FreedomPop asks just $50 for a year’s worth of mobile service. Really

FreedomPop’s CEO Stephen Stokols

Instead of paying $50 or more each month for your mobile service, how does paying $50 per year sound? That’s how much FreedomPop is charging for its brand-new annual service plan in the U.S., potentially saving you hundreds of dollars over a yearly, monthly-paid plan. We know what you’re thinking. For such a low cost — it works out to about $4 each month — there surely can’t be any data, calls, or messages included, right? Wrong.

The FreedomPop $50 plan includes 1,000 minutes, 1,000 SMS, and 1GB of 4G LTE data provided by AT&T or Sprint. Hardcore mobile users will blow through the 1GB data cap quickly, but a third of smartphone owners in the U.S. don’t come close to using that much data according to FreedomPop, and are therefore overpaying with traditional service agreements.

It’s very difficult to argue against a year’s worth of smartphone use for less than the price of a single month’s use on many other networks. However, if you don’t have a smartphone, or need a new one, you’ll likely be concerned about the firm’s price for a new one. Wrong again, because FreedomPop sells two smartphones with a year’s worth of service included. The LG Tribute is just $80, and the Samsung Galaxy S5 is $150. Those prices are all-in, meaning you pay once for the phone and a year of service. That’s it. Our recommendation? Spend the extra for the Galaxy S5.

Digital Trends asked FreedomPop how it was able to offer such a deal. To put your mind at rest, there’s no restriction on data speed, and the annual service will perform in the same way as any other plan. FreedomPop says an annual plan, “eliminates credit risk,” and that it’s counting on you spending out on additional services with the network to break the zero profits it takes from the annual plan. These extras include a second number, international calling, or a virtual private network (VPN) service. Also, if you go over the allotted minutes and data, expect further charges to apply, just like with any other mobile plan.

If you know 1GB of data won’t be enough, FreedomPop has two other new, reasonably priced options, which it calls semi-annual plans. The first gives 5GB of data with unlimited calls and texts for $114 per year, or $19 per month, while the second is $78 per year or $13 per month for 2GB of data and unlimited calls and texts.

FreedomPop has a history of good value plans and services, including a no-cost Wi-Fi calling phone and a SIM card where all WhatsApp data is free. Visit FreedomPop’s website to sign up for the new annual plan.