The first transatlantic telegraph cable, measuring almost 2,000 miles, was finally finished in 1858. Three weeks later, chief engineer Wildman Whitehouse fried the whole thing by zapping it with 2,000 volts, so they built a new one. In 1866, a 10-word transmission from New York City to London cost $2,600 in modern U.S. dollars.
Suffice it to say that digital communications have improved quite a bit since. On the cutting edge of communications is FreedomPop, a digital alchemist that spins satellite signals into free data. According to founders Stephen Sokols and Steven Sesar, “FreedomPop started with a simple mission: to ensure every American has unprecedented access to free Internet.”
What Is FreedomPop?
FreedomPop is a one-of-a-kind wireless internet and mobile phone service provider. Entry-level service plans are 100 percent free: 500MB of data, 500 texts, and 200 minutes of voice calling to burn as you please. Once the 500MB data limit has been breached, the service automatically charges $200 per extra 100MB. Plans with larger data limits and faster speeds are available for tiered fees, and they also have a $20 unlimited option.
What Are Its Popular Products?
FreedomPop built its reputation on Wi-Fi hotspots. These pocket-sized devices eat cellular signal and expel local Internet access. The lineup has since expanded to include the Freedom Hub Burst, a wireless router to create a 3G/4G home network; the Freedom Spot Photon, a palm-sized hotspot ideal for home, office or vacation use; and the Freedom Stick Bolt, which slides into a USB port and provides instant Internet access for that lone computer. Of course, all these products have one notable caveat: They don’t work outside of cellular signal range.
How Do Its Services Work?
See, FreedomPop neither owns nor builds its own cellular towers. Rather, it leases them from its partner, Sprint. Available networks include the LTE, 4G WiMax, 3G CDMA systems. FreedomPop works well in most urban areas, but rarely has coverage in rural regions. It also leverages VoIP for voice calling.
How Has FreedomPop Rocketed into Popularity?
In spring 2014, FreedomPop turned over a new stone. Upon its virtual shelves appeared Sprint-compatible iPhones and Android phones, complete with voice, data and texting plans. Previously, Sprint users could only BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Then the company purchased refurbished and outdated phones from third-party manufacturers and introduced those on its website, too. Current selections include the HTC Evo 4G, the Samsung Galaxy SII and the iPhone 5.
But the Mob Machine demanded more. Demand outstripped supply. So in October 2014, FreedomPop introduced its own line of mobile devices. The first model was the FreedomPop Liberty, an $89 Wi-Fi 7.0-inch phablet. CEO Stephen Stokols said the company decided to spawn its own handsets after realizing that $100 could make what would have been a topnotch smartphone just three years ago.
In November 2014, FreedomPop took aim at Skype and other international voice call carriers. It gave 100 minutes of free international calling to members using its Free Talk and Text apps. More than 30 countries were included – because freedom knows no bounds.
Check out the links below to connect with FreedomPop: