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international (Offline)
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Default FreedomPop Launches “Free” Global Data Hotspot And SIM - and Competition? - 21-01-2016, 04:30

The FreedomPop offer now works in 25 countries (UK and US shipping address required to receive the SIM + dongle): http://techcrunch.com/2016/01/20/fre...tspot-and-sim/

I wonder about the competition? The Karma dongle looks better, for what it's worth (https://yourkarma.com/), though it lacks the main feature of FreedomPop: it does not work internationally.

What about the competition - if you are not in the market for such a SIM at the very moment, but rather, looking for the long term evolution of this market? Here's a good one - Apple SIM: https://levels.io/roaming-is-stupid/

I agree with "levelsio", these 'mom and pap' small scale operations, which includes for me FreedomPop as well (who are they, really?) may not, probably will not change the world, maybe something large scale, like a global telecom company with the clout of Vodafone, T-Mobile, etc., or a big IT company like Apple/Google/Microsoft/Facebook, etc.

Your take on this whole market phenomenon?
   
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wolfbln (Offline)
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Default 29-01-2016, 08:17

200 MB per month roaming data for free sounds good.
Problem is that only US- and UK-citizens are allowed to enlist in effect.
Not only a UK or US postal address is required, but you have to submit credit card data for the purchase and for possible overuse. I suspect it needs to be a UK- or US-issued card.
FreedomPop has always promised to open up in new countries, but they stay away from every country that has a registration scheme for SIM cards.
The Mifi is somewhat strange: it only has US-LTE frequencies on it, but FreedomPop advertises with LTE in Europe.
The SIM card is going to be sold for $/£10. This time there seem to be no hidden fees.
More roaming data will be available for pay: 500 MB for $/£10. For comparison the new roaming cap in the EU will be at €25 for 500 MB plus taxes plus the domestic data rate.

So it's a good rate. The best around for an international SIM card right now. But available only for 5% of the world population living in the US or UK. Btw many UK users are still waiting for months for their domestic SIM. Isn't a bit daring to launch a new product in the meantime?

Your "mom and dad" enterprise has raised $50 million for this SIM http://www.forbes.com/sites/aarontil.../#17551ef66bd1 I wonder what happens when they are gone???

Last edited by wolfbln; 29-01-2016 at 08:28..
   
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andy (Offline)
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Default 03-02-2016, 12:45

It seems to be even more limited than only to UK and USA.

Applying using an email address that has been on their waiting list for months, there is a message that the email address is already in use.

Using a different email address, it does the postcode and address search, then presents options of the mifi device or SIM only. The SIM only is described as temporarily sold out.
   
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wolfbln (Offline)
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Default 03-02-2016, 13:33

As I understand, the SIM-only option is not sold yet, but announced to be available soon in the US and UK. Right now, they only sell the MiFi combo, which is not such a good deal after all.

When somebody outside of the US and UK has found a way to get it, please specify how. I think it might be possible, if you have an address in the UK or US (where someone collects mail for you) because it seems to be some waiting involved.
You may order it on a prepaid debit card that is sold in the US. At least some people have suceeded in linking their domestic FreedomPop plan to a temporary debit card.

I'm quite reluctant to add this product to the prepaid data WIKI. While it gives 200 MB roaming data for free and a reasonable rate for overuse; it clearly disobeys the "available to the general public rule" when hardly 5% of the world population have the chance to buy it.

Btw. what is this postcode and address search for? After all it's a roaming data SIM. When they restrict purchase to the UK and US, it's all right to do so and they need just to specify this. Why do you need a local search engine then? Do they have quotas for every state in the US or county in Britain? Such a search engine only makes sense if you have a locally restricted product within the US or UK. But the restriction works much more effectively by the issuing countries of the accepted credit/debit cards and required delivery address.

Last edited by wolfbln; 03-02-2016 at 13:43..
   
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andy (Offline)
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Default 03-02-2016, 23:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfbln View Post
Btw. what is this postcode and address search for? After all it's a roaming data SIM. When they restrict purchase to the UK and US, it's all right to do so and they need just to specify this. Why do you need a local search engine then? Do they have quotas for every state in the US or county in Britain? Such a search engine only makes sense if you have a locally restricted product within the US or UK. But the restriction works much more effectively by the issuing countries of the accepted credit/debit cards and required delivery address.
I doubt that there is any regional quota within a country, though when I ordered the previous SIM some wording on the website did sound a bit like that, enter post code to check eligibility (maybe they just meant coverage).

When I said post code and address search, I wasn't really thinking of those points. Here it's just a short cut method of entering the address on an order form.

In the UK a post code defines a smaller local area than in say Germany. On most websites I would enter it and press a button, then get a drop-down list of 6 named houses in this small road. Other people might get 15 or 20 house numbers.
   
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Default 05-02-2016, 17:27

I didn't expect a reaction to FreedomPop by another operator on this side of the Atlantic, but Three UK seems to match their offer, well sort of.

They introduced their new Data Award SIM which happens to give out 200 MB for free per month. This data can be topped up for pay and used even in the "Feel at home" countries too or you stay at the very low (domestic) default data rate of 1p per MB (which seems not to be available for roaming).

So it's a combination of the two different plans of FreedomPop domestic and roaming. It includes only data, no "free" calls, yet you can text for 2p and call for 3p/min in the UK. But there are fewer countries covered on their "feel at home" plan compared to the roaming on FreedomPop.

While Three UK's SIM is for GBP10 with 1 GB valid for 30 days, FreedomPop is free (domestic) or at GBP10 (roaming SIM) without data included but the 200 MB freebies.

The most important difference, Three's SIM is available without waiting for months and will be distributed on eBay in other countries soon. It doesn't need to be linked to a UK credit card. Although top-ups from outside of the UK without having one is tricky.

Offer: http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/04/t...ta-reward-sim/
   
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Default 06-02-2016, 22:00

You spotted that a day before I did.

But before rushing to eBay, there's a potential drawback for people who want to use it outside the UK most of the time (as I discovered only yesterday)

If you use your allowances exclusively in a Feel At Home destination for any 2 complete months in a rolling 12 month period, we may suspend international roaming on your account, which means you’ll no longer be able to use your device or allowances abroad. We’d let you know if this were likely to happen first. If you spend a full month abroad but some of that time is spent in a destination that isn’t included in Feel At Home, this restriction won’t apply.

http://support.three.co.uk/SRVS/CGI-...ase=obj(12332)
   
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Default 07-02-2016, 05:35

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Originally Posted by andy View Post

If you use your allowances exclusively in a Feel At Home destination for any 2 complete months in a rolling 12 month period, we may suspend international roaming on your account, which means you’ll no longer be able to use your device or allowances abroad. We’d let you know if this were likely to happen first. If you spend a full month abroad but some of that time is spent in a destination that isn’t included in Feel At Home, this restriction won’t apply.

http://support.three.co.uk/SRVS/CGI-...ase=obj(12332)
Well, we feature the 'Feel at home' option for a long time now on the prepaid data WIKI. We didn't receive a single report of somebody who had been switched off. This restriction has been in their T&Cs since they started FLH years ago. Officially, it's not for 'permanent roaming', only for occasional roaming which seems to be not strictly enforced.

People complain much more about their weird smartphone-only policy of their PAYG plans. Tethering and hotspot use is sniffed through packet inspection and blocked. This is not enforced on their prepaid Mobile Broadband plans. Many users are looking for ways to bypass this restriction, see http://androidforums.com/threads/how...etwork.542650/.

Now, the new Data Award SIM is listed in the Mobile Broadband section aimed at tablets and and modems. So they can't block tethering on it. But unlike their old Mobile Broadband plans, it has voice and text too. So, finally Three seems to overcome the split between the two product lines.

Giving 200 MB per month for free, i'm very astonished too that Three lets you register a max. of 5 Data Award SIMs on one name. Has FreedomPop really such a big impact in the UK now? I'm only reading about people waiting for their SIM. Even Three's default rate of 1p per MB in the UK and 10p/MB on roaming is unmatched.

Last edited by wolfbln; 07-02-2016 at 05:44.. Reason: add-on
   
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Default 08-02-2016, 18:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfbln View Post
Btw. what is this postcode and address search for? After all it's a roaming data SIM. When they restrict purchase to the UK and US, it's all right to do so and they need just to specify this. Why do you need a local search engine then?
As far as I could understand F-POP UK is a MVNO on Three UK. Somewhere in their FAQs they mention that they will only sell you when there is Three 3G/4G coverage at your address.

Also it seems to be a data SIM only with voice/texts only working as VoIP over 3G/4G-data or WiFi through their App. In the FAQs they mention that the SIM comes with two phone numbers. The mobile one printed somewhere on the SIM non operational. And the other working one on the F-POP App.
   
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Default 12-03-2016, 00:19

Interesting to see FreedomPop moving into the international data market. As a reader of a US deals forum, I'll state that their free service offerings in the US come with very mixed reviews, with people reporting that their credit cards have shown random charges for supposedly free service (you have to have a credit card on file with them). This may just be a matter of people not reading the fine print, unchecking the right boxes, etc., but I think a "proceed with caution" warning should still apply. Perhaps pay for the SIM with a prepaid credit card and keep that on file with them.

Given that, I'd be much more inclined to try one of Three UK's SIM cards, but since I'm never in the UK, I have a feeling that sooner or later my service would be cut off as per the aforementioned terms and conditions.

Note: Doing some research on the FreedomPop service, here's a page which shows the list of countries being added "soon" (this year?). The list includes:

Bangladesh
Brazil
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Malaysia
Mexico
Philippines
Russia
Singapore
South Africa
Thailand
Vietnam

These will be in addition to their currently supported countries which are basically the US and most of Europe (missing some of the eastern European and Baltic states).


[ earth | technology | life ] : [ www.gaiageek.com ]
   
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