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FreedomPop 4G Coverage and Network Review

14th March 2017

FreedomPop is an innovative MVNO which runs on Three’s network and stands out by offering customers completely free mobile data, minutes and texts.

As it uses Three’s infrastructure in the UK it has the same level of coverage, amounting to over 65% of the population right now, and that figure is growing all the time.

Pros

Cons

Free basic tariff

Tethering costs extra

Free roaming on one plan

Low data limits

Lots of optional extras

4G coverage isn't great

Our Verdict 

Coverage

As a Three MVNO, FreedomPop currently has over 65% UK population coverage with 4G and 98% coverage with 3G. That's a little below other operators who use Vodafone, EE or O2's networks, but Three's network is improving quickly.

Network Type Coverage by population
4G  65%
3G 98%
2G N/A

Use Freedom Pop’s coverage checker below to find out more about Freedom Pop coverage in your area, including signal strengths and details on both indoor and outdoor coverage.

Towns and cities with partial or full coverage include:

Aberdeen, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Gloucester, Huddersfield, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Luton, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Sheffield, Southampton, Southend On Sea, Stoke on Trent, Swindon, Watford and York.

Network Speeds and Frequencies

FreedomPop uses standard 4G, which is approximately 5 times faster than a typical 3G network. The network’s average 4G download speed is currently 18.92Mbit/sec, while its average 4G upload speed is 9.8Mbit/sec. That’s fast enough to smoothly stream, download, upload and work from your phone.

  • Average Download Speed: 18.92 Mbit/sec
  • Average Upload Speed: 9.8 Mbit/sec

FreedomPop uses the 800MHz and 1800MHz bands for 4G. The 800MHz band can travel over long distances, making it a good fit for rural locations, where there may not be many masts. But it can also do a good job of passing through walls and other objects, making it good for bringing 4G inside too.

1800MHz isn’t quite as long range or as adept at passing through walls, but it’s available in higher capacities, and this allows it to cope better with congested areas, such as city centres.

You can find in depth details of those bands in our 4G frequencies guide.

  • 800MHz used for 4G
  • 1800MHz used for 4G
  • 2100 MHz used for 3G

Plans

FreedomPop offers a range of SIM Only plans, most notably ‘Basic 200’, which gives you 200MB of 4G data, 200 minutes and 200 texts absolutely free every month. Other plans and extras cost money, and are detailed below. Note that additional free data can be earned by referring friends and completing offers.

Pay Monthly Phone Plans

FreedomPop does not currently offer any Pay Monthly plans.

SIM Only Plans

 

Basic 200

Premium 500

Premium 1GB

Premium 2GB Premium 4GB WhatsApp SIM

Minutes

200

500

1000

Unlimited Unlimited 100

Texts

200

500

1000

Unlimited Unlimited 200

Data allowance

200MB

500MB

1GB

2GB 4GB 200MB

Premium Voice

No

No

Yes

Yes No No

Price

Free £4.99 £8.99 £11.99 £19.99 Free

4G

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Roaming No No No No No Yes
Contract length 1 month 1 month 1 month 1 month 1 month 1 month

FreedomPop has a handful of different SIM Only plans, highlighted in the table above, all of which come with an allowance of minutes, texts and data.

Additional services cost extra, with FreedomPop Premier for example allowing you to tether, use visual voicemail, get improved voice quality (known as Premium Voice), get usage alerts and send picture messages for £3.99 per month.

Alternatively, visual voicemail is available on its own for £0.99 per month, Premium Voice can be had for £1.99 per month, data rollover can be added for between £1.49 and £2.99 per month (depending on how much you want to be able to roll over to the next month), and usage alerts (which warn you before you go over your allowances) can be activated for £0.99 per month.

As well as the free ‘Basic 200’ plan, the WhatsApp SIM is also worth highlighting. This is free too and lets you use your data for roaming at no extra cost, as well as giving you 1GB of data to use with WhatsApp, but it’s capped at 3G speeds.

Data Only Plans – For Tablets and Dongles

FreedomPop does not currently offer any Data Only plans.

Pay As You Go

FreedomPop does not currently offer any Pay As You Go plans.

FreedomPop Roaming Destinations

FreedomPop’s standard SIM cards don’t include free roaming on any plan, however the network also offers ‘WhatsApp SIM cards’. These limit you to 3G data whether at home or abroad – so they’re less useful if you plan to mostly use your phone in the UK. But they include free data roaming in the following destinations:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA.

In addition, you’ll soon be able to roam in Bangladesh, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam.

Conclusion

FreedomPop is a remarkable network for one simple reason: it gives you minutes, texts and data at absolutely no monthly cost.

That makes it great if you’re a light user or want a second number that won’t cost you anything. Extras like free roaming (on one tariff) and paid bolt-ons such as tethering and data rollover also give it a number of additional strengths.

However, these can also make the price add up, and if you also need higher allowances than the free tier offers you might find you’re better off on a conventional network.

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