FreedomPop’s Free Wireless Would Be Cool If It Wasn’t So Shady

Tech

FreedomPop, a company that sells wireless hotspot devices with free mobile data, is planning to offer a full-blown cellular service with free voice calls and text messages this summer.

According to AllThingsD, FreedomPop has been amassing a pile of refurbished phones that once ran on Sprint’s 4G WiMax network, such as the Samsung Galaxy SII and HTC Evo 4G, and plans to sell them for under $200 with no contract. In exchange, FreedomPop subscribers will get 500 MB of data and 200 voice minutes (via VoIP) per month, plus unlimited text messages.

FreedomPop hopes to make money by selling add-on services, such as unlimited calling, additional data and faster connection speeds. As AllThingsD’s Ina Fried points out, it’s a strategy reminiscent of dotcom-era companies like NetZero, which gave away basic dial-up Internet service for free. (Incidentally, NetZero rose from the dead recently with free wireless Internet service, but…

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