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Thread: FreedomPop appears to be reducing free "friends" data from 500MB to 50MB max

  1. #46
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    Well, it's been a nice 6 year run for me. At ~$20/month average I figure I've saved around $1500-$2000 over that period of time. I agree that using the "abuse" excuse is just marketing spin, but the reality is that in this business no plan lasts forever. Even full priced postpaid plans go away after a while and you're lucky if you get grandfathered. Heck, even providers can go away after a while unless you're AT&T or Verizon (T-Mobile almost went away and looks like Sprint definitely will go away). I'm with yeswap and boz1 in that I have GV/Hangouts and never used the FP app for calling/texting/VM so my exit plan is in place and has been from the start. I'll miss ya and look fondly back on you FP, but you're definitely circling the drain with this move. Time to move on.

    Actually, I think I can still milk a few months out by rotating SIM cards once a week and firing up the old Sprint CDMA hotspot more often. Maybe I can make it to a 7th year.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by djphilosophy View Post
    To me, their "abuse" message is just an excuse....
    Yeah, I can understand how they may feel abused, but when you put a sign on your back that says, "Kick Me", you should expect to get kicked and not cry abuse. We did not abuse FP. We followed their rules. It is their right to change the rules.

    My understanding is that they are a shoestring outfit operating on venture capital. Their paid service is mostly not competitive. For paid service there are better options. I don't see how they can continue in business in the long term.

    I can probably get by with 250 MB a month (229 usable). I just use it for backup on a tablet for when I don't have Wifi, like for those rare occasions that I need to do GPS nav with data. Last I checked, my GPS nav trips have used 5-10 MB.

    I have always found the VOIP calling on mobile data to be completely unreliable garbage. Congrats to those it works for.

    Thanks for the good times that were FP.

  3. #48
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    I understand that the paid options offered on the account page of the "free" SIMs are not competitive.

    But if you're looking for AT&T LTE data, the FP plans I posted above really can't be beat.

    On top of that, the 1GB and 5GB plans include UT&T over data that isn't counted against the included LTE data. As I've mentioned many times, I don't use that part of the FP service because I use GV+Hangouts over data, but FP's UT&T over data might be useful to some.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    I understand that the paid options offered on the account page of the "free" SIMs are not competitive.

    But if you're looking for AT&T LTE data, the FP plans I posted above really can't be beat.

    On top of that, the 1GB and 5GB plans include UT&T over data that isn't counted against the included LTE data. As I've mentioned many times, I don't use that part of the FP service because I use GV+Hangouts over data, but FP's UT&T over data might be useful to some.
    That ~$46 FP yearly plan could be good for some where it meets their needs. VOIP calling just doesn't work well enough in my area. I have tried all four carriers and LTE and other mobile data is just too inconsistent around here. I need real cell calling. Tracfone works well for my low usage. The rare times I need data on my phone it is 1 cent a MB.

    My real need for occasional data is from a hotspot to my tablet or notebook to take care of serious business that I can't do on a phone. My one extravagance is a $20 a month unlimited hotspot. I'll do fine with just 200 MB of FP on my tablet.
    Last edited by bobdevnul; 07-13-2018 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Corrected the price of Tracfone data

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    My understanding is that they are a shoestring outfit operating on venture capital. Their paid service is mostly not competitive. For paid service there are better options. I don't see how they can continue in business in the long term.
    I for one hope they stick around a while longer. Even without the friends bonus, my Mac user group has a Netgear 6100D on their free plan with speed boost and data rollover for just under $6 a month. Since we don't always exceed our data allocation we have built up a nice reserve of over 10GB of data for months when we do splurge.

    It would be hard to replicate this setup with any other MVNO AFAIK.

    Bill

  6. #51
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    Does anyone know if it is still possible to receive up to 500MB in data via "gifts" from other accounts? This could be a workaround for those with multiple accounts.

    Bill

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by djphilosophy View Post
    That support page is correct based on what the FP rep said, yes. The problem is that the official terms and conditions page still says "within 100mb of your monthly plan broadband data allotment". Since I take that as the more legally binding of the two, as long as that wording is there it remains a grey area. I notified them so we'll see if they change it.

    For those looking to jump ship, I'd add the Red Pocket 360 Basic plan to the list of alternatives to consider.

    • $60 for 1 year through eBay (less with frequent eBay promo codes recently) so $5/month (or $4.50 with eBay 10% code)
    • 500MB LTE / 100 minutes / 100 texts each month (real minutes - not VOIP like FP)
    • Starter kit includes 3 SIM cards: GSMA (AT&T), GSMT (T-Mobile), and CDMA (covers Sprint or Verizon apparently?) so you can choose what network you want to activate on
    • Ability to add minutes or data in any given month
      ADD $2 for:
      100 MINS Talk or
      100 Texts or
      100 MB of 4G LTE Data
      (per 30 days)

      ADD $5 for:
      250 MINS Talk or
      500 Texts or
      250 MB of 4G LTE Data
      (per 30 days)


    Between this Red Pocket plan and the 1 year FP plan Boz1 mentioned (1GB/month for $3.82/month, VOIP min/SMS), I think I'd personally go with Red Pocket just to have real minutes/texts and to avoid the constant changing of terms and conditions (and confusion and uncertainty) you get with FreedomPop. Plus, getting to choose your network is very nice, as is the ability to add on data at a reasonable price if needed.
    It's interesting that you mention this because I'll actually be moving to RedPocket once my Total Wireless data depletes. I just don't use enough of it anymore for it to be a good deal (for folks who do use 5-10GB a month on Verizon, however, it's practically unbeatable). I haven't decided if I'll go with the AT&T side (better signal & battery life at home/work and one vacation spot, at the expense of poorer signal in other vacation spot, plus unknown reliability elsewhere) or the Verizon side, (same, predictable service footprint as before) but the $100 plan will come out to a lot less per month than I've been paying (can't go wrong with <$9 a month; actually less if you count the eBay discount).

    I'll keep Freedompop on my secondary phone for an unstoppable one-two punch of Verizon and AT&T to guarantee reliable service wherever I go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qt0 View Post
    for the yearly freddompop plans are you required to use their (awful in my opinion) voip app? or does it now operate differently?
    I guess the alternative would be just using google voice, but just curious if they still push their app on those yearly plans
    They do. FreedomPop's up-and-coming "premium" UNREAL Mobile brand will combine the best of both, offering "normal" voice and VoIP. The rates are pretty competitive, so if they ever offer service on the Verizon or AT&T network, I personally might even consider it for my primary.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by djphilosophy View Post
    Starter kit includes 3 SIM cards[/B]: GSMA (AT&T), GSMT (T-Mobile), and CDMA (covers Sprint or Verizon apparently?)
    They only include a Verizon SIM, because Sprint SIM's can be reused when you port between MVNO's or numbers, and therefore most BYOD Sprint devices still have a SIM in it.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill720 View Post
    I haven't decided if I'll go with the AT&T side (better signal & battery life at home/work and one vacation spot, at the expense of poorer signal in other vacation spot, plus unknown reliability elsewhere) or the Verizon side, (same, predictable service footprint as before)
    Keep in mind that if you buy a yearly plan, they send you 3 SIMs, and you can transfer the line between networks, so if one network didn't work out you have the option to switch.

  10. #55
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    My son went on a camp overnight this past week so I installed the FP app on his phone. He previously just used the LTE SIM for pokemon and to call me on hangouts/Duo, but I didn't want him running up the data meter with VOIP calls so I decided its time to try the FP app.

    I have to admit- the service got a LOT better than it was last time I tried their calling app. The new one (FP Messaging, not the old FP app) actually had more than decent call quality... I could tell it wasn't regular voice, but it sounded as good or better than VoLTE/VoWiFi in my opinion. And this was while he was on a bus in the middle of the PA mountains. It was definitely better and more reliable than Hangouts or Google's voice calling to me. I wish I had tried it earlier, because 2 days after I made this discovery of usable voice, I find out we may have to give up our FP usage because there's no way we can keep to 250mb a month without going over. Its a real shame.
    Been gone a long time. Hello, HoFo- I'm BACK.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishe View Post
    we may have to give up our FP usage because there's no way we can keep to 250mb a month without going over. Its a real shame.
    Good to hear the VOIP improved. Perhaps I should try it some day for someone in my household. (Not for me, because my line mainly uses conferencing apps, not voice minutes.)

    If you give up FP, where will you go instead? Nobody else will give you the amount of data you were used to for free either. If you have to pay someone... can you do better than under $5/mo for the 1GB/mo FP annual plan? It does include unlimited FP VOIP minutes. Of course if you are using a lot more data than that, other options could be better, perhaps Red Pocket or Mint Mobile.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishe View Post
    ...I have to admit- the service got a LOT better than it was last time I tried their calling app. The new one (FP Messaging, not the old FP app) actually had more than decent call quality... I could tell it wasn't regular voice, but it sounded as good or better than VoLTE/VoWiFi in my opinion....
    At one time the FP app was reported to be a customized CSIPSimple app. I don't know if that is still true.

    The sound quality of all the VOIP services and apps depends on the CODEC they use. The higher bandwidth the CODEC uses the better the sound quality.

    Oddly enough, some people don't like the sound of high bandwidth VOIP. They are not used to hearing the higher frequencies (>3 KHz) on a phone call and think it sounds tinny.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    The higher bandwidth the CODEC uses the better the sound quality.
    That has to be balanced against the limitations of the network.

    Where I live I found that I could use G711u on ATT or Verizon, but Sprint sometimes lacks the upload bandwidth for it. A lower bandwidth codec would be better under those circumstances.

    Also worth mentioning that any app where the connection goes directly to the recipient without going through the phone system, is going to sound much better even with a low bandwidth codec. Examples of this are Whatsapp and Facebook calls, and Google Voice if both parties are using the VoIP option.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaopt View Post
    Good to hear the VOIP improved. Perhaps I should try it some day for someone in my household. (Not for me, because my line mainly uses conferencing apps, not voice minutes.)

    If you give up FP, where will you go instead? Nobody else will give you the amount of data you were used to for free either. If you have to pay someone... can you do better than under $5/mo for the 1GB/mo FP annual plan? It does include unlimited FP VOIP minutes. Of course if you are using a lot more data than that, other options could be better, perhaps Red Pocket or Mint Mobile.
    The FP UT&T+1GB/mo plan that I posted above is currently $3.75/mo at Target right now. $44.95 plus taxes and fees, if applicable, based on location.

    I also posted above about the FP UT&T+5GB/Mo $12.50/mo paid $149.99/yr plan directly from FP, which is also a good deal if more data is needed.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by barryspar View Post
    That has to be balanced against the limitations of the network.

    Where I live I found that I could use G711u on ATT or Verizon, but Sprint sometimes lacks the upload bandwidth for it. A lower bandwidth codec would be better under those circumstances.

    Also worth mentioning that any app where the connection goes directly to the recipient without going through the phone system, is going to sound much better even with a low bandwidth codec. Examples of this are Whatsapp and Facebook calls, and Google Voice if both parties are using the VoIP option.
    Absolutely. It all comes down to the data rate, and both ends of the channel have to use the same lowest common denominator CODEC. The CD sampling rate will allow a max frequency of 20.5 KHz - the practical limit of human hearing, and that is for young people. The POTS telephone system is filtered to pass 300 to 3300 Hz so they could fit more calls through the transmission channel with adequate fidelity. An ISDN voice B channel used 56/64 Kbps and could go to 8 KHz. Anyone else remember ISDN voice?

    I spent many happy hours getting paid pretty well to look at spectrum analyzer waterfall displays. Apropos of nothing, I remember the first time I got to Fry's in Silicon Valley. You could actually walk in the store and pick a $20,000 logic analyzer off the shelf like a loaf of bread, along with many other amazing things.

    All of the VOIP services, except VoLTE, seem suffer from audio round-trip delay problems. I have measured Hangouts at ~700 ms sometimes. 600 ms is about the limit of where most people aren't annoyed by it. Anyone else remember Ringplus with their 2000 ms RTD? It was like talking to someone on the Moon. Good times.
    Last edited by bobdevnul; 07-13-2018 at 02:16 PM.

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