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FreedomPop envisioned mobile phone service being free for the masses, but rather than dream about it, the company went out and made it a reality. The free service goes into effect today and includes monthly allotments of 500MB of data, 500 text messages, and 200 anytime voice minutes. Obviously this is intended to be an entry-level plan, but for users who don't spend every waking moment on their smartphone, this could be a great thing.
Initially FreedomPop is only available for the HTC Evo Design, a dated Android smartphone that's still running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). You can pick up an HTC Evo Design from FreedomPop for an introductory price of $99, which is half off its normal selling price (it's not clear how long the introductory pricing will be valid).
FreedomPop chief Stephen Stokols told ArsTechnica that it plans on offering at least half a dozen of the most popular handsets with a free plan a year from now. In addition, he plans to upgrade the Evo to Android 4.0 after launch.
"We're not tied to one handset because you can't disrupt with one handset," Stokols said.
So, how can FreedomPop do this? The company is banking on people subscribing to paid plans that offer more than what the free plan does. For example, an $11/month plan offers unlimited voice and texting with a 500MB cap on data. For $8/month, you get 500 minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited calling to other FreedomPop users, and 500MB of data. Customers who go over the data cap will be charged a penny per megabyte, or $10 per gigabyte.
Thinking about signing up? Head over to FreedomPop's website to check availability and find out more.