FreedomPop AT&T LTE GSM sim card kit review 2017
even better than the FreedomPop Global 3G+ GSM sim!
get 200mb (or up to 700mb or more*) of FREE AT&T LTE data every month

 

FreedomPop AT&T LTE GSM sim kit
Rating: 5/5 by Steve
Last Updated: March 17, 2017

note: FreedomPop has THREE different services. It's important to understand the difference between the three services so you don't order the wrong phone, hotspot, or sim card. (#1) FreedomPop has been selling smartphones and hotspots with free Sprint LTE data since 2013. (#2) FreedomPop started selling a GLOBAL GSM sim (and hotspots) in 2016. And (#3) FreedomPop just started selling a new LTE GSM sim (and hotspots). All three services have a free monthly plan which includes 200 voice minutes and 500 texts, but the amount of free data is different. The (#1) Sprint-based services have a free plan with 500mb of domestic Sprint LTE data. The (#2) Global sim service has a free plan with 200mb of "global" 3G+ data. The new (#3) LTE sim service has a free plan with 200mb of domestic AT&T LTE data. All three services allow you to get up to 500mb more free data every month by adding FreedomPop friends. I have used, tested, and reviewed all three services, and they each have their pros and cons. The key is to understand the differences between the three services so you can make sure you are ordering what you think you are ordering!

My FreedomPop Reviews:
#1. FreedomPop Sprint LTE (CDMA) smartphones (and hotspots) Moto E2 Review 2016
#2. FreedomPop GLOBAL GSM sim Review 2016
#3. FreedomPop AT&T Nationwide 4G LTE sim Review 2017 (this review, below)

AT&T LTE GSM SIM REVIEW CONTENTS:
1. Introduction
2. About the FreedomPop (AT&T) LTE Sim Kit (specifications)
3. Setting Up the LTE Sim
4. Testing the LTE Sim
5. Comparing the LTE Sim to the GLOBAL Sim
6. How to DOWNGRADE your Plan and Service to FREE
6.1 March 2017 FreedomPop Service Downgrade BUG! You could get charged $7.99 (please read!)
6.2 March 19 update: a new service downgrade bug?
7. How to avoid Data Overage Charges (auto-top-up, set a phone data limit, etc)
8. How to get more FREE DATA (Freedom Friends, data sharing, multiple sims)
9. How to install the FreedomPop Messaging app to get free calling & texts
10. Comparing the FreedomPop App vs Google Voice/Hangouts for talk & text
11. Conclusion
12. FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions about the FreedomPop LTE sim
13. Comments

FreedomPop Nationwide (AT&T) LTE GSM Sim Special Offers

new! Order the LTE Sim Kit for $0.99 (with free shipping)

new! Order the LTE Sim Kit for $1.99 (with a free "selfie stick" & free shipping)
(note: this offer includes a free "selfie stick" and a bonus 1GB of data for the first month only, available even after downgrading!)

notes on ordering:
note 1) Use a valid email address when you start the special offer process, and check that you have typed it correctly. Your temporary account password will be sent to this email address (in a "Welcome to FreedomPop" email) and you will need the temporary password to access your account. Your tracking number will also be sent to this email.
note 2) During the ordering process, you may get an offer for "PURCHASE CONFIRMATION - YOUR FREE GIFT WITH TODAY'S PURCHASE. One-time activation only $0.01". This is for a SECOND sim for a PENNY. It's a good deal. The second sim can also get the 500mb monthly FreedomPop Friends bonus data (starting on the second cycle, see FAQ#5). The second sim will also have a free trial that you will need to downgrade. If you have a pop-up blocker, you should disable it before ordering or you might not be able to complete the second offer. I explain more about the second penny sim offer in the FreedomPop FAQ section below.
note 3) About the free selfie stick - I've got two of these selfie sticks from past FreedomPop Global sim offers. The selfie stick smells a little like machine oil, but otherwise it's nice. The selfie stick has a cord that plugs into your phone's headphone jack, and when you click the button on the stick handle, your phone is supposed to take a picture. In order to work, your phone's camera software must have a setting that allows pressing a volume button to trigger the camera to take a picture. On one of my phones, the camera did not have this option and thus did not work with the stick. To solve the problem, I downloaded and installed the Open Camera app and set it up so the selfie stick worked. In the Open Camera app, go to settings > more camera controls > volume keys > select "take photo".
note 4) To get Free Shipping - the default shipping method now may be "Saver Standard 4 to 7 days - $6.99". You should be able to change it to "Super Saver 7 to 10 days - FREE".


1. INTRODUCTION:
I've been using the new FreedomPop Nationwide LTE sim since January (2017). I now have four LTE sims. I paid $19.98 ($9.99 plus $9.99 shipping) for my first LTE sim in January. Two days after I ordered, the sim went on sale for $4.99 with free shipping. Oh well. Then later the price dropped to $1.99 with free shipping, so I got a second sim, and then a third and fourth sim. Now the LTE sim is on sale for only $.99 (and you can get a second sim for a penny). That said, I don't mind that I paid $20 bucks for my first LTE sim, because it is worth it (though only paying only a dollar is a lot better!). The FreedomPop LTE sim is awesome. If you add ten FreedomPop friends (which is easy to do), you'll get 700mb of free high-speed AT&T LTE cellular data, and if you want more data, you can get more sims. I'm using a free Google Voice phone number with Hangouts to get essentially unlimited free talk & text, but you can also use the free (voip) phone number that comes with each FreedomPop LTE sim to get 200 voice minutes and 500 texts (you will need to install and use the FreedomPop app if you want to use the minutes and texts). The bottom line is FreedomPop really does offer free (limited) basic cellular phone service and data. The free LTE data is incredible. The free talk and text deal is okay, though I think many people skip it and just use the free LTE data, and use a Google Voice number with Hangouts for talk and text like I do.
I've actually been using FreedomPop since last year (August 2016) when I bought my first FreedomPop Global GSM sim. The Global sim worked ok, and I ended up buying five Global sims (before the LTE sim was introduced), as well as a $29.99 FreedomPop Sprint-based Moto E2 LTE phone (just to see what their Sprint-based service was like). Other that the price of the sims and the phone, I have never been charged or paid for anything else. FreedomPop really *can* be free, if you know what to do. Of the three FreedomPop services (Sprint-based phones and hotspots, the Global sim, and the new nationwide LTE sim), I think the LTE GSM sim is the best. At the current price of a buck, there's really no risk to try it (and if you want to get your dollar back, FreedomPop even has a 30 day money back guarantee). As long as you cancel the plan and the service and don't go over your data limit, the service and data really is free, and the free AT&T LTE GSM cellular data works!


My monthly bill for my FreedomPop LTE sim phone & cellular data service... $0.

2. ABOUT THE FREEDOMPOP (AT&T) LTE SIM KIT (SPECIFICATIONS)
* You will need an unlocked GSM phone (i.e. AT&T or T-Mobile)
* Works on Android phones running Android 4.0+ and Apple devices running iOS 7.0+
* Works only in the United States (no international coverage)
* Provides AT&T LTE cellular data coverage (no roaming). It works just like regular AT&T service, and you get AT&T 4G/3G speed if LTE coverage is not available.
* When you order, you will automatically be signed up for a free one month trial of the FreedomPop $19.99 data plan and the FreedomPop $7.99 premium service. The free trial starts when your sim ships (not when you get it). The free trial lasts 30 days. After 30 days, you will be charged $28 ($19.99 plus $7.99) every month unless you downgrade BOTH your PLAN and your SERVICE to the free plan and service. It's not hard to downgrade to free. You just need to remember to do it within 30 days (and you can do it almost right away) or you will be charged for the monthly fee.
* The free plan (after you downgrade) includes 200mb of free data. You can get up to 500mb more every month with FreedomPop friends. If you have multiple accounts (sims) you can share up to 500mb more of data between accounts every month. You can purchase additional LTE sims and swap them out for even more free data every month. I explain all this below in more detail.
* The LTE sim will come with a local phone number that you select when you order it. To use this phone number for talk and text, you must download and use the FreedomPop talk/text app. The phone number is for V.O.I.P. (voice over internet) voice service, which requires a good (wifi or cellular) data connection to work well. Each sim has its own phone number. If you get multiple sims, each will have a different phone number.
* In addition to the 200mb of free data, the free plan also includes 200 voice minutes and 500 texts per month for free for the phone number you get with the sim, but you must download and use the FreedomPop talk/text app if you want to use the free voice minutes and texts.  I prefer to use my free Google Voice phone number with Google Hangouts.
* There is no contract and you can cancel anytime.


The new FreedomPop LTE sim vs the FreedomPop GLOBAL sim. The FreedomPop LTE sim is so new that is comes as a blank white card without any printing. I expect that fairly soon the sim cards will be updated to be printed like the FreedomPop Global sim.

3. Setting Up the LTE Sim
Setting up the LTE sim is simple. You open up the back your phone and see what size sim card your phone needs (regular, micro, or nano). You then pop the correct size of sim out of the FreedomPop sim card, and put it in your phone. When you power up your phone, it will probably recognize the sim card as an AT&T sim, but your cellular data service won't work. All you need to do is add an APN for FreedomPop and switch to it. For Android, go to SETTINGS > CELLULAR NETWORKS > APN (or ACCESS POINT NAMES). Create a new APN (for Android you tap the "+" sign). Type "FREEDOMPOP" for the name and "fp.com.attz" for the APN. Save the new APN and use it.


Setting up the FreedomPop LTE sim is simple. Just pop the correct size sim out of the card and install it in your phone. Then set up an APN for "fp.com.attz" and use it. You will note that the service is indicated as "AT&T" instead of "FREEDOMPOP" like on the GLOBAL sim. I expect that fairly soon the sims will be updated to show the service as FREEDOMPOP.

4. Testing the FreedomPop LTE Sim
I've been using the LTE sim since January. It is awesome. I've verified it works in three different phones: my Amazon Prime BLU R1 HD, my unlocked AT&T GoPhone ZTE ZMax 2, and an unlocked MOTO G4 I just bought. I've been using it here in Santa Barbara (California), and my wife has taken it to Los Angeles for the day. I've driven all over town listening to Pandora. It works. I've checked emails all over town. It works. I've sent and received texts all over town. It works. I've made phone calls (with Google Hangouts) all over town. It works. I've tried making phones calls from spots in town where the GLOBAL sim provides margin voice calls. The LTE sim provides perfect voice calls.

A note on voice quality: Every Saturday or Sunday, I walk about three miles through our neighborhood and talk to my father on my cell phone. Our conversations typically last about an hour and a half.  I've been walking the same route for several years. When I got my first FreedomPop GLOBAL sim, I used it for making the phone call for several weeks (using Google voice/hangouts), until my father asked if I could go back to using one of our Republic Wireless phones with regular traditional Sprint voice service. The Global sim worked, but the voice quality wasn't quite as good as our Republic Wireless service. Since I received my new LTE sim, I've been using it with Google Voice/Hangouts for the walk and conversation. The first two times using it, after we were done talking (about an hour and a half each time), I asked my father to compare our conversation to past conversations, and to rank the three services for voice quality (Global sim Hangouts VOIP, traditional Republic Wireless/Sprint cellular voice, and this new LTE sim Hangout VOIP). He said he thought the GLOBAL sim conversations worked but weren't great. The Republic Wireless voice conversations were good. The LTE sim conversation were equal to or better than our Republic Wireless/Sprint traditional cellular voice service, and he asked me to continue using the LTE sim (and Google Hangouts) for calls in the future.

weekend walks talking to my father (using FreedomPop LTE sim with Google Voice/Hangouts)

date talk time data used data/minute call quality
2/6/16 81 min 51mb .63 mb/min excellent
2/12/16 75 min 42mb .56 mb/min excellent
2/19/17 83min 46mb .55 mb/min excellent
2/25/17 78min 42mb .54 mb/min excellent
3/4/17 75min 42mb .56 mb/min excellent
3/11/17 84min 44mb .52 mb/min excellent
3/18/17 81min 40mb .49 mb/min excellent
total/average 557min 307mb .55 mb/min  

Data Speed: I ran one SpeedTest data speed check when I first got the LTE sim. which showed a 47.60 Mbps download / 8.70 Mbps upload / 76 ms ping. The single test burned through 67MB of data. The LTE sim cellular data speed is plenty fast, and is actually much faster than our home cable internet, which is only 5 Mbps down/1 Mbps up, but which works just fine for us (wifi calling, Netflix streaming, Pandora streaming, YouTube and other internet use). The LTE sim reminds me of having a sports car that can go 200 mph when the speed limit is 65 mph. I also checked and confirmed the LTE sim supports 3G fallback if LTE service is unavailable. I set my phone to use 3G (disabled LTE) and ran a Speedtest. The 3G download speed was 11.85 Mbps, the 3G upload speed was 1.44 Mbps, and the 3G ping was 96 ms.

SpeedTest (above) shows that the FreedomPop LTE sim has a blistering 47.60 Mbps download speed and an 8.70 Mbps upload speed, with a respectable ping of 76ms. The single SpeedTest test used up 67mb of cellular data (ouch!). GSM Signal Monitoring app confirm the cellular service is AT&T LTE.

To confirm the new FreedomPop LTE sim supports 3G fallback if LTE is not available, I changed my Moto G4 setting to disable LTE and force 3G. I then ran a Speedtest to check the 3G service and results.The 3G service test results were 11.85 Mbps download speed and an 1.44 Mbps upload speed, with a ping of 96ms

5. Comparing the new LTE Sim vs the GLOBAL Sim
 * The FreedomPop Global sim is a good deal. The FreedomPop LTE sim is a great deal.
 * The Global sim works in the US and in about 25 other countries. The LTE sim only works in the US.
 * The Global sim data speed is 3G+ (HSPA+ or HSPA). The Global sim does not provide LTE data speed. The LTE sim does provide LTE speed, with 4G and 3G fallback.
 * The Global sim uses a UK (United Kingdom) server and ip address and roams on AT&T and T-Mobile. The UK ip address means that Pandora and some other US website will not work. The ping times are much higher, which can effect VOIP voice quality.
* Because the GLOBAL sim uses a UK server, if you are using Google Voice and Hangouts for talk/text, you will need to add "+1" to the front of any US phone numbers ( i.e. 805-555-1234 needs to be +1805-555-1234). It's a minor inconvenience, but you don't have to do this with the LTE sim.
 * The LTE sim only works on AT&T, while the GLOBAL sim can connect to AT&T or T-Mobile (both via roaming from a UK server).
 * The GLOBAL sim doesn't seem to always connect well or stay connected, but usually if there is an issue, one can toggle airplane mode off and on to get connected. The LTE sim so far has had a rock solid connection.
 * If you only want a sim for the US, I think the (AT&T) LTE sim is much better, assuming you have good AT&T coverage in your area, which most people do. If you need to use your phone internationally, or if you think T-Mobile coverage in your area is much better than AT&T, you should consider the GLOBAL sim.
 * Both the GLOBAL sim and LTE sim work the same way in terms of a FreedomPop account. After you downgrade to the free plan, you get 200mb of data, 500 texts, and 200 voice minutes. You can add up to 500mb of monthly free data by getting 10 FreedomPop friends (and if you have multiple accounts, you can have them friend each other). Each account can also receive up to 500mb of shared data per month.
 *** BOTTOM LINE - The (AT&T) LTE sim is better and is worth the extra cost, unless you will be using your sim internationally or unless you have bad AT&T coverage in your area.

6. How to DOWNGRADE your Plan and your Service to FREE
When you order the FreedomPop LTE sim, you are automatically signed up for a one month "free trial" for their $19.99 "Premium 1GB LTE Unlimited Trial ($19.99/month)" plan and their $7.99 "FreedomPop Premium Plus Trial ($7.99/month)" service. From their ordering page...

By clicking Activate, you agree to pay the amount Due Today. Your FreedomPop service will not begin until your device ships. Your subscription includes a 1-month(s) free service trial. At the conclusion of your free trial, your service will automatically renew at the provided rate found in your shopping cart of $27.98 every month. Switch to the free plan by logging into your FreedomPop account.

So if you don't downgrade your plan and your service within 30 days (from when your sim ships, not when you receive it), you will be charged $27.98. If you only downgrade your plan and not your service, you will be charged $7.99. But if you can follow simple directions and you downgrade your plan and your service to their free plan, it really is free. I've ordered five global sims, a Moto E2 phone, and four LTE sims, and I have had no problems downgrading all of them to the free plan and service. I have never received any additional or "unexpected" charges.

To downgrade to completely free service, you will need to change TWO THINGS, your PLAN and your SERVICE. Log into your FreedomPop account, and do the following:

 FIRST - DOWNGRADE YOUR PLAN:
   > Go to "My Account > Plans". You should see that you have the "Premium 1GB LTE Unlimited" plan for $19.99/mo
   > Find and click on the link "Details and Plan Management"
   > Then click on "To downgrade your plan, click here"
   > You will get the following warning screen: "Warning: you are about to downgrade your plan. By downgrading your plan, if you are on a trial, you will lose all additional minutes/messages/data. Any usage incurred above your new plan limits will incur additional charges."
   > Click "Downgrade anyway". You will need to click on a couple more screens and enter your password to confirm your decision.
  > Please understand how FreedomPop works: Before you downgrade, if you have already used more than the free amount of data (200mb or 700mb if you've added 10 FreedomPop friends), stop using data and wait a day or two to downgrade your plan. It can take up to two days for data to get reported, and any data usage that gets reported after you downgrade from the free trial that is over your free plan limit will result in charges. To be extra safe, I recommend downgrading your plan after you order and/or before you use 100mb of data.

 SECOND - DOWNGRADE YOUR SERVICES:
 > Go to "My Account > Service". You should see that you have the "FreedomPop Premium Plus" service for $7.99/mo
 >  Click on the "View Details" button.
 > At the bottom of the next page, you will see "To deactivate the FreedomPop Premium Plus service, click here"
 > click the link to deactivate the service. You will need to click on a couple more screens to confirm your decision and decline any other service. You will eventually get the message, "YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY DOWNGRADED".

 THIRD - CHECK YOUR EMAILS TO CONFIRM YOU ARE COMPLETELY DOWNGRADED
After you finish downgrading your plan and your service, you should receive two emails. If you ordered the second offer $.01 sim, you need to downgrade it as well and get the two emails for it, or four emails total. If you are ever concerned about whether you are on a free plan or a paid plan, just log into your FreedomPop account and check your plan and your services. Your plan should say, "BASIC LTE 200, Price: $0.00/month." Your services should say, "You have not signed up for any services yet."


Downgrade confirmation emails:
After you downgrade to free, you should receive two emails - one for your plan downgrade and one for your service downgrade. If you got the second offer $.01 sim, you need to downgrade it as well and should get four emails total.

6.1 - March 2017 "FreedomPop Service Downgrade BUG!" Please read... You could get charged $7.99
Starting sometime in late February or early March*, there is a "bug" in the FreedomPop website that makes you think that you have downgraded your Premier Service trial when you actually haven't, and because of this bug, after 30 days, you can get a surprise charge for $7.99. I've seen several people reporting over the past few days that they have been charged $7.99 even though they downgraded their service and their account shows they don't have any services. All of these people who have contacted FreedomPop have gotten a refund. If you get this charge, you will be able to get a refund, but it's a lot easier and quicker to fix the problem* and avoid getting the charge in the first place. The bad thing about the bug is that if you follow my regular instructions above and downgrade your service, you will legitimately think you are downgraded. The services page will show that you don't have any services, and you will get the email saying you are downgraded, but you will still be signed up. Again, if you get charged $7.99, you can contact FreedomPop and get a refund, but it's easier to take care of the problem and make sure your account is really downgraded.
To see if your account is affected by this bug, log into your account and then cut and paste this url into your browser bar [https://www.freedompop.com/acct_overview.htm] FreedomPop accounts for Sprint CDMA devices will have this link under the Services tab, but this account overlink link is NOT on LTE sim accounts. However, if you cut and paste it into your browser bar, you will get the page shown in the image below. It should show you are on the free plan and it should show whether or not you are signed up for any services. If you are still signed up for Premium service, you can click "view details" on the overview page and then follow my steps above to downgrade and remove the service. Check the acct_overview page again to make sure you removed the Premium service. Matt Austin reported in a comment below that he had to "remove" the Premium service twice to get rid of it. Remember that if you have two sims on your account, you need to switch between them  to make sure you downgrade both sims!
If you get charged $7.99 for the Premium service, you can contact FreedomPop billing and they will refund your money. They are aware of the bug and say that their developers are working to fix it. In the meantime, if you recently ordered or downgraded an LTE sim, please check your account. This bug may still be affecting new orders and downgrades, so check! If you order a new sim and then downgrade, please leave a comment to let me know if you were affected or if the problem has been fixed.
Who has been affected by this bug? I ordered a FreedomPop LTE sim on January 30 and downgraded it on February 14. I checked that account and it is ok (along with all my older FreedomPop accounts). It already renewed once (on March 2), and I was charged $0 as expected. I ordered two FreedomPop LTE sims on February 14 and downgraded them on  March 2. Both sims that I downgraded on March 2 were affected by this bug, and still had the FreedomPop Premium service (see image below).  I have since downgraded both sims. Downgrading is easy. Just click on "view details" on the overview page, and then go through the downgrade screens. I only had to do it one time, unlike Matt, who had to do it twice. My first billing cycle for these two sims just occurred on March 17, and I was billed $0 as expected. So as long as you check the "acct_overview" page and downgrade again if needed, you will not be billed. Based on several comments, the bug may still happening. I hope FreedomPop gets it fixed soon, but in the meantime, if you order and downgrade a sim, please check that you aren't affected by this bug.
 * note: a huge thank you to poster "bw01" at Howard Forums who, as far as I know, first discovered a way to identify and fix this bug.


MARCH 2017 FREEDOMPOP $7.99 SERVICE DOWNGRADE BUG
If you recently ordered or downgraded an LTE sim, check https://www.freedompop.com/acct_overview.htm to make sure you are really downgraded! If you are still signed up for Premium Plus, click "view details" to downgrade and remove it. Check again to make sure it is gone! Per Matt Austin who commented below, as of March 9, the bug has not been fixed. Matt also reported that he had to go through the "removal" process twice to get rid of the Premium service. I had two sims that I had to "fix". Each sim only took one downgrade from the overview page to remove the premium service, and I got a $0 bill as expected when the sims renewed on March 17.

6.2 March 23, 2017 update: A second different "service downgrade bug"!
I have received comments from three readers (Nick on March 19, gpks00 on March 20, and Mark on March 22) reporting a new different "service downgrade bug". Instead of the original 6.1 bug described above, they have the following experience.
 A) They downgraded their plan and received the plan-downgrade confirmation email.
 B) Their "services" page shows the $7.99 Premium service, but when they click "view details" to try to remove it, instead of getting the proper page which has the removal link, they get a page to sign-up for the Premium service, and it has an activate link. Thus, there is no way to remove the Premium service.
 C) Their "overview" page shows no services. So the overview page says they are NOT signed up for Premium service.
Both Nick and Mark reported that they called FreedomPop and had a representative remove the Premium service. Nick said he called 888-743-8107 and thinks he pressed 4 for billing, and the whole process took 3 or 4 minutes. Mark called the number on their homepage (855-703-5785) and once he got through the somewhat confusing phone menu, got a real person right away and it took less than 5 minutes. So if you are hit by this second bug instead of the original first bug, you may want to contact FreedomPop to make sure your Premium service is removed. Otherwise, if you do get charged, because the overview page shows you are not signed up for any services and there is no link to remove the premium service (if you are still signed up), you can contact FreedomPop and they will refund the $7.99 charge.

Why hasn't this bug been fixed yet, and why are there now two bugs? I don't know. I don't know how complicated their software programming is. But is certainly doesn't look good that it is taking this long to get these "bugs" fixed. If you are affected by the first bug and discover it, it is easy to fix. If you are affected by the second bug, I don't know if you have to contact FreedomPop to get it fixed, or if you just downgrade your plan, you might be ok, since the overview page shows the Premium service is gone. It may be that the plan downgrade also partially removes the Premium service, and you don't have to worry about it. If you want to be safe, you should contact FreedomPop. If you do get charged $7.99, you can get it refunded and fixed. In any event, the LTE sim still works great and the free AT&T data really is awesome, so I still highly recommend the LTE sim and would order more if I needed them, but I recognize that these "bugs"  make getting the free service and data a little more work. I still think it is worth it. Hopefully FreedomPop will get these bugs fixed soon.

 

7. How to Avoid any Data Overage Charges
Your FreedomPop LTE sim account will come with a feature called "Automatic Top Up" that is enabled by default. When you get within 100mb of your data limit, you will be charged $15, and a $15 credit will be added to your account to pay for any data overages (at $.02/MB). If you continue to use data and use up your $15 credit, the process will repeat. You can be charged for up to seven $15 credits per month, and then your account is suspended. From the FreedomPop website:

"FreedomPop uses an 'Automatic Top-Up' feature to ensure you are never left without broadband access when you exceed your subscribed Monthly Plan limits. The default top-up amount is $15.00.... In any billing month that your usage is within 100mb of your Monthly Plan broadband data allotment limit, your FreedomPop Account will be charged the automatic top-up amount using the registered payment method associated with your FreedomPop Account. As your broadband data use exceeds the broadband data allotment of your Monthly Plan, an amount equal to your total additional usage multiplied by the additional cost per megabyte as defined by your Monthly Plan, will be deducted from your FreedomPop Credit Account balance. When your FreedomPop Credit Account balance falls below $2.00, your registered payment method will be charged the applicable Automatic Top-Up amount as described above. This payment will occur each time your FreedomPop Account balance falls below $2.00 to prevent an interruption in the Broadband Service we provide you... If you do not use your Account Credit for a period of 30 days, FreedomPop will place your Account Credit on inactive status. You can reactivate the Account Credit by following the reactivation link at https:// freedompop .com/billing_overview.htm Account Credit on inactive status is not refundable."

There are two ways to avoid data overage charges.
First, you can set a cellular data limit on your phone. On your phone, go to Settings > Data Usage... and turn on "Set mobile data limit". Change the monthly cycle (start and stop days) to match your FreedomPop billing cycle, which you can find on your FreedomPop account under "data usage". After you've set the correct cycle, you can then pull up or down the warning level and limit level to adjust them. Set your data limit to be less than the point where the Automatic Top Up would charge you $15, or, if you've disabled Automatic Top Up (see below), set your phone's data limit little a little below your FreedomPop data limit to account for any data reporting delays and/or small discrepancies between your phone and the FreedomPop system.


Example of a cellular data monthly limit and the warning message and cut-off message you see when you hit your warning and then your data limit.

Second, you can disable the "Automatic Top Up" feature, but it requires paying $5 to put a $5 credit on your account. If you turn off the Auto Top Up and pay the $5, when you hit your free data limit, assuming your credit balance is active, you can continue to use cellular data (and pay for it) until your credit balance drops to $2, and then your data gets cut off until the next cycle. If your credit balance is less than $2 or is inactive, then your data should be disabled when you hit the top-off trigger (i.e. 100mb under your limit). When your data is suspended, your account will be disabled until the next billing cycle. Regarding the $5 credit, if it isn't being used, after 30 days it will become "inactive". You can "reactivate" the credit by clicking a link on your account under the billing section [BILLING > CREDIT BALANCE > CLICK TO REACTIVATE]. You can reactivate the credit as many times as you want (I've reactivated my GLOBAL sim credit six times so far), but you need to reactivate it within 90 days or you may need to contact customer service to get it reactivated. Whether your credit is active or inactive, or expired, once you turn off the "Automatic Top Up feature" it will remain turned off. If you keep your credit balance active and over $2, you can go up to and over your free data limit, and then your credit balance will be used to pay for more data. When your credit balance is less than $2 or is inactive, then when you get within 100mb of your free data limit (the auto-top-up trigger), your data will be turned off and your account will be suspended until the next cycle. Most importantly, if you turn auto-top-up OFF, you won't be automatically charged for additional data credits.


 TO DISABLE AUTOMATIC TOP-UP (optional, costs $5)
 > Go to "Billing > Billing Settings". You will see that Automatic Top-up is ENABLED.
 > Click on EDIT. When you uncheck the box, you will get the following message: "Because actual data usage may be delayed by up to 3 hours, to protect ourselves from fraud and leakage, you must have at least $5.00 in credits to turn off Auto-top up."
 > If you click "OK" to disable the Automatic Top-Up, you will be charged $5 and you will get a $5 credit on your account. Now if you hit your monthly free data limit, your $5 credit will pay for some additional data, but when the credit is used up (or becomes inactive), your account will suspended until the start of your next billing period.

I recommend setting a data limit on your phone, and for peace of mind, I think it's good to pay the $5 credit to disable the Automatic Top Up feature.

UPDATE 2/17/17: Avoiding Data Overage Charges, Explained Again:
From what I've read elsewhere, there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding on what happens if and when you come close to and/or hit your free monthly data limit, so I thought I'd re-summarize my information from above. I hope this helps explain things better, as this subject can be confusing!
1. By default, when you get within 100mb of your data limit (i.e. at 600mb if your data limit is 700mb), your card will be charged $15 to put a $15 credit on your account. You can then keep using data and go over your free limit (i.e. 700mb), and your credit balance will be used to pay $.02/mb for the data overages (for example, 50mb would be $1). If you keep using data, when your credit balance drops to $2, you will be charged $15 again, and the process repeats. This can happen up to 7 times per account billing cycle. This process is called the "Auto Top Up" feature, which is turned on by default.
2. The easiest way to avoid triggering the auto-top-up $15 credit charge is to set a DATA LIMIT ON YOUR PHONE, as I described above. When you set up the sim card on your phone, also set a data limit, and set the data cycle to match your FreedomPop account. If you've added at least ten FreedomPop friends, your free monthly data limit should be 700mb and the auto-top-up $15 credit charge would be triggered at 600mb, so set a data limit on your phone of 500mb or 575mb for example.
3. You can turn OFF the "Auto-Top-Up" feature. If you do this, FreedomPop will charge you $5 and will put a $5 credit balance on your account.
4. Your credit balance can be active or inactive. If you don't use any of your credit balance for 30 days, your credit balance becomes inactive. You can reactivate it by loggin into your FreedomPop account and clicking a link. Supposedly you have 90 days to reactivate the credit or it expires, but I've seen reports of people reactivating credits long after 90 days, so I'm not sure if they ever really expire.
5. Once you turn off Auto-Top-Up, it remains turned off forever, regardless of whether your credit balance is active, inactive, or expired.
6. If Auto-Top-Up is OFF and you have an active credit balance of at least $2, you can go up to and over your free data limit. You can continue to use data (and pay for it from your credit balance at a rate of $.02/mb until your balance drops to $2. When your credit balance is $2 or less, your account is suspended until the next monthly cycle, when it automatically renews.
7. If Auto-Top-Up is OFF and you have less than $2 in credit or your credit balance is inactive, then when your get within 100mb of your free data limit, your data is suspended until the next monthly cycle, when it automatically renews.
8. So if you turn Auto-Top-Up OFF and keep your $5 credit balance active, your can use your full free data limit, but after that your data won't be stopped and if you continue to use data you'll use up your credit until it drops to $2, when your account would then be suspended until the next monthly cycle.
9. So if you turn Auto-Top-Up OFF and allow your credit balance to become inactive (happens after 30 days if no credit use activity), then you can use up to 100mb less than your free data limit, and then your account should be suspended until the next monthly cycle.
10. Even with auto-top-up turned OFF, you could still incur (probably small) data overage charges. This is because there is a delay in reporting data (up to 3 hours or more). FreedomPop doesn't turn off your data and suspend your account until they find out you have hit the trigger point. But in the meantime, because of the delay in data reporting, if you were still continuing to use more data, the additional data would still get reported after FreedomPop disables your data and account, and you would still be liable for the additional data used which is over your free monthly amount. I doubt this happens very often, but I think its important that people are aware of this and understand it. If this does happen, my guess is the amount of data used and the charge should be small, unless your kid unfortunately decided to start streaming youtube videos just as you approach your data limit. The best way to avoid this issue is to set your own data limit on your phone to turn off your phone's data when you want it turned off.
11. An example: Lets say you have 700mb of free data on your sim, and you've paid $5 to turn off auto-top-up...
 > If your $5 credit is active: when you hit 700mb, your data stays on and you keep going, and start paying $.02 per mb. When you hit 850mb, you've used up $3 and have $2 left. Now (at 850mb) your data gets cut off because your active credit is down to $2. But lets say because of the (up to 3 hour) delay in data reporting, another 30mb of data comes in and gets reported after the cutoff. That 30mb costs $.60 and your credit is reduced to $1.40. In the future, because you now have $2 or less of credit, your data will get cut off when you get with 100mb of your limit.
 > If your credit is inactive or below $2. When you get to 600mb, your data gets cut off. Again, lets assume because of the delay in data reporting, another 30mb of data comes in and gets reported after the cutoff. No problem. Your total use is 630mb, which is below your 700mb free data limit. As long as you aren't using a lot of data at the moment your data is disabled so that less than 100mb of delayed data gets reported, you'll stay below the 700mb limit. But note that it is theoretically possible to go over the limit because of the delay in data reporting, which could result in a small data usage charge.
12. I have probably made this topic seem more complicated than it needs to be, but it really isn't that complicated, or at least shouldn't be. Buy the LTE sim. Get at least 10 FreedomPop friends so you get the 500mb bonus and you'll have 700mb of monthly data (600mb usable). Set a data limit on your phone for 500mb. Consider paying $5 bucks to turn off auto-top-up for peace of mind, in case your kid disables your phone's data limit to watch youtube.

8. How to get More FREE DATA
The free plan includes 200mb of cellular data every month. There are several ways to get more data every month.

 FREEDOM FRIENDS: First, you can get up to 500mb more data every month by getting "Freedom Friends". You will get 50mb every month for each "Freedom Friend" you have on your account, up to 500mb maximum. Once you get a friend, you get the data every month. You don't need to keep adding more friends, though you should have some extra friends in case any drop out. If you have multiple accounts, each account can friend each other account. All you need to send a friend request to another FreedomPop account is the email address associated with that account. After you send the request and the other account accepts, you will get the 50mb bonus, which will repeat every month. If you check the most recent posts at the end of this thread at SlickDeals, you'll find people who have posted their email addresses.
 To send a friend invite, just cut and paste an email address into your FreedomPop account Friend Finder (look for "friend finder" or "Freedom Friends" on your account homepage, and then use the "Invite Friends" form and "Invite by Email Address"). People won't see your request until the next time they log into their FreedomPop account, so you might not hear back from some people for a while, and some people may have already gotten enough friends and may not every respond. In addition, if you leave me a comment below with your email account, I'll send you a friend request from one of my FreedomPop accounts. In general, it's pretty easy to get at least 10 friends fairly fast, and then you'll have the extra 500MB of data every month.

 DATA SHARING: Second, with data sharing, you can get up to 500mb more data each month if any of your FreedomPop "friends" share data with you. Each "friend" (account) can share 20, 50, or 100mb of data per month with any other account (up to five accounts can give data to a single account, which can get up to 500mb). The data share is only good for that month. While you probably won't get very many friends to share data with you, you can order more sims on new email accounts (you will need to use different email addresses) and then use those account to friend and share data with your primary account(s). So with Freedom Friends and Data Sharing you can get 1.17GB per month (200mb + 500mb + 500mb = 1.17GB). The Freedom Friends 500mb bonus is easy. Once you get it set up, it automatically repeats every month. Getting additional data from data sharing is a bit more work. You either need very generous friends, or you need to order additional sims and set up additional accounts, and then data has to be shared each month that you want the extra data - it does not repeat automatically like the friends bonus data. AD-BLOCKER: If you have an ad blocker program on your computer (like Adblock Plus) you will need to disable it so you can see all the elements on the data sharing section of your FreedomPop account.

 MULTIPLE SIMS: Third, you can order an additional LTE sim or sims, and swap sim during the month if the data on your first sim runs out. You can also get a phone with dual sim slots (like the Amazon BLU R1 HD smartphone) and keep two sims in the phone. Note that if you are using multiple sims, each sim has its own phone number, so your FreedomPop phone number (if you are using it) will change whenever you switch sims.

Of course, if you want more monthly data, you can also switch to a FreedomPop paid monthly plan, where I believe you would get your paid monthly data plus your bonus data from FreedomPop Friends and sharing. FreedomPop has a $12.99/mo plan with 500MB of data and unlimited talk and text. They also have plans for $19.99/mo for 1GB of data and unlimited talk and text, $28.99 for 2GB of data and unlimited talk and text, $36.99 for 3GB of data and unlimited talk and text, and $43.99 for 4GB of data and unlimited talk and text

9. How To Install The FreedomPop Voice/Text App

If you only want to use the FreedomPop LTE sim to get the free cellular data, you do NOT have to install the FreedomPop app. All you need to do is set your phone APN to "fp.com.attz" and then turn on cellular data, and it should work. But, if you want to use the FreedomPop phone number to get the 200 free minutes and 500 free texts, then you must install and use the FreedomPop voice/text app.

The FreedomPop phone number is not a traditional cellular number. It is a "virtual" (voip) phone number, and you must install and use the FreedomPop Messaging app to be able to use the phone number. Also remember that each FreedomPop sim has its own phone number, so if you switch sims, you are also switching FreedomPop phone numbers. There are several FreedomPop apps on the Google Play Store. The app you want to install to use with the LTE (or Global) sim is the "FreedomPop Messaging Phone/SIM".

 Step 1) Find the FreedomPop Messaging Phone/SIM app on Google Play Store and select INSTALL.
 Step 2) The app will need access to a bunch of things... select ACCEPT.
 Step 3) Wait for the 37.61mb app to download and install (you may want to install it when you're on wifi to save your cellular data)
 Step 4) After it install, select OPEN. The app will remind you to set your APN to "fp.com.attz" (actually, the app says fpop.com.attz, which is wrong). The app will explain that you must use it to send and receive texts with your FP number.  The app will explain how to activate voicemail (voicemail is a PAID feature, not free). The app will tell you that you can port your number to FreedomPop. The app will show you how to get self help and support. Now select DONE. The app will ask you to set Messaging as Default. You can say ok and change it later.
Now, whenever you reboot or power up your phone, the FreedomPop Messaging app will provision the phone and you'll get a message saying, "FreedomPop Setup Complete. Your phone number is ###-###-###".

After you've installed the FreedomPop MESSAGING app, to make a phone call, you can click on the Android PHONE icon or the FreedomPop MESSAGING icon.
To send a text, click on the FreedomPop MESSAGING icon.
TIP: If you want to check how much data you have used or get other account information, open the FreedomPop MESSAGING app. On the home screen, swipe from the left side, and you'll get a side menu showing your account information.
TROUBLESHOOTING TIP: If you install the app and you are able to send texts but not make calls, try this. In Android, go to [settting] > [apps] > select Messaging app. Select "Force Stop" then under Storage "Clear Data" and "Clear Cache". Exit settings, and then open the FP Messaging app and try making a call. On one of my phones, I had to do this twice to get calls working.
The FreedomPop MESSAGING Voice/Text app will use up your free minutes and texts both when you are on cellular and on wifi. You can always see how many you have left by using the tip above to swipe from the left side of the Messaging app screen to show your account information, including your FP phone number and minutes/texts/data used. 


The FreedomPop MESSAGING app allows you to send and receive 500 free minutes of voip voice calls and 500 free texts. If you swipe across from the left side, you will get a summary of your plan details, including your phone number and email address for your sim, and how much data you have left.

10. Comparing the FreedomPop MESSAGING App vs Google Voice/Hangouts for talk & text
I prefer to use my free Google Voice phone number on the Hangouts app for talking and texting, even though I'm "losing" the free FreedomPop App 200 minutes & 500 texts. I'm not knocking the FreedomPop Talk/Text app. I've tried the FreedomPop app and it works, both for talking and text. It's a good choice for people who don't want to set up a Google Voice number and use Hangouts. You do get 200 free minutes and 500 free texts, but there are some limitations.
* The FreedomPop minutes/texts do not count against your data usage, but the minutes/text do get counted and used up both when you are on cellular data and when you are on wifi. I was a little surprised that texts sent on wifi still count against the 500 text limit since you aren't on cell service, but they do, and minutes used on wifi also count. Of course, if you need more minutes or texts, all of the FreedomPop paid monthly plans include unlimited talk and text.
* The free FreedomPop texts are SMS only. If you want to send and receive MMS, you need to pay for a monthly MMS plan ($1.99/mo or included in the $7.99/mo Premium Plus service).
* By default, the FreedomPop voice number will go to voice mail if you don't pick it up, and if someone leaves a message, you won't get it unless you pay for a monthly plan with voicemail ($2.49/mo or included in the $7.99/mo Premium Plus service). You can disable voicemail on your account, but when I tested it, my FreedomPop phone number still eventually went to voicemail if I didn't answer it. Thanks to nutN2Lewz for leaving a comment on how to actually turn off the voice mail function. By default, it seems that all sims have voicemail enabled. To turn off the default FreedomPop voicemail feature: log onto your FreedomPop account on freedompop .com. Go to My Account | Account Settings | Voicemail Preferences | Edit. You will see an empty box, and a message that you can check the box to "Enable voicemail and free 30-day voicemail storage". Even though the box is not checked and you would think voicemail is not enabled, YOU NEED TO CLICK "SAVE" (with the box unchecked and empty). After you click SAVE, you will see a message saying "Voicemail and Voicemail Storage: Disabled". The message won't be there in the future when you check your account, but now your voicemail is actually turned off.
* Each FreedomPop sim has it's own phone number. If you change sims, you change numbers.
* Google Voice with Hangouts includes free domestic calls, free voicemail, and free sms & mms texts. Texts (SMS) essentially use no data. When you are using Hangouts on wifi to talk, you won't use any of your cellular data. When you use the Hangouts app (with your Google Voice number) to talk on cellular data, it uses about .55mb per minute based on my testing. That means 100 minutes of talking should use about 55mb of cellular data. Most of my talking is when I'm on wifi (other than when I do a weekend walk and call my father), and I usually text instead of calling people.
* Most importantly, if you have a Google Voice phone number, you can install the Hangouts app on any or all of your phones and then send and receive calls and texts. You can set up your Google Voice number to ring on multiple phones, either by forwarding it to a phone number or by using the Hangouts app. I have my personal Google Voice number ring on both my FreedomPop (Sprint) Moto E2 with Hangouts and my ZTE Zmax2 with my FreedomPop LTE sim with Hangouts. A Google Voice phone number with the Hangouts app gives you a lot of flexibility.
Note: I have used the FreedomPop app (and phone number) to sign up for Redbox promos. If you text "FREEBIE" to "727272", you'll get a one-time-use coupon code good for a free one night DVD rental ($1.50 value). You won't get the code the same day you sign up. It comes the next day, and then it will expire after 2 weeks. Thanks to the FreedomPop app, we watched The Magnificent Seven last weekend, and I'm sure there will be more free movies in the future :) (I have multiple phones and accounts).

11. Conclusion
The FreedomPop LTE GSM sim works, and provides reliable, fast AT&T LTE cellular data. FreedomPop does provide free basic cellular phone service, if you know what to do. It's not that hard, but you have to pay attention and follow a few simple instructions. After you order the sim, you need to downgrade your plan and your service. After you install your sim, set a data limit on your phone so you don't trigger the auto-top-up $15 credit charge. Understand how the auto-top-up feature works, and consider paying $5 to turn it off. The FreedomPop free basic plan includes 200mb of data, which really isn't enough to be usable, especially since the auto-top-up credit charges would get triggered at 100mb. But if you add 10 FreedomPop Friends to your account, then every month you'll get a 500mb bonus, so you get 700mb of data (of which 600mb is usable, unless you turn off auto-top-up and keep your credit balance active, and then you can use the full amount). To get free talk and text, you can use the FreedomPop Messenger app and FreedomPop phone number and get 200 minutes and 500 texts per month, or you can get a free Google Voice phone number instead (my preference) and use Hangouts, and have unlimited talk and text on wifi, essentially unlimited text on cellular (texts use very little data), and a good amount of talk time on cellular (Google Voice minutes use about 65mb per 100 minutes). I find the voice quality to be excellent on wifi and over LTE data.
Using the FreedomPop LTE sim in an unlocked GSM smartphone is an ideal and relatively easy solution for free basic smartphone service for a person who is around wifi much of the time and/or who can live with about 500mb of cellular data per month. If you want or need more cellular data per month, you can get another sim and switch sims during the month, or set up multiple accounts and share 100mb per account to your primary sim, but both these options involve a bit of work. So for those people who would be happy with unlimited texting (using Google Voice and Hangouts), some talk time, and about 500mb of cellular data per month, FreedomPop is FREE and easy. If you want more free cellular data per month, FreedomPop is a bit more work. If you want several GB of free cellular data per month, FreedomPop is probably too much work, though they do have paid plans.
If you're at all interested in trying out FreedomPop and you have an unlocked GSM phone, for two bucks, the FreedomPop LTE sim is definitely worth trying out. Just remember to downgrade your plan and your service, and if you get the second "penny" sim offer, remember to downgrade the plan and the service for it too!
 

12. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the FreedomPop LTE sim

FAQ#1: How long does shipping take? When will I get my new FreedomPop sim card?
A: I've ordered five Global sim cards, a Moto E2 phone, and four LTE sim cards. Except for a Global sim that I ordered just before Christmas, all my orders have shipped the next business day and I've gotten them about 6 to 8 days after I've ordered. FreedomPop ships from Indianapolis, Indiana, and uses FedEX SmartPost, meaning FedEX Ground will get it to your city but then the US Postal Service will deliver it. Since I'm in southern California, it probably takes the longest, and if you're closer to Indiana it may be faster. FreedomPop should email you a tracking number when your order ships, and the tracking information will also be posted on your FreedomPop account. Remember that your 30 day free trial period starts the day your order ships, not when you get it.

FAQ#2: I got something during my order that said, "PURCHASE CONFIRMATION - YOUR FREE GIFT WITH TODAY'S PURCHASE. One-time activation only $0.01" What the heck is this?
A: Although it can be confusing, this is an offer for SECOND pre-activated sim card for a penny ($0.01). You can skip it if you want, but it's legit, and it's a good deal. If you accept it, you should be able to pick a second phone number for it, and you'll get a second sim card. The second sim card will have it's own "free trial" and you'll need to downgrade it just like your first sim card (plan and service). The great thing is that if you add at least 10 friends to your email account, both your first sim card and this second penny sim card will both get the 500mb bonus, so you'll have two sim cards, each with 700mb of data. The only downside is that only the first sim card can share data (get or give) with other email accounts, but in my opinion, to get a second sim card that can have 700mb of its own data for only a penny is a good deal. Note: the second sim will probably not show the 500mb Friends bonus until the second billing cycle starts. Read the next FAQ to see what can go wrong and why you might not get the second penny sim card...


This is an offer to get a SECOND sim for a penny.

FAQ#3: I thought I ordered the second $.01 sim card, but I never got it. What happened?
A: I have heard that if you have a pop-up blocker (especially on Chrome) it can cause the second offer to not work, so I'd recommend turning off any pop-up blockers before ordering.

FAQ#4: If I get the second sim, is there anything I need to do?
A: If you get the second sim, the only thing you need to make sure you do is understand that it will have its own free trial (plan and service), and you'll need to downgrade both. To access the settings for your second sim (or multiple sims or devices on your account), log into your account on the FreedomPop website. Then click on your name in the upper right hand corner, and you should get a drop down menu with your devices (sim #1 and sim #2) listed. You can select either on and downgrade the plan and service. You can also monitor your data usage.

FAQ#5: I downgraded my second $.01 "penny" sim and it only has 200mb? Why didn't it get the 500mb Friends bonus?
A: The second $.01 sim will often not get the 500mb Friends bonus until it starts the second cycle. If you add it to an existing account that already has a 500mb Friends bonus, it will get the bonus data right away, but if it is on a new account, the main sim will get the 500mb bonus right away, and the second sim will get the bonus starting at the second cycle. So if you only see 200mb, don't panic. Just wait until the start of the second cycle and you'll get the 500mb bonus data on it. This has been confirmed by multiple readers (Sky, Max, Rick, and Ileane) commenting below, and also happened to me on a recent order.

FAQ#6: My sim just started the second cycle, and it shows 1.17GB (or 900mb) instead of 700mb? Why do I have the extra data? Will I get charged?
A: If you have extra data at the start of your second cycle, it is because your initial free trial of Premium Service included data rollover, and you got the benefit of data rollover on the first cycle. This has happened to me multiple times. For example, one of my sims came with a 1GB bonus at the beginning. Thus when it started the second cycle, I got 200mb+500mb friends bonus+500mb rollover =1200mb, and 1200mb/1024=1.17GB. This also happened to my second $.01 sim above which got 900mb (200mb+500mb friends+200mb rollover=900mb). If you have cancelled the Premium service (which most of us have), at the start of the third cycle, no data will roll over, and you'll get the expected 700mb (assuming you have 10 friends).

FAQ#7:. What kind of phone do I need for this LTE sim?
A: You will need an unlocked GSM-capable smartphone running Android 4.0 or higher or an Apple iPhone running OS 7.0 or higher. The phone must be GSM-capable. GSM is what AT&T and T-Mobile use, or you can buy a generic unlocked GSM smartphone. If you have an AT&T or T-Mobile phone, it will need to have been unlocked, although I've seen some reports that this LTE sim works on AT&T phones that are still locked to AT&T. I don't have a locked AT&T phone to verify this. Verizon and Sprint use CDMA instead of GSM, and this sim will not work in their CDMA phones, though some newer Sprint and Verizon phones have GSM capability, and work. If you have a Sprint or Verizon phone, you will need to determine if it has GSM capability and if it is unlocked. This sim will not work in a flip phone, it has to be in a smartphone.

FAQ#8: Can I use this LTE sim in a Sprint or Verizon phone?
A: Maybe. Maybe not. Sprint and Verizon use CDMA technology, and this sim requires GSM technology to work. If you have an older Sprint or Verizon phone, it is probably CDMA only and will not work. If you have a newer phone, it may have both CDMA and GSM capability, and thus would work, as long as it is unlocked. For two bucks, you can get an LTE sim and find out.
2/8/17 update: Marshal commented below that he has used the FreedomPop LTE GSM sim on a Verizon Galaxy S5 and a Sprint LG G2.

FAQ#9: Do I need an "LTE" phone? Does the LTE sim also have 3G?
A: You can use a 3G phone with the LTE sim. You don't have to have an LTE phone, but you will need an LTE-capable phone if you want to get LTE data speeds. This LTE sim also supports 3G and 4G data. I verified this in my review above by settting my phone to only use 3G data, and the sim still worked. So if you have a 3G phone, this sim will work, you just won't get the faster LTE data speed.

FAQ#10: How long can a sim be dormant or inactive? How often do I have to use it? Are there inactivity fees?
A: As far as I know, you can let a sim sit around unused as long as you want, and then still use it. Sue asked this question in a comment below, so I ran two tests to check this...
First, I tested a Global sim that I purchased in August (2016) and immediately used once to confirmed it worked. I haven't used the sim for five months since then (August 2016). Now, above five months later (Feb 5, 2017), I put it in one of my phones. I sent a text with it, and also checked emails. It worked fine.
Second, I tested another Global sim that I purchased in September (2016) and never used. I never even opened the package. It had been sitting around for at least four months since I got it and I had never used it. I opened it up, punched out the micro sim, and put it in my phone. I sent a text with it, and checked email. It worked!
So it appears you get a sim and can never use it, or use it and then leave your sim unused for at least five months, and it will still work. I think you can leave actually leave a sim used as long as you want, and it will still work. I've never gotten any inactivity fees, and some of my sims have never been used. I think FreedomPop was charging an inactivity fee several years ago, but they changed that policy and now do not charge any inactivity fees.

FAQ#11: Help! I've got several sims and they're mixed up. How do I tell which sim goes with which account?
A: I can relate to this. I've got five Global sims and two LTE sims. To tell which sim goes with which account, you could use data on one and then wait and check your accounts to see which account reports data used. But that approach would be slow and difficult. There's actually a trick that makes it much easier...
use this link [https://www.freedompop.com/account/device_list.htm] then log into your account if you're not already logged in, and you'll be taken to a page that shows you the ESN number on the sim that is associated with that account (i.e. ESN: 8944200012792005551).

FAQ#12: Can I only use this sim in one phone? What if I want to switch it to a different phone?
A: You can use this LTE sim in as many different (GSM) phones as you want, but of course, only in one phone at a time. The great thing about GSM sims is that they are not tied to a phone (unlike CDMA sims). With the LTE GSM sim, you can switch it between phones, or if your phone runs out of data, you can switch to a different LTE sim that still has some data on it. Just remember that the FreedomPop number is attached to the sim, so if you switch sims, you will also switch FreedomPop phone numbers (which is why I use a Google Voice phone number with Hangouts).

FAQ#13: Can I use the FreedomPop LTE sim for tethering and/or to make my phone a hotspot?
A: Maybe. If you pay, FreedomPop offers a $10.99 Premium monthly service that includes tethering, but I have not tried it. On the free plan, tethering is not supposed to work, but tethering does work on some of my phones. Note that if your smartphone is an AT&T branded phone, even if it is unlocked, the AT&T software may block tethering (because you aren't subscribing to a paid AT&T tethering plan). My experience with tethering the FreedomPop LTE sim on the free plan is as follows:
 * My Amazon Prime BLU R1 HD dual sim phone (works easily) - I am able to easily turn either LTE sim (#1 or #2) into a hotspot using the stock Android Marshmallow hotspot function (settings > wireless & networks > more > tethering & portable hotspot > wi-fi hotspot). I just enable the hotspot function and it works.
 * My unlocked AT&T ZTE ZMax2 GoPhone (works with 3rd party app) - the stock Android hotspot does not to work (settings > Mobile hotspot). When I try to turn it on, I get an error message saying "There is a temporary network problem that prevents the enablement of the Mobile hotspot function. Please retry later." However, I downloaded and installed an app called "Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot" and the app works for tethering and make the ZMax2 phone a hotspot.
 * My refurbished Moto G4 (works but only with a lot of effort using a slightly unorthodox "hack") - the stock Android Marshmallow hotspot does not work. When I try to turn it on, I get a message saying "Checking subscription status. Please Wait...", and then eventually an error saying "Network connection error. Your phone cannot currently connect to AT&T's server. Please try again later." I tried the Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot app, but it did not work either. I did discover an interesting way to make the stock hotspot function work, but it's not easy. If you remove the sim card (you have to take off the phone back), then turn on the hotspot and almost immediately slide the sim card back in, the phone will skip the subscription status check and the hotspot function will turn on and work. Removing the back cover and temporarily removing the sim card is obviously a bit of a pain, so I can only see using this method in an emergency if you really need tethering. It is a cool "hack" though, and is worth try once just to see if it works for you.
 * I also want to thank Rick for commenting below and providing the following information about his own experience with tethering the FreedomPop LTE sim. He reported that tethering is working for him with the FreedomPop LTE sim on the free plan on four BLU R1 HD phones, a Nexus 5, a Nexus 6, and a Moto G4.  Rick also has an unlocked AT&T S5, unlocked AT&T S6, and unlocked AT&T S6 Edge+, and tethering did NOT work on those phones, but it did work on an international-version S5. Rick said that he didn't do anything special to get tethering working on his phones. He just set up and enabled the phone's hotspot function. But he also reported that tethering did NOT work on his AT&T-version phones, though he probably didn't try the 3rd party hotspot app I found or the hack of removing and sliding back in the sim card. If you have any tips or other information on tethering with the FreedomPop LTE sim, please leave a comment below!

 FAQ#14: My phone needs a nano size sim. Can I use the FreedomPop LTE sim?
A: Yes. The great thing about the FreedomPop LTE sim is that it is a 3-in-1 sim, and can be used as a regular size sim, a micro size sim, or a nano size sim. If you look closely at my picture above where I show how to remove the sim from the sim card, you'll see that it has three different sized perforated shapes for the nano size, the micro size, and the regular size. You just decide what size sim you need, and then pop the correct size sim out of the card.

 FAQ#15: FreedomPop LTE Sim Activation: How do I activate my sim? When is it activated? Do I need to activate my sim?
A: The FreedomPop sim is activated on the day it is shipped to you, so it will already be activated when you receive it. You do not need to activate it. It is already activated. You also don't have to use it right away, or use it to activate it. You can let it sit in a drawer for several months before you use it. Whenever you're ready to start using it, the sim is ready to use. All you have to do is put the sim in your phone and set the APN to "fp.com.attz" and your cellular data should work. If you want the free talk & text, you need to install the FP app. Remember that your 30 day free trials start on the day the sim ships, so you need to downgrade your plan and service within 30 days of the ship date, whether or not you ever open the sim kit and/or use it.

 FAQ#16: If I order more sims, should I put them on my existing FreedomPop account or create a new account?
A: If you order more sims (or other devices), I would recommend creating a new account each time your order. Then each new account can "friend" your other accounts, and also the accounts can share data with each other. To create a new FreedomPop account, you will need to use a new email address, but you can use your same name and address. I currently have ten different FreedomPop accounts. If you are using a gmail email address, Devin commented below with a tip. You can add a "+anytext" to your gmail email address, and gmail will ignore the "+anytext" but FreedomPop will treat it as a different email address. For example, steve@gmail.com, steve+fp1@gmail.com, and steve+fp2@gmail.com will all go to the original steve@gmail.com gmail account. But FreedomPop will see these as three different emails, so you can have multiple FreedomPop accounts and all the emails FreedomPop sends you will end up at your single original gmail account (and you don't need to set up more email accounts).
Note: I still think the offer for a second $.01 "penny" sim is still a good deal if you want an extra 700mb sim for a penny. Even though it is on the same account as the first sim, it can also get the 500mb Friends bonus starting at the beginning of the second cycle.

 FAQ#17: What if I get a wrong charge on my credit card? How do I contact billing?
A: I've been using FreedomPop since August of last year (2016) and have ten FreedomPop accounts, and have never gotten a wrong charge (or any charge for that matter, other than the initial cost of the sim or phone), nor have I ever had any billing issues. However, a reader named Nick got hit by the second version of the "service downgrade bug" recently when he was trying to downgrade the Premium service on his new LTE sim account, and he told me how he contacted FreedomPop to get it fixed. He called 888-743-8107 and pressed 4 for billing. He got a representative right away and got the problem fixed in 3 or 4 minutes.
I just tried calling the same number, 888-743-8107, and pressed 4 for billing. A FreedomPop representative answered within seconds. I then hung up because I didn't have any billing issues, I just wanted to confirm I could get through to a real person. If you know what you're doing and downgrade your plan and your service, and don't go over your free data amount, and don't sign up for any other offers, you should never get any charges on your credit card. But if for any reason you do, you can call FreedomPop billing and get it fixed. People have also reported contacting them via their twitter account. From what I have read, every person who has ever contacted them about an incorrect charge has always received a refund. In fact, Brad wrote this in a comment below:

[Brad on Monday, March 13, 2017] "I forgot to mention how good FreedomPop's customer service is. When I ordered the global sim's a few months ago, I meant to downgrade them, but forgot ( I hadn't started using the cards at the time). When I saw the credit card charge, I called FreedomPop's customer service, explained the situation, and received a full refund on both sims! I don't know if they commonly do something like this, but needless to say I was very impressed."

 

FreedomPop Nationwide (AT&T) LTE GSM Sim Special Offers

new! Order the LTE Sim Kit for $0.99 (with free shipping)

new! Order the LTE Sim Kit for $1.99 (with a free "selfie stick" & free shipping)

notes on ordering:
note 1) Use a valid email address when you start the special offer process, and check that you have typed it correctly. Your temporary account password will be sent to this email address (in a "Welcome to FreedomPop" email) and you will need the temporary password to access your account. Your tracking number will also be sent to this email.
note 2) During the ordering process, you may get an offer for "PURCHASE CONFIRMATION - YOUR FREE GIFT WITH TODAY'S PURCHASE. One-time activation only $0.01". This is for a SECOND sim for a PENNY. It's a good deal. The second sim can also get the 500mb monthly FreedomPop Friends bonus data (starting on the second cycle, see FAQ#5). The second sim will also have a free trial that you will need to downgrade. If you have a pop-up blocker, you should disable it before ordering or you might not be able to complete the second offer. I explain more about the second penny sim offer in the FreedomPop FAQ section below.
note 3) About the free selfie stick - I've got two of these selfie sticks from past FreedomPop Global sim offers. The selfie stick smells a little like machine oil, but otherwise it's nice. The selfie stick has a cord that plugs into your phone's headphone jack, and when you click the button on the stick handle, your phone is supposed to take a picture. In order to work, your phone's camera software must have a setting that allows pressing a volume button to trigger the camera to take a picture. On one of my phones, the camera did not have this option and thus did not work with the stick. To solve the problem, I downloaded and installed the Open Camera app and set it up so the selfie stick worked. In the Open Camera app, go to settings > more camera controls > volume keys > select "take photo". As of 3/18, the selfie-stick offer may no longer have the free shipping option.
note 4) To get Free Shipping - the default shipping method now may be "Saver Standard 4 to 7 days - $6.99". You should be able to change it to "Super Saver 7 to 10 days - FREE".

 

13. Comments / Questions / Feedback:

Comment by Thomas on Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Hey, nice to hear that the LTE sim works great! Thankfully, I purchased it after the $5 deal came up, haha. I also had issues with my FreedomPop Global GSM services sometimes being randomly disconnected, but I thought that's because HSPA/HSPA+ based service has a limit for how many phones that can be connected to each tower. I know AT&T prioritizes their customers (and probably Cricket customers too, since Cricket is a subsidiary of AT&T) over the MVNOs, so I figured that I was just dropped because too many AT&T customers were using HSPA/HSPA+ service. LTE seems like it's more designed to handle a larger load, which is probably why you haven't been kicked off as often (if not at all).
Now, one thing to note is that the Nexus + Global Sim deal you were referring to has a Nexus 5, not a Nexus 5X. The 5X is a newer phone that is still supported by Google (and as such has the Android Nougat update), while the Nexus 5 reached its end of life recently (and as such does not have the Android Nougat update).
Also, could you add me as a friend for my LTE sim? Not that many people seem to be checking their accounts that often on the SlickDeals thread. Thanks!

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Thomas, Thanks for your comment. Your timing is better than mine! I appreciate you pointing out the FreedomPop offer is for the Nexus 5, not the 5X (nice catch), and explaining the difference between the 5 and 5X. I fixed the description. I also sent you a couple of FreedomPop friend requests.

Comment by nutN2Lewz on Wednesday, January 25, 2017
FreedomPop voicemail is enabled by default but if you do not pay extra for the voicemail service - your callers will be able to leave you voicemail that you can never access!
To disable FreedomPop voicemail, log into your account on freedompop.com ...
- go to > My Account | Account Settings | Voicemail Preferences | Edit
- Ensure 'Enable voicemail and free 30-day voicemail storage' is NOT checkmarked
- Click 'Save'
- 'Voicemail and Voicemail Storage: Disabled' message briefly appears. This message disappears after a certain amount of time but your FreedomPop voicemail will still be disabled.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi nutN2Lewz, Thanks for your comment. I've done this but it doesn't seem to actually disable the voicemail function. I just tested one of my Global sim phone numbers that has the voicemail disabled (I just confirmed the box is not checked). I called it and let it ring. After 16 rings, I got a generic message say that the person I was trying to reach at [my FreedomPop number] was not a available and to please leave a message. I left a test message and hung up. I then got a notification on my phone with that Global sim that I had a voicemail, but I needed to sign up for voicemail service to listen to it. I don't know how many people will wait 16 rings before hanging up, but it appears that if they do, the voicemail still kicks in even if one's account says it is disabled. You might want to check your FreedomPop number and see if the same thing happens. Maybe it's just me. :)

Comment by nutN2Lewz on Thursday, January 26, 2017
Steve, I just tried two of my FP numbers that have voicemail disabled and they both rang 25 times before I hung up. I think they went to voicemail after about 5 - 10 rings BEFORE I had voicemail disabled. Did you actually go through the process of disabling voicemail and got the 'Voicemail and Voicemail Storage: Disabled' message to appear? On a new FP account it appears that the voicemail is already disabled because 'Enable voicemail and free 30-day voicemail storage' is not checkmarked but it is not truly disabled until you actually go through the process I outlined above and see that 'Voicemail and Voicemail Storage: Disabled' message appear on your computer screen. New FP users think that the voicemail is disabled by default but it is NOT.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi nutN2Lewz, Thanks for following up! Now I see what you meant. When I checked my voicemail settings, the box was already unchecked, so I thought I had unchecked and saved it previously (I could swear I did that, but it was probably some other setting that I unchecked). Anyway, even though the box was already unchecked, I clicked "SAVE" anyway and got the "disabled" message. I tested calling the phone and now it just rings and rings. I'll have to do this on all my accounts, and then see if the setting sticks. Thanks for pointing this out! I updated my review above with your information. Thank you!

Comment by Melissa on Monday, January 30, 2017
Do you recommend using a different email address when ordering the LTE sim? I already have a Global GSM and would prefer the LTE and am wondering if I should just add the new SIM to my current account or use a new email address? Is there a disadvantage to having them both on the same account?

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Melissa, I would recommend that you order the LTE sim with a different email address on a new account. Then you can use your two accounts to friend each other, and you can also share data between them.

Comment by Andy on Wednesday, February 01, 2017
Great article on FreedomPop sims. Great job explaining all the detail.
I just have one thing to add. I noticed that LTE sim data usage appears to tick faster than Global SIM. With Global Sim I normally use about 50MB per day, since I started using LTE Sim, my data usage is about 120MB per day. I also noticed that the LTE sim usage almost always come in chunks of 20MB, whereas Global Sim usages were all random amounts. This leads me to suspect that LTE sim may be over measuring our data usage compared to global sim.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Andy, Thanks for commenting. I have noticed when I've checked that the LTE sim data usually gets reported quickly (within hours), which is nice, whereas the Global sim data reporting sometimes took a day or more. I haven't seen the usage coming in chunks of 20MB though. I also haven't noticed it being over-reported. I just checked my recent LTE data usage on my FreedomPop account and my amounts are 19MB, 2MB, 0MB, 1MB, 0MB, 10MB, 1MB, 3MB, 1MB, 1MB, 19MB, 20MB, 11MB, 3MB, ... If you are on an Android phone, you might want to check under your mobile data usage and see what it's reporting and which apps are using what. Because I've been switching my single LTE sim and various Global sims between phones for testing, I can't compare the total phone-reported-data-amount for this cycle to the FP amount reported, but when I get my second LTE sim (ordered a few days again) I'll leave them each in a single phone and then later in the billing cycle I can compare how much data the phone says was used vs what FreedomPop says was used. I've never noticed any problems with this in the past, but it could be because the new LTE sim works better and is faster, you're able to go through more data without noticing it. I'd just recommend that you make sure none of your apps are using your cellular data without your knowledge. Thanks again for commenting.

Comment by Frank on Thursday, February 02, 2017
Thank you for the comprehensive review. I already have an LG Optimus F3 phone from Freedompop and I liked it for a basic backup phone. I'm definitely thinking about to get this deal from FP. On their web site, I see this Bring your own device deal. I assume that would give you the 200 min talk, 500 text msg. and 500 MB Sprint LTE Data package. Would that be a better deal than this 200 MB LTE data SIM card deal, although the Sprint LTE coverage may not be as good as the AT&T one.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Frank, Good question. The BYOD (bring your own device) option is for their Sprint phone service. You would need to have a CDMA (Sprint) phone and I think it needs to be unlocked and/or pass some kind of check. There is a $20 activation fee. The free plan does include 500mb of free data, unlike the Global and LTE GSM sims which have 200mb of free data. All plans can get 500mb more through FreedomPop Friends. I like my little FreedomPop (Sprint) Moto E2, but really just have it as a backup phone now. I don't know that much about the BYOD (Sprint/CDMA) phone program, except that there is the $20 activation fee. I really like the FreedomPop LTE sim, since it's only $1.99 right now, and you can put it in almost any unlocked GSM smartphone. If you really need more cellular data, you can always get more sims, though I recognize switching sims regularly might be a hassle for some people. I don't use enough cellular data to have to worry about that, as long as my daughter doesn't grab the phone for Snapchat. A teenager on Snapchat can burn through a LOT of data. :) Thanks again for your question. Hope my answer was helpful.

Comment by Frank on Thursday, February 02, 2017
Thank you Steve! You answered my questions perfectly. I think I'll go for the LTE GSM sim deal. Once I sign up, do you mind if I send my FP account email addresses to you so that you can add them as friends? Thank you again for your excellent reviews about FreedomPop. This is a great service to a lot of people like me. Frank

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Frank, No problem. I'd be happy to send you some friend invites. Just let me know.

Comment by Jason on Thursday, February 02, 2017
Any idea what the charge to port a number to freedompop costs?

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Jason, I think it's $9.99. I don't think I'd recommend it, because then your number would be attached to a single sim and you couldn't change sims. You might want to check out Google Voice and Google Hangouts. You can get a new Google Voice number, or port your number to them for $20. Then you can receive calls and texts on any phone with Hangouts installed, and you can also forward your number to any phone number (like a FreedomPop number, I think). This gives you a lot more control over your number and where it rings.

Comment by George on Thursday, February 02, 2017
Excellent review and write up about the freedompop service. I just recently started research on their service when I came across an article that mentioned they now offer 4G LTE GSM service. I definitely think that is an outstanding deal. I myself also use GV and Hangouts, for the past several years. I haven't been on a phone contract since then. I would appreciate an FP friend invite as well please. I will send one in return. Thanks!

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi George, Thanks! I sent you a couple of friend requests.

Comment by Trenton on Friday, February 03, 2017
I really appreciate your review. Do you need the freedom pop app when using Google Voice? And also, does Google Voice use the same number as your freedom pop sim? If it is possible could you send some FP friend invites as well, please? Thank You again for helping me navigate Freedom Pop.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Trenton, They are two different things. You can install the FreedomPop MESSAGING app, and it will use the FreedomPop phone number assigned to the sim, and you can then talk and text with the FreedomPop app/number. Or you can get a free Google Voice number (from Google) and then install Google Hangouts (and the Hangouts Dialer) and use Hangouts to talk and text with your Google Voice number. Or you can have both on your phone. I sent you a couple of friend requests.

Comment by Martin on Saturday, February 04, 2017
Hello. Thank you very much for the review. I would like to ask about turning off Top-up. If I have multiple sims in one account, do I have to pay $5 for every sim? Or there is one charge per account? Thank you.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Martin, It would be for each sim. Each sim has its own data plan, whether they are on separate email accounts or the same email account. Make sure you downgrade the plan and service for each of your sims. If you want to turn off the auto-top up, it is done for each sim. That said, you don't have to do it for any or all of your sims. Its only if you think you might use enough data on a sim to trigger the top up, or for peace of mind. You can also set a monthly data limit in Android whenever you start using a new sim. I've bought several Global sims and don't use all of them, and have not turned off auto-top-up on those sims I don't use or use very little. Thanks for commenting.

Comment by Sue on Sunday, February 05, 2017
Wow! What a great write up. Thank you so much. I currently have a Global SIM and want to purchase the LTE SIM. I am planning to buy it with a different email on a new account as you advise, but have a few questions.
1) Can I sign up for the new account under the same name as my 1st account for the Global SIM?
2) Can I sign up using the same phone/IMEI I have with the Global SIM or do I need a different phone?
3) If eventually I do travel, how long can the Global SIM be dormant and I still be able to pop it in to use?
4) Can I pop the SIM into different phones to use on the fly or do I have to stick with the phone I signed up with?
Thanks so much for your guidance.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Sue, Great questions. In fact, I've added your question about can sims be dormant and for how long to my FAQ section above. As to your questions, it is a good idea to order your new LTE sim under a different email address, because then your two accounts can "friend" each other. Yes, you can use the same name and address on all your accounts. I've got several different sims on different email accounts, but they are all under my name and address. You can use the two sims on the same phones or different phones, or move them back and forth, or move them to new phones. It doesn't matter what phone the sim is in, as long as the phone is an unlocked GSM phone and you set up the APN correctly (the settings for the LTE sim are different from the Global sim). Your phone should remember the APN settings if you switch the sims back and forth. As far as I know, the sims never go dormant.I just tested a Global sim that I haven't used in five months and it still works fine. As for your question about using the sim in different phones, you don't have to stick with the same phone. For testing purposes when writing this review, I was switching my LTE sim and my Global sims back and forth between my various phones (BLU R1 HD, ZTE ZMax2, and Moto G4), and it's no problem. Just remember the first time you put the LTE sim (or Global sim) in a new phone, you'll have to set up the APN. If you like the Global sim, I think you'll really like the new LTE sim. Thanks for commenting.

Comment by WaylonCovil on Monday, February 06, 2017
I noticed that FreedomPop also has a $4.99 Data-Only SIM with pricing of 7.99 for 500MB and 13.99 for 1GB. This might be an option for people who use Google Voice for talk and text and need more data. Depending upon your talk and text usage, it could be a better option.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Waylon, Thanks for sharing this. I know that for both the Global sim and the LTE sim, there is voice/text/data version and a data-only version. Both are essentially the same since both really just supply data, but the voice/text version gives you a FreedomPop number you can use with their app. It's good to know that if you do get the data-only sim, the monthly paid plans are less than the voice/text/data version which is 12.99 for 500MB and 19.99 for 1GB. I think most people using Google Voice and Hangouts would probably stick with the free plan anyway and get 700mb (200mb + 500mb via friends) and maybe even a little more by sharing between multiple accounts, and would then get a second sim if they need more data. But it's good to know all the options! Thanks for commenting!

Comment by Marshal on Wednesday, February 08, 2017
All Verizon LTE phones are GSM unlocked already, so work great with the Freedompop GSM sims, and the LTE one. This is a good source of information for Freedompop users, and I just want to make sure it is accurate. [link to Verizon unlocking policy]
Sprint is less clear about whether phones will be unlockable, but the Sprint variant of major manufacturer's phones usually support GSM too [link to Sprint unlocking policy]
I have used a Verizon Galaxy S5 with a Freedompop GSM sim, and a Sprint LG G2.
The CDMA phones have to support GSM to have international capabilities, which both carriers have plans for. [link to Sprint's international page]
Although outdated, describes GSM and international CDMA roaming partners that are available.
I just upgraded from the global sim, which I have 3 of to the LTE sim, but did not know before buying(2 for $2) that the LTE sim does not roam. So I will still need both, as I travel. Looks like a dual sim phone upgrade is due for me.
Thank You for the wonderful article.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Marshal, Thanks for your comment, information, actual experience, and links. I would tell people that if their phone supports GSM and is unlocked, it will work with either the Global sim or the LTE sim. Because AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM, one can be certain if they have an unlocked AT&T or T-Mobile, it will work (and apparently with the LTE sim, some still-locked AT&T phones work too). As for Verizon and Sprint, it's good to know that  some of their phones, especially their LTE phones, also support GSM, so some Verizon and Sprint phones might work. But older Sprint and Verizon phones which are only CDMA will not work. Since the LTE sim is only 2 bucks, there's no harm in getting one and trying it out. I looked at the Verizon unlocking policy, and their post-paid plan phones may not be locked, but they lock their pre-paid (subsidized) phones which many people pick up because they're cheap. With the pre-paid phones, they must be used on a Verizon service for 6 months before they'll unlock them. I think for most people (including myself) this can be a bit confusing. I've seen multiple people who think because they have a 3G phone, it won't work with the LTE sim, but they don't realize that the LTE sim also supports 3G and 4G fallback, so as long as your 3G phone is GSM, the LTE sim will work (you just won't get LTE speed). Bottomline - for 2 bucks, get the LTE sim and see if it works. Just remember to downgrade the plan and service to the free versions! Thanks again for commenting.

Comment by Scooter on Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Terrific write up Steve on the new FreedomPop AT&T LTE sim. I just got mine this week and I'm starting to test it out. I've noticed after installing the sim that my android phone settings don't display my FP phone number. I'm looking in About Phone> Status> SIM Status then down to My Phone Number it shows "Unknown". Is that normal or is something not registering correctly?
Also, I prefer to use Google Voice/Hangouts too, and I'm wondering if I remove the FreedomPop apps, Messaging and My FreedomPop, will GV calls and texts still arrive at my phone OK?

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Scooter, I just checked two of my phones with FreedomPop GSM sims (one global, one LTE), and like your phone, both show Phone Number "unknown" under the phone status settings. I think that's perfectly normal. I have the FreedomPop call/text and Hangouts on both phones, but the FreedomPop number and the Google Voice number aren't "real" cellular numbers, they're more "virtual" VOIP numbers. I think the about phone status only shows "real" cellular numbers. Regardless, both numbers should work if the FP app and Hangouts are properly set up. Yes, you can remove all the FreedomPop apps, and the data will still work, and cellular data is all you need to power Hangouts when you're on cellular (Hangouts works on wifi without cellular data). You don't even have to install any FP apps to get the data working when you first install the LTE sim, you only need to set the APN to "fp.com.attz". If you still want to be able to use the FreedomPop phone number, you need to keep the FreedomPop call/text app, otherwise you can remove it.

Comment by Kim on Thursday, February 09, 2017
Steve, I've ordered the LTE GSM Sim for $1.99. I know you are confident that this SIM will also work while installed in a 3G phone even though it won't be able to utilize the 4G LTE network. That is OK. I am looking forward to testing it anyway.
There is one thing in your review however, that sparks my interest. I think you stated that you turned OFF your phone's LTE function and forced the SIM to revert to 3G for the purpose of testing. You then show a speed test with the LTE SIM operating on 3G. Your download speed shows 11.85Mbps, Upload 1.44Mbps
Yet . . . In your review of the Global GSM SIM (using 3G), your speed test shows a download speed of 4.40Mbps, Upload 1.64Mbps.
Now, while the upload speed isn't significantly different, the download speed of the LTE Sim (on 3G) is more than double. How do you explain this when both SIM's were supposedly utilizing 3G?
Does it make sense that the LTE GSM Sim receives data faster on 3G than the GLOBAL GSM Sim on 3G? Isn't all just 3G?
Re: The 4G LTE speed, if the data is coming in faster, logically you're gonna' burn through more data in a shorter period of time. And yet, your data use as logged on your reviews of both the Global GSM SIM and the LTE GSM SIM isn't much different. I suppose that's a good thing if you can boost your call quality without significant extra data usage. I was kind of surprised.
Lastly, have you noticed any difference in battery drain when using the LTE GSM SIM (when utilizing the 4G LTE network) as opposed to the 3G Global GSM Sim?

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Kim, Good questions. Actual 3G speeds can depend on a lot of things... the carrier, the tower, the signal strength, time of day and network load, how your connection is prioritized by the carrier and the agreement/contract with the MVNO, etc. The LTE sim is domestic AT&T only. The Global sim is AT&T or T-mobile and is via a roaming agreement. So I'm not surprised the 3G speeds were different, and they could be different again if I tested them again. They were just snapshots in time, if that makes sense. Also, as long as you have enough speed for what you are doing, it doesn't matter if the sim is capable of faster speed. I.E. at 2G, a webpage may download and be readable in 3 seconds, at the 3G it might take 1 second, and at LTE speed it might take a tenth of a second. For checking email it usually doesn't matter, but if you were trying to watch a video (which would use a lot of data by the way), on a slow connection the video might stop and buffer. You are right that LTE speed makes it possible to download faster, but when you are loading a webpage, it doesn't use any more data, it just loads faster. As for the Global sim, I'm doing a test right now on what actually happens when one gets close to the free data limit if auto-top-up is turned off. For the test, I'm repeatedly downloading a 5mb file with the Global sim, and at 3G, it only takes about 15 seconds. So regardless of which sim you're using, if you're downloading a lot of data, you can burn through a lot of data in a pretty short period of time, so you want to be aware of what you're doing when you're on cellular. I think you'll really like the LTE sim. I'm not knocking the Global sim (it's the only sim that works internationally), but for use here in the US, I like the LTE sim better. Let me know when you get it how it works for you. Thanks for commenting!

Comment by James on Friday, February 10, 2017
Wow! I been a freedompop customer from so many years. Have not seen any detailed reviews like yourself anywhere else. It's Just perfect ! literally went through each word since i wanted to know everything about these new sim cards i got yesterday. Loving it so far ! Ordering a pair more in a minute. Thank you Steve for taking time to write this!

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi James, Thanks for your comment and feedback. I really appreciate it!

Comment by Jerry on Friday, February 10, 2017
I just installed the simcard. Had Sprint free service before on a CDMA Galaxy S4. Now have a Motorola G4 plus and have AT&T GSM service. Signal strength is -110dbm. Terrible reception. Is there anything I can do to improve signal strength. If not how can I get back to Sprint.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Jerry, Did you double check that you set up a new APN for "fp.com.attz" and you're using it? That's about all you have to do and can do. If you still have bad coverage, have you checked your location on the AT&T website to see what they say coverage should be? I thought AT&T had good coverage almost everywhere, but maybe not where you live. Other than that, I'm not sure what more you can do. I think the LTE sim either works in your location or it doesn't, and if it doesn't you're out $2 (though FreedomPop does have a 30 day return policy, but I've never needed to use it). Please let me know if you get your coverage working, or if you find out why it's not working. As for Sprint service, FreedomPop does have a BYOD (bring your own device) program for their Sprint service and your Moto G4 Plus should support it since it supports GSM and CDMA, but I don't really know how the FreedomPop Sprint BYOD program works. I did buy a FreedomPop (Sprint) Moto E2 phone and it works fine, but I just have it as a backup. I prefer the LTE GSM sim because you just buy it for $2 bucks and stick it in your GSM phone, and it works (though maybe not in your case). Again, please let me know what you find out.

Comment by Glenn Watkinss on Friday, February 10, 2017
I have a Motorola Moto G4 and started my free plan with FreedomPop yesterday. Do I turn "Roaming" ON or OFF ? Every day I use the phone, I get a message about 5 minutes after turning it on that says "FreedomPop Setup Complete" and then a FP Program launches (blue screen). This happens every day. How do I stop this? thanks in advance

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Glenn, Assuming you have the LTE sim, you would have roaming OFF. If you were using the GLOBAL sim, you would need roaming ON. If you have the FreedomPop voice/text app installed so you can use the FP phone number for talk and text, then every time you turn on the phone, it will do that set-up thing you describe. If you don't need to use the FP number and app and just want the data (i.e. if you are using Google Voice phone number and Hangouts like me) then you can uninstall the FP app. But if you want to use the FP phone number, you need the app, and it will need to set-up when you start the phone.

Comment by Eileen on Friday, February 10, 2017
Great information, Steve! After reading I planned to take your advice and follow all your recommendations...until I started to read the comments. Now I am confused and am hoping you can help. I just purchased a new unlocked GSM Moto 4G (4th generation) smartphone from Amazon and am planning on using it with the Freedompop free plan. Because I did not purchase the phone from Freedompop - am I only eligible for the BYOD Sprint plan with Freedompop and not the new FreedomPop (AT&T) LTE GSM sim kit? My next question: if I use Google Voice and Hangouts to talk and text - is the talking and texting unlimited or still 200minutes/500txt? I currently do not have a Google Voice account/number. Can you recommend a guide on how to set up Google Voice to use on a Freedompop phone? Thanks in advance.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Eileen, The Moto G4 is perfect for the FreedomPop LTE sim. Because the Moto G4 supports GSM and CDMA, it can also be used on the FreedomPop BYOD Sprint program, but it would also work with the LTE GSM sim, which is much simpler. You don't have to buy a phone from FreedomPop for the LTE sim. You can use your own GSM-capable phone, like the Moto G4 (I'm using that exact phone with an LTE sim). As for using Google Voice and Hangouts, you would need to get a Google Voice number from Google. Once you have the number, then you install the Hangouts app and Hangouts dialer on your phone. When you're on wifi, your talk and text is free and unlimited because you're using wifi instead of data. On cellular, sms texts essentially use no data so you can send a LOT of texts, and the talk minutes use about .6mb per minute, so if you talked for a 100 minutes on cellular, you would use up 60mb of your data.

Comment by Will on Friday, February 10, 2017
Fantastic review of this service. I'm currently going to do the exact same thing as you and couldn't believe it when I came across your review because it's just what I needed to read. I'm buying 2 LTE sim cards (separate emails) and buying an unlocked GSM phone that has dual sims so I can switch back and forth easily. I'm porting my actual phone number to google voice and will be using Hangouts/Google Voice. I'm curious how much each text message uses when on data though. I saw you wrote that voice uses 0.6 mb per minute, but I think I would use way more texts than voice and usually I get lots of group texts so the number is inflated even more. Any idea how much data each MMS and SMS uses?

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Will, Sounds like a good plan. As for texting, SMS (plain) texts use so little data that I would worry about them. I've never been able to send enough to even see the data reported. MMS (picture) texts are a different matter. It all depends on the size of the picture. Smartphones with their better and better cameras can take bigger and bigger pictures, so just have to be aware of the size of the picture or pictures that your sending. Unless you send a LOT of MMS, I don't think it would be an issue.

Comment by Veronica on Friday, February 10, 2017
Thanks for the amazing information on your site about FreedomPop's LTE SIM card. I bought one only to discover that I can use FreedomPop data on my MS Lumia Windows phone, but not calling or texts. I was wondering if I could get around this with Google Voice. If not, I will have to get a droid phone.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Veronica, Good to hear that you had data working with the LTE sim on a Windows phone. That's very interesting. The FreedomPop app for calling and texts requires Android or Apple IOS, so it wouldn't work. To use Google Voice, you need to install Hangouts, which also comes in an Android version and an Apple IOS version. I don't know if there is a Windows-phone version of Hangouts. There might be another app that works, but I don't know anything about that.

Comment by Steve on Monday, February 13, 2017
Hi Steve, Excellent review! I ordered the LTE sim ($1.99+0.01) last night, everything goes smoothly as silk. I do have a question if you don't mind, on the add friends for 50mb data, I added 10 friends and got the extra 500MB, but it only goes to the main line ($1.99) but none to the second line ($0.01), it still shows 200mb (I downgraded to basic plan), the main line shows I have 700mb. Did I miss something? Thank you for your time.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Steve, The second sim should get the 500mb Friends bonus data for 700mb total, though it can't share data so you can't get any more data (or give away data) via sharing. Ian, another commenter, reported a couple of months ago that when he got a second Global sim with the penny offer, it never showed the bonus data during the first monthly cycle, but then it finally got the 500mb monthly bonus the second month and ever since then. I've also seen other people report that they didn't get the 500mb friends bonus data during the first month, but did get it starting on the second monthly cycle.
3/17/17 update: Please see my Frequently Ask Questions FAQ#5 above. The second $.01 sim will get the Friends bonus starting on the second monthly cycle.

Comment by Browningate on Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Thanks for the detailed write-up! This website is the go-to hub for all things regarding FreedomPop. I didn't even know about the new LTE SIM plan until checking in again, so it's good to see that FreedomPop is still innovating. Have you considered adding a bookmark-able RSS feed to your homepage for easy updates?

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Browningate, Thanks for the feedback. I'll have to put looking into an RSS feed on my list of things to do! Thanks for commenting.

Comment by Eileen on Friday, February 17, 2017
Hi Steve, So I got everything I need to set up my Moto G4 Play on Freedompop. I am trying to follow your directions for setting the data usage limit and have run into a problem. I do not see any option to change the billing cycle. Is it possible to change the billing cycle on the G4? Thanks in advance.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Eileen, To change the  monthly cycle beginning and end dates, go to Settings > Data usage. The first line says [Cellular data (on/off)]. The second line says [Set cellular data limit (on/off)]. The third line has the current cycle, such as [Feb 12 - Mar 11]. If you want to change it, just touch it, and select "Change cycle..." on the drop down menu. FYI. After you set the correct beginning and end dates, you can then change the warning and limit lines by dragging them up or down. By the way, you may need to have cellular data turned on before you can change the cycle, and it may help to reboot your phone after turning on cellular data if you are still having problems setting the cycle.

Comment by Sky on Saturday, February 18, 2017
Thank you very much for the outstanding review, Steve! It has guided me through the activation process step-by-step; its help is tremendous!
I am in the process of adding friends to get free data, and I have one question: if I add 10 friends to the main line ($1.99) to get 500MB, will it automatically add another 500MB to the second line ($0.01)? Or is the 500MB to be shared between these two lines since I have only one account for both lines?
Thank you very much again for this excellent review! (BTW - would you please add me as one of your friends? Thanks!)

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Sky, Thanks for your comment and question. When you add at least 10 friends to your account, both devices should get the full 500mb data bonus. Most people see this right away, but a few people have reported that the second device doesn't get the bonus until the second month. I sent you a couple of FreedomPop friend invites.

Comment by ET on Saturday, February 18, 2017
Thanks very much for the write up. Made the whole process much simpler. Please add me as a friend.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi ET, Thanks for your comment. I sent you a couple of FreedomPop friend invites.

Comment by Bruce on Saturday, February 18, 2017
Good article. Link me in as a friend.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Bruce, Thanks for your comment. I sent you a couple of FreedomPop friend invites.

Comment by Dave1 on Sunday, February 19, 2017
Thanks Steve for such detailed information regarding this new FreedomPop-AT&T Sim. I had actually had seen the Global sim kit, and had gotten my attention, but this LTE GSM is awesome, I just took advantage of the offer and got 2. I have used FreedomPop before on my backup phone, but I don't get good Sprint coverage, these sims will surely work better. Thanks for the heads up on the adblocker.
Question: I have an iPhone 5C Sprint branded, (never actually used with Sprint, bought new on Ebay) and have been using it with a Sprint MNVO. I was wondering if it is possible to use this Iphone 5C with this new LTE FreedomPop SIM? Thanks again for the info.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Dave, Thanks for commenting. All my phones are Android based, so I don't know a lot about iPhones. If your Sprint iPhone 5C also has GSM capability (Sprint uses CDMA) and it is unlocked, it may work with the LTE sim. When you get your LTE sims, you should stick one of the sims in your iPhone and see what happens. If you get a chance, let me know if it works.

Comment by Tim on Sunday, February 19, 2017
Hi Steve, Thanks for your in-depth excellent review. I saw you mentioned about using a VISA Prepaid card to order the SIM, would you mind to tell me which VISA prepaid card you used? I've heard some prepaid cards don't work. Thank you for your attention. Tim

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Tim, I had a Visa Vanilla gift card with a little bit left on it, and decided to order a Global sim a while back just to see if and how it would work. It worked for the initial order, but then it didn't work for the second penny sim offer. Like you, I've also read recently that FreedomPop isn't allowing pre-paid cards anymore. I've used two regular credit cards for my other orders and have never had any problems with them, and have never gotten any unexpected charges. Other than paying for all my sims and a FreedomPop Moto E2 phone, and disabling auto-top-up on an account, I have never been charged for anything else. Thanks for your comment and question.

Comment by Tal Bernier on Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Will an unlocked GSM international phone work in the United states with a LTE sim card? Great write up, just looking for a second phone and found a great deal on EBAY.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Tal, As far as I know, any unlocked GSM phone will work with the LTE sim when you are in the US and have AT&T coverage. Of course, to get LTE coverage, the phone needs to be LTE capable. Some phones are only 3G and would only get 3G data speeds, though those can be fine for many applications.

Comment by Tal Bernier on Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Thanks Steve. I just can't figure out why more people haven't figured out how great FreedomPop is. Tal

Comment by Ross on Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Hi Steve, thank you for this writeup! I especially appreciate your comment about:  "The GLOBAL sim doesn't seem to always connect well or stay connected, but usually if there is an issue, one can toggle airplane mode off and on to get connected. The LTE sim so far has had a rock solid connection."
I hope that with this new LTE SIM I won't ever have to reset my connection! I would appreciate it if you add me as a freedompop friend!

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Ross, Thanks for your comment and feedback. I sent you a couple of friend invites.

Comment by Tom on Thursday, February 23, 2017
Hi, this is really helpful site to use FP LTE sim card. I appreciate your wonderful job. Thank you very much. btw please add me as a friend for friend invites.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Tom, Thanks for your feedback. I sent you a couple of friend invites.

Comment by Max on Thursday, February 23, 2017
I have two LTE SIMs, the main one and the 1c one. I have the same issue as Steve just above: I added some FreedomPop friends and the bonus data from those friends is only showing up on the main SIM. I asked FreedomPop support whether that was by design or not, and they told me the following: "In regards to you bonus data that is correct the bonus data from freedom friends goes directly only to the primary device in the account." I'm hoping they're wrong, and it will show up in a month.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Max, Thanks for your comment. A couple of people have recently reported to me that they didn't get the 500mb "friends" bonus data on the second sim, but I haven't heard from them what happens on the second month. Most people report getting the bonus on the second sim right away, and some people have reported that they didn't get it until the second month. I haven't seen anyone report that they did not get the bonus data at the second month cycle. I'm actually in the same boat as you right now. I ordered another pair of LTE sims last week. I haven't gotten the sims yet, but I've already added friends and have seen the same thing... on this order, my second "penny" sim is not getting the friends bonus. I am expecting that it will show up at the beginning of the second cycle (and in the meantime, it has a 1GB free bonus for the first month anyway). Regarding your comment, I think the FreedomPop rep might be confused, because there is also "bonus" data you get from friends when they share data with you, and for shared bonus data, only the first (main) device on an account can share data (give or get). In addition, many people have gotten the bonus friends data on the second sim, so what the rep is saying isn't true for them. In any event, we both should know more in a couple of weeks. Please let me know what happens with your second sim. Thanks!
3/17/17 update: Please see my Frequently Ask Questions FAQ#5 above. The second $.01 sim will get the Friends bonus starting on the second monthly cycle.

Comment by VP on Friday, February 24, 2017
Great guidance. Please add me as friend. Thanks.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi VP, Thanks for commenting. I sent you a couple of friend invites.

Comment by Dave1 on Friday, February 24, 2017
Hello again Steve, I will let you know if I try the LTE SIM with the Sprint iPhone 5c, it's my mother's phone actually, currently with 2 free months service from Ting so maybe after the 2 months we may try one of FP SIMs, it would seem the phone has GSM bands as well from what I found online. The free service is enough for her each month.
Would you recommend FreedomPop (now with the AT&T SIM) to use for main cell service? Have you ported in a number and then ported it out? I don't talk much on the phone, the 200 free minutes are more than enough. The 500MB data (thanks for the tip of getting 10 friends) is enough as well. However, I am very heavy texter, I use a lot of SMS, MMS, and group texting for family AND work, so I need to have a very reliable service when it comes to texting, and as you mentioned MMS are not free with FP. I am considering switching to FP as main service, but I don't want to lose my cellphone number in the process. Thanks for your input, and please send me a friend invite.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Dave, Good questions. I have found the free FreedomPop AT&T cellular data to very reliable (though limited in quantity of course, unless one pays). I don't have much experience with their free (limited) talk and text though, because I use a free Google Voice phone number with Hangouts. I have found my Google Voice number on Hangouts to be very reliable for texting. It has also been very reliable for talking (especially on my weekend walks, but there was an issue for a few weeks with some incoming calls not ringing (most did) which was very frustrating, but a recent Google Hangouts update seems to have fixed that. I am using the FreedomPop LTE sim's free cellular data plus my Google Voice number on Hangouts for my main cell line. I'm also around wifi a lot, so when I'm on wifi, I don't even need to worry about cellular data (when on wifi, talk and text with Hangouts is truly unlimited). What I would recommend to people is TRY the LTE sim for the free cellular data. Also try the FreedomPop Messaging app for the 200 minutes and 500 texts if you want, but definitely get a free Google Voice phone number and try it out with Hangouts. If this set-up works well for you, then consider using it for your main line. As for porting your number, if you want to do that, I would port your number to Google Voice (costs $20 I think). Then you can forward it to any number or as many numbers as you want, and/or use Hangouts to send and receive texts and calls. If your number is at Google Voice, then you don't have to worry about what carrier you are using or what might happen to them. Anytime you change carriers, you just change where your Google Voice number forwards to, or if you're using Hangouts, you don't even worry about that. I hope my long-winded answer makes sense. I sent you a couple of friend invites.

Comment by Dave1 on Saturday, February 25, 2017
Thanks for the friend invites Steve, and for the very detailed information. I will definitely try to get the GV number and make Hangouts my default messaging app. I will give the LTE Sim a trial run with a backup phone, to see how reliable the service can perform, and if it can meet my main cellphone needs. I bookmarked your website already, I have been checking out other of your articles, very good information. I am using the Moto G4 Play Prime version as main phone, very happy with phone except for the GPS reception. Thanks again for creating this, and all your other articles.

Comment by Joe on Saturday, February 25, 2017
Awesome article! Thank you for the detailed easy to understand explanation. I currently have 3 global sims, only 1 actually being used. Is there a way that I can order the new att lte sim and use it with my existing FP number? In other words I would just like to swap in the new ATT LTE sim without doing a number change....possible? Thank you! Joe

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Joe, I don't know of any way that you can swap the phone numbers between sims by yourself, though that would be a cool feature. I think you would have to contact FreedomPop customer service to get that done. Thanks for commenting.

Comment by Rick on Saturday, February 25, 2017
Hi Steve, Great great review. In your Q&A, you said you have not been able to get tethering to work on your phones. I have two BLU R1 HD's, Nexus 5, Nexus 6 and two Moto G4's, tethering does work on all the mentioned phones w/o any problem on both the Global & LTE SIMS. I didn't do anything "special" to make tethering to work on my mentioned devices. What I did was enter a new network name and a new password, turn it on and my laptop was able to connect to it and surf. The only device that tethering did not work for me was my ATT S5 (unlocked), I also have an international version S5, which tethering works great, just not the ATT version, same as my ATT S6 & S6 Edge+, no luck with those. Thanks again for your GREAT review!

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Rick, Thanks for commenting! It's great to hear that you got tethering working on several of your phone, and wow, do you have a lot of phones! Based on your comment and the information you emailed me, I tried my BLU R1 HD again with an LTE sim and now the hotspot function (tethering) work. Thanks! My ZTE ZMax2 and my Moto G4 still don't work for tethering, but I believe that's because they are unlocked AT&T versions, and even though they are unlocked, the AT&T software that is still on them is preventing tethering. In any event, I really appreciate your comment, information, and help, and have updated my review above based. Thanks again!

Comment by Stu on Saturday, February 25, 2017
Great article/explanation/tutorial! It tremendously helped me understand Freedompop. Just ordered a SIM and already easily downgraded service and plan so that I won't be charged those extras. Thank you.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Stu, Thanks for the feedback!

Comment by Lau on Sunday, February 26, 2017
Hi, Steve, thanks for the great review. I set cellular data limit on the phone. I used up all my free data now and cellular data got cut off on the phone, but I still have the free 200 voice minutes and 500 texts, how can I use those free voice minutes and texts since cellular data got cut off? thanks.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Lau, As long as your account is active and not suspended, you can use the minutes and texts. But be aware that the minutes and texts use cellular data (unless you are on wifi), and although FreedomPop is supposed to credit the data back to you so it doesn't count again your free data amount, in the meantime, when the data is initially reported it might trigger the auto-top-up charge before the data is credited back. I'm not sure exactly how FreedomPop works regarding this. My recommendation for the future if you're using the FreedomPop voice minutes and texts is don't get so close to the top-up-trigger data point. Also, if you have turned off Auto-Top-Up and FreedomPop suspends your account because you've used up your monthly data, then the minutes and texts would not work until the account becomes active again on the next monthly cycle.

Comment by Jeff on Sunday, February 26, 2017
Hi Steve. Great comprehensive explanation on how to use FreedomPop. I recently bought the Mifi 2 Hotspot with Global Sim and it was worked reasonably well so far. It worked in the US, London and in Germany so far. Last week, I purchased the LTE GSM 3 in 1 kit ($1.99 for one and a penny for the second). They shipped quickly and I just received them. I tried putting these new SIMs into my Mifi 2 hotspot. The hotspot finds a tower and it says ATT H+ but quickly switches to 'No Service'. It switches back and forth between no service and service every 15 seconds but never seems to stay connected. Logging into my.wifi and changing the APN to fp.com.attz also did not help. I've changed the APN and restarted with no luck. I also did a full reset but no luck. Any help on getting these SIMs to work with my hotspot? Thanks!

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Jeff, Thanks for the report on the FreedomPop Mifi 2 hotspot with the Global sim in it. I don't have any FreedomPop hotspots (yet) so I don't know much about them. I would have thought like you that because the Mifi hotspot is GSM, you can just pop out the Global sim and stick in the LTE sim, and it should work. If it's not working (as you reported), I wouldn't know why. I just updated my review on getting tethering to work with the LTE sim on a smartphone. If the phone was ever part of AT&T, even if it is unlocked, the AT&T software on the phone can block tethering. Maybe hotspots are the same, and it could be that the FreedomPop mifi hotspot is a refurbished AT&T model, so it will work with the Global sim, but not with the LTE sim. But I'm just guessing... I don't know for sure. If you do get your hotspot working with the LTE sim, please let me know, as I'm sure a lot of people would like to be able to put the LTE sim in a mifi hotspot and have if work. Thanks again for commenting.

Comment by Kevin Wang on Monday, February 27, 2017
Hi Steve, Can't say enough thanks for your comprehensive review! Now I have ordered 5 LTE sim cards and plan to use GV + Hangouts with the free data. I'm a light data user and pretty safe to stay below their data-allotment-minus-100 MB-limit.
Here is the only thing I'm not clear about the auto top-off: Will I be charged $15 if I don't use any of the sim cards I ordered? The auto top off page says they will charge me $15 if my balance is below $2. Since my balance is $0 right now, technically, they could charge me $15 unless I turn off the auto top-off. But I don't want to pay $5 for each account that I'm not using to turn it off unless they charge me $15 for having zero balance.
I'm hoping the auto top-off is only triggered by getting close to 100 MB within the data limit, and not by zero dollar balance in the account. Could you please confirm this one way or the other?
Another question is about using Hangouts. It seems to me that when I receive a phone call (or SMS) from a new number, there is no easy way to add that number to my contact list (such as adding name to the number) unless I send an invitation to the person. I don't want to do that. GV allows me to add people to contact list without input from the other party. But Hangouts seems to be more restrictive. Is there any way around this?
Finally, thanks again for your review and please add me to your friend list if you are not tired of it yet:) Best Wishes! Kevin

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Kevin, You can leave several of your sim cards unopened and unused, and you don't have to worry about them, as long as you downgrade both the plan and the service to free for each and all of your sim cards. If you aren't using a sim card, you do not need to worry about triggering the auto-top-up $15 charge. Auto-top-up is triggered when you use data and get within 100mb of your free data limit AND you have less than a $2 credit balance. It only happens when both conditions are met. It's ok to have a $0 credit balance, as long as you don't use data and get within 100mb of your limit. I have one Global sim card that I have never used yet, and I never turned off auto-top-up on it. I did downgrade the plan and the service to free, of course. The card just sits there and doesn't cost me anything. So to answer your question, auto-top-up is not triggered just by having a zero credit balance, it is only triggered if you have less than $2 (i.e. a zero balance) AND you get with 100mb of your free data limit.
As for your Hangouts question and how to easily add new contacts, if it's a new call from someone, you would go to recent calls and then press and hold the phone number and select "add to contacts". If it's a new text from someone, you press the text to go the conversation, and then press the three vertical dots icon in the upper right hand corner and select "add to contacts". I also see the "invite to Hangouts" option, but you don't have to do that, you can "add to contacts" instead. I sent you a couple of friend invites. Thanks for your comment and questions.

Comment by Kevin Wang on Monday, February 27, 2017
Hi Steve, That's great! I'm following your advice step-by-step, downgrading to completely free data and service, using Hangouts and not using the Freedompop app for voice and texting, multiple sim cards and accounts with additional free data from friends, and ready to enjoy the free service until they change the policy. :) Thanks again for your quick reply! Kevin

Comment by joseph on Wednesday, March 01, 2017
Thanks for the extremely detailed write-up. Just signed up today. Can you send some invites over?

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Joseph, Thanks for commenting. I just sent you a couple of friend invites.

Comment by Dave1 on Saturday, March 04, 2017
Hey Steve, I received my LTE SIMs, and I was able to use one with my Verizon branded Moto X (First Generation). I created the APN setting following your instructions, so was able to use the CDMA Moto X, since it has GSM bands as well. I tried using the Moto's native dialer, it didn't work. I installed the Hangouts dialer, and it worked very well, although, since I still have not gotten a GV number, the caller ID from the phone receiving the call, displayed "Private". I also installed the FP app, and it did display the FP number on the caller ID of the called phone.
Question: If I were to pay for Premium Voice service, would I be able to use the Native phone dialer, and messaging app? Just wondering, thanks.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Dave, Thanks for the update. It's good to know that you are able to use your LTE sim on a Verizon-branded Moto X phone (because it also has GSM bands). Regarding your question, the "Premium Voice service" (where you can pay extra and get actual cellular voice service) is only available as a feature on the FreedomPop Sprint CDMA devices. The FreedomPop LTE GSM sims (which use AT&T) only provide cellular data, and FreedomPop uses the cellular data to also provide their VOIP phone service. With the LTE sim, there is not the option for paid cellular voice service.

Comment by Dave1 on Saturday, March 04, 2017
Thank you Steve for the information and highlighting this difference in approach for delivering Voice services by FP depending on which FP service you choose to use (Sprint or AT&T). -Dave1-

Comment by Jay on Sunday, March 05, 2017
Thanks Steve for helpful information. Can you confirm if you receive computerized messages through freedompop (i.e. automated bank alerts)? AFAIK, GV/Hangouts don't receive them.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Jay, Good question, but I don't know. You would have to try. I have signed up for the Redbox text club to get free movie rental promo codes using both FreedomPop numbers and with Google Voice numbers. So both numbers work for Redbox short codes, but I don't know about bank alerts. In the past, Google Voice numbers may have not worked with short codes, but they do not, at least for Redbox.

Comment by Maggie on Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Thank you so much for all your help with FP - I was about to give up on them until I found you! LOL I'm getting better service than I've ever had with them! (or equal service to most of the *big* carriers. Please add me to your FP Friends :)

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Maggie, Thanks for your feedback. I just sent you a couple of friend invites.

Comment by Jo Bandico on Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Will this LTE plan work on an unlocked AT&T iphone?

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Jo, Yes, the FreedomPop LTE sim works on unlocked AT&T iPhones, as long as they are running iOS 7.0 or higher.

Comment by Jo Bandico on Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Hi, Steve, How about locked AT&t iPhone does it work there? Thanks

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Jo, I don't have any locked AT&T phones, but I have read several people say that the sim does work on their locked AT&T phones. However, I don't know if they had Android phones or iPhones. I would guess that it would work on a locked AT&T iPhone, but I can't guarantee it. The sim is only $.99 as long as you downgrade the plan and the service, so it doesn't cost much it try it and find out. Good luck!

Comment by Jo Bandico on Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Thanks Steve. I ordered the SIM online and got the second for 1 cent. Can you please add [email removed] as friend in the freedom pop for the friends bandwidth offer. Regards, Jo

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Jo, I just sent you a couple of friend invites.

Comment by Sky on Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Hi, Steve! Just received the 500MB for both lines when the new month started. Great! I also noticed that the unused data from the previous month have been added to the 700MB on both lines. Is this normal? Thanks again for the great, great review! Sky

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Sky, Thanks for reporting that your second $.01 "penny" sim got the 500mb friends bonus at the start of the second cycle. Several people have been asking about this, so it's great to hear that you did get the 500mb bonus on your second sim as I expected. As to the extra data, I'm getting that (500mb) on one of my recent LTE sim accounts also. It's because the initial free trial of Premium service includes data rollover. Even though you cancel it, you still get the data rollover on your first monthly cycle, but not after that unless you pay for Premium service or data rollover. Thanks again for following up to report that you did get the friends bonus starting on the second month!

Comment by Jake on Thursday, March 09, 2017
I have been using the AT&T Sim on the free plan for 2 months. This article is a TOTAL and COMPLETE description and discussion of the Freedompop offer including the Gotchas. You can get a pre-activated Sim with 700MB data already included on ebay.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Jake, Thanks for the feedback! Regarding ebay, I know that some people are selling these sims on ebay for a higher price, but I personlly would avoid the ebay markup and just buy it myself for $0.99. It's easy to add 10 friends, and as long as you downgrade the plan and the service, and watch your data, it's completely free. I guess some people are concerned about giving their credit card information to FreedomPop, but I have a Moto E2 phone, five Global sims, and four LTE sims, and I've never got charged on any of them, other than the initially purchase price. More importantly, if you do get an accidental charge (like what can happen with the Service Downgrade Bug that FreedomPop needs to get fixed) and it you don't have a valid payment method on your account when FreedomPop tries to charge it, your account will be permanently frozen until you put a valid payment method on it, which defeats the purpose of trying to not have a payment method on the account. If you use a credit card and get an incorrect charge, FreedomPop will refund your money. I've never heard of anyone not getting a refund if they have been incorrectly charged. I agree that FreedomPop does have some "Gothchas", but they're easy to avoid if you downgrade your plan and your service, and then disable top-up or just set a data limit on your phone. It's great to hear that the FreedomPop LTE sim has been working well for you on the free plan for two months. I think the LTE sims are a great deal, as long as you know how to avoid the gotchas! Thanks again for your comment and feedback!

Comment by Matt Austin on Thursday, March 09, 2017
Just wanted to thank you for this review and confirm that the glitch in removing premium still exists as of 09 March 2017. In fact, I had to 'remove' it twice before going back to the acct_overview page showed it was indeed gone. So as you stated, definitely go back to the acct_overview page and confirm it's gone, because it's a pesky little bugger.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Matt, Thanks for the update! I've updated my instructions above to include your comment that you might have to "remove" it twice before it's finally gone.

Comment by Dan on Thursday, March 09, 2017
This is a really excellent guide. Thank you very much for writing it.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Dan, Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it!

Comment by Duy Nguyen on Friday, March 10, 2017
Got the AT&T LTE Sim Card yesterday, just 5 days after purchasing. Shipping was really fast, although I selected "Super Saver 7 to 10 days" option. When I activated the sim, I got an extra Global Plus 300 for free. Do you know which country I can call?

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Duy, Thanks for your comment. You probably have a free 30 day trial of the Global Plus 300 international calling service, but after the trial it will be $4.99 per month. If you log into your account and click "My Account" and then "International" you should see the 300 minute plan is $4.99/month, but there is also a free 100 international minute plan you could switch to (remove the 300 and add the 100). On either plan, you can click "view details" and it will show you a list of countries you can call (some countries allow you to call landlines or mobile numbers, others are landline numbers only).

Comment by Joseph on Friday, March 10, 2017
Thanks for the heads up regarding the $7.99 bug. I ordered on March 1 and as of today March 10 the bug exists on my account. I was able to cancel it by removing it just once (for both my SIM cards).

Comment by Blacksurfer on Saturday, March 11, 2017
Hi, Great article. I have the LTE sim when it first came out and use it mostly for streaming radio. I have a sim to an elderly lady and set her up with google/hangouts. Great deal!

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Blacksurfer, Thanks for the feedback!

Comment by ArnieH on Saturday, March 11, 2017
I must say this and your other articles are the most comprehensive and informative I have seen on the subject of FreedomPop arcana and lore. I am especially grateful for the downgrade service bug info. Two of my LTE sim accounts were indeed affected by it and your solution probably saved me some money. Thanks and keep up the good work.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Arnie, Thank you for your wonderful comment. I'm glad the information on the service downgrade bug was helpful. I just wish FreedomPop would get it fixed already!

Comment by James on Saturday, March 11, 2017
Here is something interesting I experienced. I have a LTE sim and CDMA phone under the same email account. After I cancelled the premium service for the CDMA phone, I tried to add premium voice only to the phone from a downgrade confirmation email (it offered a free month of premium voice service). To my surprise the premium voice service was added to the LTE sim account because it is the default account. Yes the service nowhere to be found on the LTE sim page was added to my LTE sim account and active on the message app. Now when I try to make calls using AT&T data (even good signal), it will direct the call to premium service and bounce back telling me it is not allowed. I canceled the service later on, but it will stay I guess until the next renewal. I don't know what is going to happen yet. I would have to say FP system is tricky and buggy.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi James, Thanks for sharing your experience. I would guess that most people won't be affected by what happened to you because they don't have a Sprint CDMA phone and a LTE sim on the same account, but it's good to know about your experience. I think the lessons from your experience is that if you use an email offer to sign up for something, it will by default add it to the primary device on your account (though I'm guessing you may be able to switch to a secondary device before you actually complete the sign up). It also sounds like FreedomPop doesn't block you from signing up for a service from an email offer that doesn't actually apply to the device, but if you make this mistake, at least you can then cancel. You are correct that the premium voice service is only for CDMA phones and not the LTE sim. Your experience seems like an unlikely event for most people, and I could see how FreedomPop wouldn't anticipate it. And again, at least it's easy to cancel it. Since I doubt many people will encounter what you experienced, I wouldn't advice others to worry too much about it, though I can understand how you'd be frustrated that it happened. On the other hand, the current "downgrade service bug" is affecting many new customers. The bug may have been an honest programming mistake, but the fact that FreedomPop hasn't gotten it fixed yet is becoming disconcerting. At least (if you are lucky enough to find out about the bug before you get charged) it is easy to determine if the bug is affecting your account and then fix it. And as far as I know, everyone who has been incorrectly charged has gotten a refund when they have asked, but getting an incorrect charge and going through the hassle of requesting a refund is not a good way to start ones FreedomPop experience, nor is it going to help FreedomPop's reputation. FreedomPop really needs to get the "service downgrade bug" fixed now. Thanks again for commenting and sharing your information!

Comment by Brad on Monday, March 13, 2017
Hi, Fantastic article. I currently use an Axon 7 dual sim phone with a Puretalk (ATT MVNO) sim1 and a Freedompop Global sim2. Currently, I pay $15 for the Puretalk service for 600 min talk and 100MB data. Then I have the FP sim for the additional 200MB data. I use the Android Netguard app to help control data usage. I also use the phone settings to specify data warnings and limits for each sim card. Since you reported good results on call quality with Google voice with the new FP LTE sim, I ordered two. I will try using one of my Google voice numbers with it. If it works well in my area, do you think there is any disadvantage to port my cell number to Google voice? Also, what do you think of using an FP LTE sim1 and a FP Global sim2? If I understand correctly, since the global sim will roam to T-mobile, that will give me options if I happen to be in an area that has better T-mobile coverage than ATT. I would appreciate it if you would send me friend requests. Thanks. Brad

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Brad, Thanks for your comment and questions. You mention that your FP sim gives you 200MB of data. You should get 10 friends and bump that up to 700mb! I think porting your number to Google Voice is definitely something to consider. You can then point forward it to any phone you want (or answer it with hangouts) and you don't have to worry about your number if you switch carriers. But first try out Google Voice by signing up for a free number and see what you think of the service. You could use an LTE sim and a Global sim in dual sim phone, and then you would have the Global sim T-Mobile coverage option as a backup if there isn't any AT&T coverage. I just don't think the Global sim connection is quite as solid, but it's a good backup. There also aren't currently any special offers on the Global sim, but it sounds like you already have one? Thanks again for commenting. I sent you a couple of friend invites.

Comment by Brad on Monday, March 13, 2017
Hello again, Thanks for your reply. I will try what you suggested. I forgot to mention how good FreedomPop's customer service is. When I ordered the global sim's a few months ago, I meant to downgrade them, but forgot ( I hadn't started using the cards at the time). When I saw the credit card charge, I called FreedomPop's customer service, explained the situation, and received a full refund on both sims! I don't know if they commonly do something like this, but needless to say I was very impressed. Also I appreciate your suggestion to order more sims using a different email accounts, so I can request friends between them, I am sending out invites from some other accounts I just ordered. I hope you don't mind that I include the request emails you sent me previously on these friend requests also.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Brad, Thanks for sharing your positive experience with Freedompop's customer service. I'll look forward to getting your friend invites.

Comment by Louis on Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Hi, Steve. Thanks for your article. I was also affected the service downgrade bug. I ordered on Feb 22, 2017 and downgraded my first SIM on Mar 2 2017, and downgraded the second penny sim Mar 14, 2017. Both were affected by the bug. I have one more issue. The first sim got 500mb FreedomPop Friends bonus data, but second penny sim didn't, and it has only 200mb free data. I don't know why, do you have any idea about this, Steve?

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Louis, Thanks for reporting that the service downgrade bug still is an issue. FreedomPop really needs to get it fixed. As for the second $.01 "penny" sim not getting the 500mb friends bonus, if you don't get it right away (which is happening with some people) you should automatically get the bonus on the second sim starting on the second monthly cycle. Please see my Frequently Ask Questions FAQ#5 above which covers this question. Thanks again for commenting.

Comment by Max on Tuesday, March 14, 2017
I mentioned earlier that the 500MB bonus data from friends was only showing up on my main SIM, and not on my 1c second SIM. Well, my account cycled over the weekend and is now on its second month. At this point, my second SIM now has 700MB of data, so shared friend data is now on both SIMs, as expected. The only oddity is that my main SIM claims to have 1.17GB of data, when I'd expect it to be 700MB. Not that I'm complaining, but I'm not sure where those extra 470MB are coming from. :-)

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Max, Thanks for reporting that your second $.01 "penny" sim received the FreedomPop friends 500mb bonus data starting on the second cycle, as expected. That's good to know and confirm! As for your main sim having 1.17GB instead of 700mb, that happened to me also. I think it's because you received a 1GB bonus when you ordered the sim, and you had the free trial of Premium service, which includes data rollover. Even though you cancelled the Premium service, it still was active at the beginning and thus 500mb of your 1GB bonus has rolled over to your second cycle, and you have 1.17GB (700mb + 500mb = 1200MB, 1200/1024=1.17GB) for your second cycle. If you no longer have Premium service now, on your third cycle you should only get 700mb. At least that's what I think is happening based on my own experience.

Comment by Rick on Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Hi Steve, Just wanted to give you an update on my FP account renewals. My eight LTE & 2 Global SIM's were all renewed today, all went well, no $7.99 charges and the 2nd $.01 SIMs also received 500mb friends data as well (not first month). Very happy so far :). Regards, Rick

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Rick, Thanks for the update, and thanks again for your earlier information about tethering with the FreedomPop LTE and Global sims.

Comment by Rich D on Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Thank you for posting the info regarding the recent downgrade error!!! I recently purchased the Nationwide LTE SIM, and also activated an old Sprint S3, both under $.99 promotions, each on separate accounts. I immediately downgraded the phone plan and canceled the services on each, and both were effected by this error. I was able to cancel the services on each a second time successfully. I signed up a several dozen Freedom Friends on the SIM account, and on their confirm from the first 10 was immediately credited with the additional data.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Rich, Thanks for your comment and info.

Comment by Francesca on Thursday, March 16, 2017
Hi Steve, thank you so much for taking the time to put together this article! It's so comprehensive and easy to follow. I also like the emphasis and repetition on key points to ensure anyone can opt out of priced monthly services. I'm glad I stumbled upon this. I've decided to go for the LTE GSM SIM, so feel free to add me as a friend. :)

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Francesca, Thanks for your comment and feedback! I sent you a couple of friend invites.

Comment by Matt Austin on Friday, March 17, 2017
Got my LTE sim in yesterday and have been testing it out. One thing that struck me was that the pings on speedtests are pretty high for LTE. Using nearby servers (I live in Iowa btw) I'd consistently get 170-190ms pings, while a buddy could do a test on his native AT&T service right after me and get the same speed, but 60-70ms. I did a little reading to see why (to me the typical answer of network deprioritization didn't really explain it since I'm in a small town and there's no way this tower has any congestion at all) and a user on reddit held the answer. He said it's because FP uses "Jasper Sims" - Cricket users had this same problem until recently of higher-than-normal latency. The network routes data from these sims to servers owned by Jasper Technologies (you can confirm by turning off wi-fi and going to something like iplocation.net). It seems these servers are located in California primarily, based on my reading and sort-of confirmed by the fact that my speedtest.net app always picks san jose as my target server, and testing to THAT server vs my local ones shows latency of only 110-120ms.
Despite the higher pings, I was able to make and receive a few successful test calls over VOIP using the LTE network and google hangouts, and the quality seemed fine - on par with what I'd call normal 'cell-phone' quality, so I think I'm happy.  Just found it interesting and thought I'd share my two cents.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Matt, Thanks for the update and information.

Comment by Pete on Friday, March 17, 2017
Hi Steve, thanks for such an awesome and comprehensive review of the FP LTE GSM sim kit. I do, however, still have questions on some points that seem a bit confusing.
I have ordered a LTE GSM sim kit for 99c and hope to 'shelf it' until I buy a suitable unlocked GSM smartphone. The FP confirming clearly states that subscription starts once the device is shipped...so users will be billed immediately and the second months bill will include the 2GB Plan upgrade @ $24.99 plus Service upgrade @ $7.99 for a total of about $33, UNLESS both the Plan and Service are "downgraded" within 30 days. It also states that Plan and Service CANNOT be downgraded to the 100% free plan until the SIM has shipped and been activated. Yet according to your review and comments, folks have stored the SIM for months before use with no extra upgrade charges showing up on the FP bill.. Some folks stated that they downgraded even before receiving the SIM kit with no billing issues and extra charges. So my question is: How soon after ordering the SIM kit can the Plan and Service be downgraded to avoid the extra charges? Thanks again for all your effort. Friend invites would also be appreciated.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Pete, Your sim should ship a day or two after you order. You will get an email with tracking, and tracking will also show up on your account. The sim is activated and your 30 day trials start on the day your sim ships. You don't get billed anything until the 30 day trial is over, and then you get charged for the monthly plan and service unless you have already downgraded. You can downgrade at any point after your sim ships, and I think you can even downgrade before then. As long as you downgrade the plan and service, you can then let the sim sit around as long as you want. Make sure you read my update on the Service Downgrade Bug. It might still be active, in which case you need to check if your service really got downgraded and fix it if it didn't. I sent you a couple of friend invites.

Comment by James on Saturday, March 18, 2017
Thank you for an amazingly detailed description of FreedomPop. I was a previous customer of FP from a couple years ago thanks to slickdeals, I was never really able to use the service much since the phone was awful, it lagged so bad it was almost impossible to even answer or make a call. A couple weeks ago I bought a Blu r1 hd from Amazon for a beermoney phone. I remembered seeing something about FreedomPop had a GSM service plan now, a little searching got me so confused with conflicting information that I nearly gave up until I found your review. It answered my questions with no doubt. I bought a sim card and just installed it today, it seems to work great, and it was so easy to set up and all my friends from my previous (inactive) FP phone carried over. I just bought a second sim to put in the 2nd sim slot to double my free data. Also the $1.99 sim with a selfie stick wouldn't let me change the shipping. It was $6.99 for 2 week standard shipping.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi James, Thanks for your comment and detailed info. I have a BLU R1 HD myself. It's a nice phone. Did you read my update on the Service Downgrade Bug? Please be aware of it when you downgrade your plan and service, and see if it affects you. If it does, can you let me know? I'd like to know if FreedomPop has fixed the bug yet, or if it's still happening. I checked and you are correct that the selfie-stick offer currently does not have the free shipping option. FreedomPop regularly changes their offers. It had free shipping and it might have it again, but it looks like right now it is $6.99 for shipping. I don't know if the stick is worth paying for shipping, unless you really want one. I got two selfie-sticks for my kids when shipping was free, but we really don't use them very much. Thanks again for commenting!

Comment by James on Saturday, March 18, 2017
Yes, the bug is still active. I had to use the link you provided to downgrade again. Thank you again for your detailed review, it probably saved me the hassle of calling in to have the charges reversed.

Comment by Nick on Sunday, March 19, 2017
No problem to downgrade the plan but... there is another glitch/bug when I try to cancel/downgrade Premium Plus. I know what to look for and I've downgraded two other LTE sims before. But now the small, small tiny print on the lower right hand corner is no longer there. There is no option to cancel. Instead, when I click "view detail" on the services page,  it just asks me to sign up for the service. So I've downgraded the plan only and couldn't cancel the premium service part (because it's not there for me to click). I've received one email only (Plan downgrade). I'm going to contact FreedomPop.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Nick, Thanks for your comment. I've added an update to my review above based on your information under the service downgrade bug section. Thanks for also sharing your account information with me so I could look at it. For other readers, your "service page" shows the Premium Plus plan, but if you click "view details" you get the sign up page instead of the "already subscribed, here's a link to downgrade page". Your account overview page shows you are on the free plan and you have no services. I think that's the important page. I think there is a new (hopefully temporary) bug that downgrades the plan and removes the service when you downgrade the plan. Hopefully FreedomPop will let you know soon.

Comment by Nick
Hey Steve, A Quick update: I called FP with their 888-xxxx, waited about 3-4 minutes, spoke to a CS Rep and she canceled the premium service while I was on the phone with her. She tried to upsell me something but I refused. All is good now.

Comment by gpks00 on Monday, March 20, 2017
GREAT Site! I am saving a link to it! today 3/20/17 I knew I needed to check to downgrade everything on my hotspot. I downgraded my data plan to free, the normal procedure, but when I went to do the same under services it didn't work like you said in your Feb/Mar update. For me.. when I go to services it shows that i have FreedomPop Data Rollover Plus $6.99 / mo listed. and when I go to the link you gave: https://www.freedompop.com/acct_overview.htm it says: "You have not signed up for any services yet." So now I am still not sure if I really am or not. :( My billing isn't for another 6 days. Any idea if we can just change our billing address info to something WRONG so that when they go to run the credit card it wouldn't work? Thanks and keep up the great work to help everyone out. I felt I should add my info in case that can help others as well.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi gpks00, Thanks for your comment. Sounds like you are experiencing the same new issue that Nick reported yesterday. I've updated my "6.1 Service Downgrade Bug" section above with your information. As long as your overview page shows you aren't signed up, I think you'll be ok. And hopefully we'll find out more in the next 6 days before your cycle ends. I do not think you will get charged anything, but if you do, FreedomPop will refund your money. It's just a hassle to have to contact them. I don't think you can change your billing information to something that doesn't work, since I'm pretty sure the system checks the billing info if you change it to make sure it works. Again, if you do get charged, FreedomPop will refund your money, but I don't think you will. Hopefully FreedomPop gets these downgrade "bugs" fixed asap!

Comment by Devon on Wednesday, March 22, 2017
I experienced the service downgrade bug yesterday (March 21) when I tried to remove the Premium service. I downgraded two sims. On one sim, I removed the Premium service on the services page, but then checked the overview page (the URL you provide) and it was still there so I had to remove it again. On the other sim, I just went to the overview page to remove it, but I had to remove it twice from that page. So both ways, it still took two attempts to successfully remove the Premium service. Downgrading the plan only take one attempt from the plans page, so that plan downgrade process works as expected.
Also, I'm not sure if anyone already mentioned this or not, but I was able to create several freedompop accounts using the same gmail email by simply adding a + to the email.
Example: jondoe@gmail.com, jondoe+1@gmail.com, jondoe+2@gmail.com, etc
Gmail doesn't register the + or anything after it so it still gets forwarded to your primary email (jondoe@gmail.com) without having to create new gmail accounts. I learned this after signing up for multiple sims under one account and noticing the extra sims weren't accumulating friends bonus data. I then created multiple accounts with one sim per account before seeing your answer to the FAQ #5. Either way I suppose it doesn't hurt having a few extra sims laying around. After all they did all cost less than 1$. The only hassle is making sure all the plans and services are cancelled.
P.S. thanks for your tutorial by the way. Very helpful!

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Devon, Thank for the update on the "service downgrade bug", which per your experience, still has not been fixed! And from other comments, there may be a new second version. In any event, people should check the overview page ( https://www.freedompop.com/acct_overview.htm ) after downgrading to make sure all paid plans and services have been successfully removed. Thanks for sharing the gmail email address tip. I'll add it to my review and FAQs. As you saw in FAQ#5, additional sims (i.e. the second $.01 "penny" sim offer) will get the 500mb Friends bonus data when the second monthly cycle starts, but they can't share data. So I still recommend the second penny sim offer on the same account if you want to have an extra 700mb sim for a penny. But if a person is placing a new order, I think one should consider creating a new FreedomPop account for the new order, which requires a new email address (and then one can use the gmail "+" tip). So if one is ordering more sims or other devices, then one should create multiple FP accounts, because then the accounts can friend each other and also share data between the accounts.

Comment by Ryan on Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Ordered SIM cards (LTE) a few days ago which two shipped today. Downgraded the first account right now. Plan downgraded fine, but I had to do the service twice with the overview page, so the bug hasn't been fixed. Also, I did not get the bug as outlined in section 6.2.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Ryan, Thanks for the update. I don't know why it's taking FreedomPop so long to get this "bug" fixed, but it doesn't look good that the bug still hasn't been fixed. At least it's easy enough to get the Premium service trial successfully removed if you know what to do, but only if you are aware of the bug, and there's no reason anyone should be aware of it. And at least if one gets the incorrect $7.99 charge, one can get a refund, but that's a hassle, and this "bug" should have been fixed a while ago. Thanks again for commenting.

Comment by Mark on Wednesday, March 22, 2017
I have 2 FP LTE GSM sims that were purchased in January and services downgraded properly (I just checked). I more recently purchased a third sim (Sim #3) that ends its free billing cycle on the 26th and I needed to downgrade the services tonight and there is nothing but a promo page with instructions to call customer service. No phone number listed. No downgrade links of any kind. Will call tomorrow during business hours, if I have the right number.
Hope people are not discouraged by this sort of problem. Sometime it just requires a little work to get yourself the kind of benefits we achieve with programs like FP offers. I have been very pleased with the new sim program and get excellent service on the AT&T network in my area (rural SC). I sure this will eventually be resolved.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Mark, Thanks for the update. Sounds like you are experiencing a new second kind of service downgrade bug that I describe above (section 6.2), which Nick and gkps00 reported above. From my follow-up email to you, you downgraded the plan with no problems. Your services page shows the Premium service, but if you click "view details" you get a sign up offer (click to activate) instead of the page that allows you to remove it. When you check your account overview page, it says you are not signed up for any services.

Comment by Mark on Thursday, March 23, 201
Just got off phone with FreedomPop and the customer service rep removed the Premium Service (7.99) option from my account. That confirms my suspicion that the My Account / Services page from earlier today was displaying the correct information. The My Account/services page NOW shows NO charge. The overview page was in error earlier but is accurate at present. Oh well, my problem is solved, as expected. FYI - I called the sales number 1-855-703-5785, pressed 3 for sales, then pressed 1 for sales. There was no wait for a real person once I got through the phone menu, and the rep took less than 5 minutes to fix the problem.
There is certainly an issue at present with the premium services / online downgrade programming. Hope, for other users sake, it will be resolved shortly. Mark

 

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