FreedomPop is bringing the same disruptive free smartphone network model that has been gaining it attention over the past year or so to mobile hotspots, then making them suitable for international roaming for good measure. What that means is after buying a Global Hotspot from FreedomPop, you get a SIM with 200MB of data for free, ready to use in 25 different countries around the world.
The Global Hotspot itself is yours for a one-off charge of $50, and because 200MB isn’t very much, it’s possible to add another 500MB worth of data to the plan for an additional $10. That’s pretty reasonable in the world of international roaming charges, but the average traveller wanting to check some emails and share some pictures will probably survive with the free 200MBs.
FreedomPop has an extensive list of countries where its Hotspot will work. These are the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Czech Republic. By the end of 2016, FreedomPop wants this list to increase to more than 40 countries, including several in Asia and Latin America.
The Global Hotspot launch is fueled by further investment in the company, with a new funding round worth $50 million having just closed, bringing the firm’s overall total to more than $109 million. Initially only available in the U.S., FreedomPop launched its free mobile service in the U.K. in 2015, and wants to continue expanding throughout 2016. It claims that in total, the network has over a million subscribers.
In addition to the Global Hotspot, FreedomPop has another interesting device in the works — a Wi-Fi smartphone that will ignore mobile networks, and use Wi-Fi hotspots for connectivity. Announced in November last year, we’re still waiting for details on the device, and how it’ll work if no Wi-Fi connection is available, but it’s a very intriguing prospect.
The FreedomPop Global Hotspot can be purchased at the introductory $50 price through the company’s website here.