Could it be the end of monthly smartphone charges? Possibly so, after the UK’s first ‘free’ contract is set to become available this year.
US based company FreedomPop will be introducing the bargain service this year, which as you’d expect isn’t exactly providing the most intensive tariff for users.
Offering 200 minutes, 200 texts and 200MB data, the FreedomPop tariff is free for a reason, as it won’t last very long if you’re an average smartphone user.
It will provide unlimited free texts to other FreedomPop sim cards though, so if you have a family full of users – then it could prove more fruitful.
The main reason many will invest is for it to be used as a back-up, in a second handset which could be left in your bedside drawer or in your car’s glove box. Either way, it’s not likely to be used as a primary option.
The way the network will make money is by upselling add-ons wherever possible, so if you’re approaching the end of your data amount, you could pay for a more internet friendly amount for the end of the month.
Also, for those who don’t take up these add-ons, we’re sure plenty of money will be made when people inevitably overshoot their limits, so potential buyers should be aware of these charges.
You might expect this bargain network’s signal to be a bit of a struggle; however, with FreedomPop linking with Three Mobile and another yet to be named service, we should get some great UK coverage.
On top of this, the sim will automatically switch between the services to secure the best signal possible at your location, providing some peace of mind if you regularly find yourself without any bars on your travels.
FreedomPop will also be announcing its Jetsetter sim card in the near future as well, which will allow for free international data roaming, similar to the service offered by Three in many other countries. This will also reach out to mobile users who regularly find themselves building air miles, especially within the EU.
Whilst this is certainly a step in the right direction for more frugal smartphone contracts, it’s very unlikely to become the norm in the long term.
Despite many of the bigger names on the mobile market merging, it’s likely that we will all continue to pay more and more monthly costs for high-end phones with ‘heavy-use’ tariffs.
Of course, this idea could well pick-up, especially if users see the need for a back-up phone which costs them nothing to keep a hold of each month.
Written by Luke Hatfield