Changes to Freedompop free plans

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9 months 2 weeks ago - 9 months 2 weeks ago #1 by mmfacemm
Someone on reddit was sent a new freedompop premium sim with a warning to change to the new plans by 15th Oct (do note they were on an annual plan and not the free plan so could also mean the end of the annual plans)

premium.freedompop.com/

Free plan only has 10 mins/10 texts/25mb but now with full celular talk and no app required. Short codes should work so at least it will be good for that.

A few snippets to be cautious about -
1) They automatically add 500mb for $8 when the 25mb is used
2) selecting a new number or porting has to be done during activation
3) ...your account will not be set up with a free plan recurring subscription. Every month, on your expiration date, you will be required to manually renew the free plan.

FAQs and details:
support.freedompop.com/hc/en-us/articles/360055120873
support.freedompop.com/hc/en-us/articles/360055528493
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9 months 2 weeks ago #2 by Chelle
I'm more than ready to say goodbye. I'm actually a little bit relieved.
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9 months 2 weeks ago - 9 months 2 weeks ago #3 by KentE
I see that they're also touting "unlimited WiFi calling". I'm curious about how often this will actually be a useful 'any' WiFi calling. The new SIMs are also on AT&T, and AT&T has perhaps the most restrictive policy about what devices qualify for WiFi calling. I think you're OK with an iPhone,, later AT&T-branded phones, and perhaps a few others.

I'm assuming there will be no reasonable way to shut off auto-topup, and with only 25MB even the very cautious are at pretty serious risk..

I'll consider hanging on to a couple of lines just for porting fodder. I've got at least one easy-to-remember #.

FP is offering paid plans as well-- it's surprising to me that there isn't a paid plan that's even competitive with Red Pocket's standard plans. It looks like the plan is to encourage folks to move over to Red Pocket.

One user on Reddit also reported that FP customer service said the pre-loaded SIM plans will also be decommissioned.
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9 months 2 weeks ago - 9 months 2 weeks ago #4 by mmfacemm
RIP freedompop. Not sure what redpocket bought them for. No one is going to be drawn in by 25mb of free data with auto top ups if you go over and you have to renew the plan each month manually!

If you only need a few short code texts each month for banking or something it might be okay.

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9 months 2 weeks ago #5 by Phoniac
After reading this, I checked. All my lines still showed the old Free Plan with 200MB. In an abundance of caution, I canceled all the lines anyway. Maybe I jumped the gun. But what the heck, abundance of caution.

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9 months 2 weeks ago #6 by Hungry-Hog
Oh crap !

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9 months 2 weeks ago #7 by st3fx
My prediction is the old VoIP free plans will be grandfathered beyond October 15, but FP will use language to confuse users into thinking they have to switch/upgrade.

The number transfer actually involves porting from Bandwidth.com to AT&T/Red Pocket.

Old FP SIM cards start with 89011. There are sections on the FP support site designated for 89011 SIM cards.

New Premium Voice SIM cards start with 89014 (same as Red Pocket).
support.freedompop.com/hc/en-us/articles/360051667854-Setting-up-your-FreedomPop-Premium-Voice-SIM-Card

New Premium Voice APN is same as Red Pocket:
premium.freedompop.com/configure
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9 months 2 weeks ago #8 by KentE

My prediction is the old VoIP free plans will be grandfathered beyond October 15, but FP will use language to confuse users into thinking they have to switch/upgrade.

The number transfer actually involves porting from Bandwidth.com to AT&T/Red Pocket.

Old FP SIM cards start with 89011. There are sections on the FP support site designated for 89011 SIM cards.

New Premium Voice SIM cards start with 89014 (same as Red Pocket).
support.freedompop.com/hc/en-us/articles/360051667854-Setting-up-your-FreedomPop-Premium-Voice-SIM-Card

New Premium Voice APN is same as Red Pocket:
premium.freedompop.com/configure


Thanks for pointing out that the APN for the premium SIM is the same as Red Pocket!

I don't think the SIM card # change relates specifically to a change from FreedomPop to Red Pocket 'ownership' status, though.

My operating theory is that the 89011 SIM cards used by FreedomPop (with a full carrier ID of 8901170) are likely used across multiple providers on the AT&T network to designate SIMs that are provisioned for data-only use. (Perhaps someone with a data-only tablet or hotspot line elsewhere on the AT&T network, other than Unreal Mobile, can confirm this-- I haven't had any data-only SIMs on the AT&T network other than FreedomPop.)

The 89014 SIM card # (full carrier ID 8901410) is the 'standard' AT&T designator for SIMs provisioned for cellular voice, and is consistent across most MVNOs, as well as on AT&T Prepaid/Postpaid. (AT&T does have several other SIM card carrier-identifier numbers, but I am not aware of where they are used.)

So,. the change in SIM card # relates specifically to a change from data-only to traditional cellular-voice-enabled SIMs, and not the provider itself (i.e., FreedomPop or Red Pocket).

If FreedomPop is going to enforce the Oct 15 deadline across the board, they're making a mess of it. I haven't received emails for any of our lines, and there are no notifications in my dashboard.
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9 months 2 weeks ago #9 by ZZWang
Hope they don’t change the old voip plan so soon. still using the international calls.

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9 months 2 weeks ago #10 by KentE

RIP freedompop. Not sure what redpocket bought them for. No one is going to be drawn in by 25mb of free data with auto top ups if you go over and you have to renew the plan each month manually!

If you only need a few short code texts each month for banking or something it might be okay.


I suppose Red Pocket bought FreedomPop for the customer list, just as Ting bought the FP/CDMA customers. They may have primarily been interested in converting those users to the standard Red Pocket model rather than really interested in keeping FreedomPop as a viable, and different, alternative. If that's true, Red Pocket doesn't even necessarily care about making FreedomPop paid plans competitive, as long as the most-likely-to destination for a departing user is within the Red Pocket family.

There is still a certain small sliver that might be able to make the new FP freemium system work for them. The key may be the unlimited WiFi calling and RCS/iMessage, tied to a line that doesn't really need mobile use & has access to home WiFi. (Think of a 'house phone'.)

Here's AT&T's FAQ page about WiFi calling:
www.att.com/support/article/wireless/KM1359697

Notable:
Does my phone support Wi-Fi Calling?
It depends on your device. Follow these steps to find out:
1. Tap Settings on your phone, then tap Cellulaf (Apple devices) or Connection (Android devices).
2. Look to see if Wi-Fi Calling is listed.
If it is, your phone can support it.
If it's not, your phone isn't compatible.

That link also has a pdf file of phones eligible for WiFi calling. (It's a current link, but the pdf has a revision date of 9/2019, so there are probably models not listed.) Most MUST be AT&T branded. iPhone 6 and later are there, and a wide range of Samsung models. No Moto models except the G6 Play. Surprisingly, there are some 'budget' phones on the list, including the Phoenix 2/3/4 and the lowly (but IMHO surprisingly usable) Maven 3. (All those with the latest updates applied.)

Unlocked phones eligible for WiFi calling include a specific group of iPhone models, Pixels, and a couple of LGs.

I think that FreedomPop may be the only provider exempting carrier WiFi calling from counting against a plan allotment, so in this respect FP is keeping some 'disrupter' status.

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