguously about excess data charges and lost deposits on free hotspot devices after twelve months of use.

CEO Stephen Stokols claims more than half of FreedomPop users don’t pay anything, while the average customer spends up to ten bucks a month on add-ons and overage charges.

The FreedomPop Phone service will officially launch later this summer, when the startup will announce its device lineup which will include refurbished Android devices.

FreedomPop Phone will also be available on other Android devices, including the $99 HTC Evo and the $199 Samsung Galaxy S2, but there’s nothing preventing you from bringing your own device.

Specifically, you could enjoy the benefits of free data, texting and VoIP calling on your iPod touch (using their $99 sleve with built-in 4G LTE hotspot) or cellular iPad.

As for the iPad LTE clip, pictured below, it is coming in the second half of this year.

FreedomPop iPad case (small)

Backed by Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom, Los Angeles-based FreedomPop has raised $4.3 million in funding from current investors DCM and Mangrove Capital and is on track to sign up their one millionth customer later this year.

Visit their web site for more information.

Who knows, if FreedomPop takes off in a big way, perhaps greedy U.S. telcos will consider offering better deals to customers.