Originally Posted by aja8888
Hmmm...I checked their site and the first thing they do besides requiring your e-mail address, zip code and street, is shove a new phone in front of you to buy. Then the service is free for the first month only and a fee applies after that. Not so free, I guess.
I'll stick with PagePlus for $12/month.
Originally Posted by FUEGO
Yeah, you have to click a few buttons to get it for free. As soon as you sign up, you can opt out of any pay services. I get 200 talk minutes, 500 texts IIRC, and 500 MB data for free. And I have the "auto top up" feature disabled so they won't charge me if I hit the data cap (never been close, but I assume the data simply stops flowing).
As for buying a phone, you can buy one from them or use a wide variety of Sprint phones. That's why I mentioned under $100 from ebay - probably cheaper than buying from freedompop. And they do have sprint phones that are under $50 at ebay but just a little too slow for my tastes.
So still pretty much free other than buying a phone initially. So maybe $100 every few years if you want to constantly have a relatively new phone.
$12/mo for pageplus or similar per phone on Ting isn't bad. If I used my phone more and cared about good quality voice everywhere, I might pay up. As it is, I use 0-5 minutes of voice per month and it works out just fine.
I checked into FreedomPop several months ago. They do have a totally free tier that includes 200 minutes, 500 text, and 500MB data. Like aja8888, I went to their website and was immediately turned off by the sketchy tactics and lack of transparency regarding additional charges and plan options.
Also, my understanding is that FreedomPop is data only, meaning they use the data network for voice and text (VoIP). You have to use their proprietary app rather than your phone’s native dialer and messaging app. This will work fine for text, and for voice calls on your home or work broadband network (WiFi). But my own experience with this setup on a mobile network was pretty bad. 4G (or LTE) is "passable" but occasional dropped calls or garbled voice. 3G was completely unreliable. Some people report that FreedomPop is better than other mobile VoIP because they are using Skype proprietary technology that others don’t have access to. But still, most independent reviews of mobile call quality, especially on 3G, are not good.
Republic Wireless is another very popular MVNO, which offers $25/mo unlimited everything. But they also use VoIP for voice and text on WiFi, and the phone always defaults to WiFi when available. But they use the traditional cell tower network on 3G and LTE. So call quality reviews are much better than FreedomPop. The downside to Republic is you have to buy and use one of their Moto X phones. No other handset option.
Ting does not use any form of VoIP, so the call quality and reliability is same as you'd get with the regular network operator. I don't use a lot of voice minutes, but when I do, I need it to work reliably. And you can bring virtually any device, CDMA or GSM. For us, this is a better mix of value and quality.