I've been with freedompop since the beginning of this year, so about 11 months, and realized I hadn't written much here to thank them for the free, uninterrupted and trouble free service I've had with them.
Here are all the things that have been great:
1) 1200mb per sim per month for free. Now reduced to 700mb. Across 11 sims usable in the US, that gave us 12.89GB for free, and now 7.52GB.
700mb / 1200mb is / was enough for myself and my wife. The kids used two sims a month but are now on Virgin's $1 a year deal.
Total outlay on sims was around $10 which was less than how much we spent on RingPlus.
I set up a simple system to log in once a month to make the donations to bump the in use sims to 1200mb. Took about 5 minutes in total. With the reduced data, I no longer log in at all.
When I ordered the sims, I probably spent about 5 minutes a sim for the admin required.
The free data has been worth several hundred dollars so I'd say it's been a double to triple digit $ per hour return on the time spent, some of which time you would spend on a paid provider too.
2) International Roaming
Before travelling internationally, I put in the global sims into the families phones. Upon landing we are connected and can catch up on things that happened during the flight, tell family and friends that we've arrived, pull up car rental and hotel reservation details, use maps etc etc.
All at no cost! With who else can you data roam internationally for free (Google Fi charges you the same rates)? The value and convenience is insane!
3) 100 free international minutes a month
This is worth $2 - $3 a month per sim, but it's more the convenience of being able to direct dial an international number when you need to. And if I need to use more than a 100 minutes of calls, I can just swap the sim.
Additionally, these free minutes are usable over wifi.
4) UK sims
Another area where I received huge value was when I got UK sims with over 2GB on data on them and unlimited real cell minutes and texting. I spent the same time ordering these sims as I would have any other UK paid sims. Having a real number rather than using the global sim came in handy when I started using some UK services that wanted a UK mobile number.
I downgraded these sims when I returned back to the US and there were absolutely no issues.
5) Porting out numbers easily, for free and without closing the account.
Came in very handy when I put the kids on the Virgin mobile deal and needed to port numbers.
Is a very fast portal to check on the account.
Although you don't need the freedompop app on your phone, I install it because it is a simple way to check remaining allotments and time and it enables the international calling.
8 ) Up and running quickly
The sim packaging contains everything you need to get started. Instructions on setting the apn are easy to follow. Once you pop the sim in and update the apn, you are up and running very quickly.
All in all, I've received a great deal of value on mobile data and the ability to make international calls and roam internationally, while experiencing 100% reliability / zero downtime and zero service issues billing or otherwise, for 11 months for a one off outlay of about $10.
Value for money wise, R+ comes close because of the large allotments, but there was more drama and time required to take advantage of those deals. In my opinion, CellNUVO cannot and will not ever compare because not only is it not free and you have to work at a $ an hour to earn service credits, but 2+ months of problems is disqualifying even if it were truly free.
The only thing better from a value for money point of view in my opinion, is the free one year deal from Virgin, and maybe the one year Sprint deal depending on your usage requirements.