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Summary:

FreedomPop is coming to iOS in many ways. It’s started selling refurbed iPhone 5s, activating its service on older iPhone models and offering an over-the-top iOS app to lure in potential customers.

FreedomPop iPhone sleeve

FreedomPop is now offering the iPhone under its free service plan, offering 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages and 500 MBs of data to customers gratis with the option of upgrading to bigger bucket plans starting at $5 month. The mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on Sprint’s network is not only offering a refurbished iPhone 5 directly to customers for $349, but also inviting them to bring old off-contract Sprint iPhones (the 4, 4S and 5) to its growing community.

FreedomPop is also launching its own over-the-top (OTT) iOS app, which allows customers on other carriers to maintain a virtual phone on top of their existing service plans.

While the service is similar to over-the-top calling and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Viber, which are already freely available in the app stores, FreedomPop is assigning every user a new phone number. According to CEO Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop is using the app as Trojan horse in hopes that users will eventually abandon their carriers and sign up for service directly with FreedomPop in the future.

The move to the iPhone, though, marks a big step for FreedomPop since it opens up its service to the other half of the potential smartphone market in the U.S. after launching its free phone service in October on older refurbed Android phones. The iPhone 5 will also be its first LTE device, which promises to deliver better voice quality for VoIP service.

 

  1. Carriers not going to like this. Whatsapp and others require a line so you still need a carrier contract. this sounds like might be a big step toward really cutting the carrier.

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  2. You are so right Steve, the carriers are not going to like this at all. but the people will love it and so will new business

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  3. There has been a growing trend of “data-only” plans, making it possible for users to gain some amount of independence from the carrier. The first step is pulling your phone number away from the carrier. The second step is getting an app on your mobile devices that allow you to enable your phone number for voice and messaging across all devices. http://ring.to is one of the apps I’m excited to see focus in this area, particularly on step one.

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