Anyone using FreedomPop?

Is anyone using FreedomPop to reduce the data portion of your bill?  If so do you like it?  Logistically how do you use it?  Do you carry the access point with you all the time?  Do you turn off Ting data, or do you supplement your Ting data with FreedomPop?

I was looking at it today, and thinking about how i might use it with Ting. If you haven't heard of the service it works like this:  you buy an access point, they have a mobile one for $99.  Then, they give you 500MB free each month and you pay two cents per meg after that.   Or you can buy more data up front for a reduced price.  It seems like a good deal, but i am wondering how it really works in practice.  I guess they use ClearWire, and i think they also user Sprint, or will soon.

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Comments

29 comments
  • I have had a Netzero device for almost a year if I remember. I works the same way as FreedomPop but the free level is much lower. I use it with my Nexus 7 and t isn't as convenient as a built in data connection but it works. I carry a bag (very big wallet that doesn't go in my back pocket) and my Nexus, the Hotspot, credit cards etc fit in that. When I need data and there is no WIFI I just turn on the hotspot. Turn it off when done. I don't know how you envision using the device but if you don't use much data on your phone it is probably easier to just use Ting. $100 works out to roughly $8 per month over a year and if you are in the small bucket it doesn't work out against Ting. The Ting data plan is shared so if you have multiple phones the hotspot only works when all the phones are together. 

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  • I forgot why I first picked the Netzero device in the first place. I wanted a backup Internet connection at home and if you are dependent on a connection and have lost service on occasion then it is ideal. On the other hand you can tether your Ting phone. I could use my phone with the Nexus in the same way but I already have the device. 

    Some other things to consider. If you use and become dependent on it you have 2 devices to charge, carry and keep track of. 

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  • So far i have been coming in medium for data.  That is with 2 smart phone.  Sometimes i use my phone as a hotspot for my nexus 7,  or occasionally my laptop.  I can foresee times when i might use a great deal more data (traveling etc.).  The laptop definitely can use a lot of data pretty quick.  I hadn't really given a lot of thought to how i might use a service like FreedomPop.  I was curious how others might use it.  Mostly i was thinking of using it as a hotspot in place of my phone, and maybe even for my phone to see if I could get/keep my data use down

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  • All,

     

    Please read the terms of service for FreedomPop. Basically, you agree that they can harvest all of your browsing data and sell information to third parties. That is part of the reason they can offer the service for free. Although you should be fine if you use a VPN.

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  • Slight correction on the Original Post.  You lease a device for $90 that you can return at any time within the year for a full refund (hence there claim of being a completely free service).  After a year though they presume you want to keep the device and they keep your $90.

    I'd like to use them but I don't want to carry another device around in my pockets (probably not that big a deal, but still).  I keep hoping they will come out with a sleeve for the S3 like they have for the iPhone.  That I would probably jump on.

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  • The iPhone sleeve (and iPod) was because it didn't have 4G not so they could get free service. I doubt they will make a sleeve for the S3 but you could ask. 

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  • Maybe you have a better understanding than I but my reading of the site is that the sleeve is alternative to the puck to provides a 4G Hotspot which gives you access to the free mobile data service.

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  • I think Ting (and almost every other mobile carrier in the country) will be in trouble when they roll out the mobile phone service in a few weeks.  200 minutes talk / 500MB data / Unlimited Texts for absolutely FREE every month.  Sprint BOYD or very affordable refurb units can be bought directly from them.  As a satisfied ex-customer of FP (I only left because I found myself rarely using the mobile hotspot), I will jump ship from my current Ting phone the second they go live.

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  • Freedompop is very interesting, but from what I read online there business practice is the opposite of Ting. For example they advertise free 4G wimax 500mb (3G cost extra!), which comes with "auto top off" on and you have to call CS and tell them to turn it off, then they will cut you off of the free data at 400 MB because there playing games pretty much. And if you want email notifications of your usage so you don't go over your FREE allotment, well that costs $2 per month (not very Ting of them). 

     

    The CEO calls there business model "freemium"  and wiki defines that as, "Freemium is a  business model by which a  proprietary product or service (typically a digital offering such as software, media, games or web services) is provided free of charge, but  money (premium) is charged for advanced features, functionality, or  virtual goods. [1] [2] The word "freemium" is a  portmanteau  neologismcombining the two aspects of the business model: "free" and "premium"."

     

    Go to Clearwire.com and see if you have 4G wimax in your city as it's very limited. Also get this, if you don't use the service for one month then you will be charged an inactivity fee (WOW is right). And the 200 minutes talk is VIOP over data. So I just tried VIOP with Groove IP with my Ting phone on Sprint 3G inside my house while I was sitting down and I could hear the caller OK, but they said my voice quality was very poor. And they are not going to offer 4G LTE. So, it sounds like you should be in a 4G Wimax area for the calling to work. 

     

    Having ran out of bad things to say about Freedompop I think if you can play the game with them, then you could get free phone service which does sound exciting, but only when they offer BYOD.

     

     

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  • William,

    Apparently as of a blog post from 2 days ago, they have implemented a lot of positive changes based on customer feedback:

    http://blog.freedompop.com/we-are-listening/

    I was with them for 6 months on the 4g hotspot plan, and only quit because I found myself to not be in need of such a device as much as I thought I would, but nevertheless my total out-of-pocket cost was $0.

    I hear what you're saying about the 400MB thing, but as someone who just got burned on Ting by using 120MB in a month and those extra 20MB costing me an additional $10 (they kicked me over to the 500MB tier), even 400MB free sounds great.

    In fact, FP's free phone tier would cost between $28 and $42 on Ting, depending on how much you text.  Sounds good to me!

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  • Daniel,

     

    That's great Freedompop has retracted from some of there games they play And you managed to keep your bill at $0, very cool. Man, I just got BURNED by Ting too! I used 106 MB of data. I read the threads where Ting CS says pay as you go for service would be too complicated(laugh of the day).

     

    I'm going to try to BYOD my refurbished  LG Marquee from Ting to Freedompop because it can't hurt to try and I could always come back to Ting or go to Ptel and pay as you go,  since I VIOP, it's actually cheaper than Ting with 2 phones 100 minutes $5 and 100 MB $10. 

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  • "burned on Ting"  "BURNED by Ting"

    Those statements are the laughs-of-the-day!

    How soon we forget that casual data on Sprint is over $30.00 per megabyte.  That is a BURN.

     

    If you sign up for a data level with Ting and go over it by more than 5% you simply go up to the next level.  Can it suck if you use 106% of your level, yup.  But you should do a better job keeping up with your usage.  Most other cellular companied just pile on fees that could exceed the cost of Ting's next tier.

     

    Free services like Freedom Pop will be great for the few people the can order their usage to fit the narrow confines of the free service.  But someone somewhere has to pay something - whether via got-ya's, advertising or monetizing the data they collect on you.  There is no free lunch.

     

    Ting's claims of "complications" about metered service is a complication of a business model, not technology.  Not to mention the emotional aspect of getting their customers used to metered service.  In the beginning all cellular service was measured - and deemed too expensive (it was) for everyday use.  Only when the bucket plans were introduced did people get on board.  I believe that Ting does not want to offer metered service because their market research indicates that they would not be able to build a customer base as people like buckets.  I know that at the end of the month, if I am near the end of one of Ting's tiers, I start thinking about my usage and put off calls or keep them short.  That is not something that I would want to have to do all month long, even if it saved me a few bucks.

     

    Good luck to all who try other services, I hope that it works for you and does so for a long time.  The best part is the better free-ish services are the more pressure there is to keep paid services costs low.

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  • Great post Michael! It is a great summary.

    I have heard from some customers who use Ting and do not monitor their usage or worry about their buckets. Some months where they have low usage they save where they would not have traditionally, and some months they just go over a bucket threshold and pay a little more. But in the end they are paying much less overall, and are getting great service.

    I appreciate that philosophy may not work for everyone, but taking a longer term view can allow you to not worry about usage so much.

    I will also stress that we encourage innovation and competition, and FreedomPop are doing some interesting things. Their approach is *very* different from ours. There is a saying, "if you are not paying for it, YOU are the product".

    Thanks again to all who have posted.

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  • "There is a saying, "if you are not paying for it, YOU are the product"

    I've really come to hate that saying because quite frankly it obfuscate the nature of the relationship.  It suggests that you haved signed up for a service that only takes your data and gives you nothing in return.  The truth no matter how you frame your buying a service.  Whether that payment is in cash or information that is what you are doing.  What really bugs it isn't even necessarily accurate.  Quite a few services not only charge you but also sell your data or put up ads (not suggesting Ting does this just pointing out it happens).

    Anyway sorry for going off topic, but I've just grown highly annoyed by way that saying is thrown around as if it is a bad thing.  Everything has costs somewhere that have to be paid for.  Advertising is a business model the if we hadn't developed means we wouldn't be able to afford a fraction of the services we enjoy today. 

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  • I don't think it implies getting nothing in return. And I am certainly not intending to denigrate the model. 

    Some people are comfortable with this type of exchange, and some people are not. As long as the supplier is transparent, and the consumer is aware of the trade offs, it's all good! 

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  • Michael is right, over all I'm saving lots of money compared to when I had ATT, thats's why we all here. But at the same time I'm taking a loss from Ting's "less waste" business model, and with growing competition that "less waste"  will be there achilles' heel. When I pay for 500 MB, but get 106 MB I feel like I got "BURNED BY TING" just like when I was with ATT.

    Your right Scott, people should know explicitly and be given a choice on there personal information and all tracking should be DISABLED (I'm looking at you Ting) by default in an ideal world.   No one likes to be monitored, tracked, profiled , information sold or used for personal gane. Not from the government using PRISM, OR Android/Google, Freedompop, or even Ting.  

    Right now though I'm a Ting product.

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  • I strongly urge you NOT to sign up with FreedomPop. I have had nothing but headaches with them and am now trying to return one of the two devices I have. They are not at all "free" and if you look at their inside website (which you cannot see the terms of service until AFTER you have an account) you will see how creepy they are. They are like a con-game -- shilling you for all sorts of little charges and not allowing any customer guarantee or customer service. Email them as a customer and you will get ZERO support. Email them as a prospective customer and they'll get back to you right away. They also have people on other websites that are promoting their service -- the comments are nakedly promotional.

    Stay away from FreedomPop. It's a nightmare.

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  • Since FreedomPop (FP) has now launched their free voice/txt/data service, I've been wondering whether it's possible to use both Ting and FP services together on the same phone:  Ting for voice, sms and 3G and FP for Wimax  (my phone is an HTC Evo3D).

    If I program the phone to FP, make a note of the FP 4G addresses, then program the phone back to Ting, then replace the 4G addresses manually, will the services work together?

    My limited understanding is the the 4G has it's own radio, MAC address etc so perhaps it will work in isolation from the rest of the phone.  Any thoughts on the likelihood of this working?

    Jake

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  • No, you can only use 1 phone per cell service.  But you can use a Freedompop mifi with a phone activated with Ting of course.

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  • I'd be interested in seeing the impact FreedomPop's new $4.58 unlimited voice/text plus 500MB data has on Ting and other Sprint MVNO's.  Are we moving toward a new normal where voice/text is given away and you just pay for data? 

    From what I read above and elsewhere, FP's customer service is nonexistent.  And maybe their business model is radically different from what Ting is trying.  (Don't get me wrong, I am a happy Ting customer 14-months and counting).  But you cannot deny that MVNO's, and even the carriers themselves, are being more aggressive than ever in pushing newer, ever-lower pricing.

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  • Anyone had any success porting their FP number to Ting?

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  • Ting will not accept FreedomPop HTV Evo Design 4G phones (Boost refurbs). I just called and was rejected as "not white listed". It's a wonderful thing to be blacklisted..

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  • I don't use Freedom Pop but it is something I might consider if I used a lot of data.  But about the only time I use Ting data is when my phone updates something or I use navigation or I am out-and-about.  Other than that I am using my home WiFi  network which is always on at home.  WiFi data is free, well not really free; I still have to pay my internet service provider for internet access.  

    I am surprised that not everyone on this form is using WiFi at home to reduce costs.  Oh sure when you are out-and-about you can't but if you are like me it keeps my Ting bill reasonable.  I have never exceeded 100 megs [small] of data.  I have DSL through Frontier Communications and they provide a DSL router that has built in WiFi for free.  I guess if you had a cable provider most Cable Modems don't come with WiFi so you would have to add a WiFi access point like a Netgear or some other brand of router but those are fairly cheap.  Heck with the right apps you can even make free calls using VOIP if you don't mind doing some extra stuff.    

    Anyway that's the way I roll as the comedian Ron White would say.   Wifi at home and Ting on the go.  It works for me and keep my bill low.  What I like best about Ting is their outstanding customer service !!!!!!!  You call you get to talk to real people.  With some other providers like Freedom Pop its all email baby and I can't even FIND a toll free number.  THAT my dear friends counts for a LOT in my book.  

    Have a great day everyone.  Tom G. over and out.   

     

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  • Ting Overyn,

    Ting is very clear that only Sprint and a small lists of specific MVNO phones can be BYOD if the model is on the whitelist. Virgin & Boost are specifically listed as not BYOD because Sprint owns them and will not permit it.

    If you are upset about a Boos phone being blacklisted, you need to complain to Sprint, not Ting or some other Sprint MVNO.

     

     

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  • Brusk Osbarne: the list of phones that can be BYOD is impressively long and my HTC Evo Design 4G is on the list. Sprint does NOT, own FreedomPop and should, therefor allow the phone to be included. This is an obvious screw up: Ting is mistaking ALL old recycled Boost phones that were resold and relabeled (and reprogrammed and rooted) as FreedomPop phones as still being Boost phones. It's not that complicated to understand the error. And, despite your knee jerk reaction to criticize a potential customer, Ting is the absolutely correct place to ask questions, and request a problem be fixed. Thanks for you help. Yeesh!

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  • The whitelist is at https://help.ting.com/entries/22567167-BYOD-Supported-Devices-Whitelist

    You apparently checked the whitelist looking for your device and did not read the conditions for BYOD, including this quote which is in bold.

    Your device must be a Sprint®* branded device. GSM devices or devices from other carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Boost, Credo, Cricket, Straight Talk etc, cannot be activated with Ting.

     

    Here is the MVNO section from the list

    Devices from other Sprint MVNOs

    We can also accept devices from other MVNO's (Mobile-Virtual-Network-Operators). Many devices from the following carriers can make the move to Ting:

    • Cintex Wireless
    • Kajeet
    • Ready Wireless
    • Voyager Mobile
    • Platinum Tel*

    * As of August 2013, Platinum Tel moves services to the T-Mobile network. We cannot bring over T-Mobile network versions of Platinum Tel devices.

    I do not see FreedomPop on that list.

     

     

     

     

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  • My phone is clearly listed on the BYOD list. It is NOT on the blacklist. FreedomPop is a fairly new company. Thus the confusion. My guess, is it hasn't yet been attempted.

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  • I thought I would share. I'm typing this from my old s3 that I brought over to freedom pop. Data and texts works well but voice is useless. If you don't mind carrying a phone in both pockets it might work out well for you. The $20 activation fee pays for itself after awhile. Heck makes me interested in getting a flip phone again and using FP on a something like a cheap moto g as a tablet

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