Freemium Sprint MVNO FreedomPop today announced the launch of a global hotspot and SIM that gives users 200 MB per month of free data in 25 countries including the US, UK and most of Europe.
The $10 FreedomPop Global SIM is "coming soon", but the Novatel MiFi 2 hotspot is available now at freedompop.com/worldwide for $49.99 plus $9.99 shipping. According to FreedomPop the hotspot doesn't support LTE, only the older and slower HSPA+, HSPA, Edge and GPRS data standards. However the MiFi 2 manual says that the device does support LTE, although only on US bands 17 and 4. Perhaps FreedomPop's service agreement with the unspecified US GSM operator (probably T-Mobile) that it's using doesn't include LTE.
Update 4:45 PM 1/20: FreedomPop has confirmed on Twitter that LTE will not be available with the global service.
Unlike FreedomPop's Sprint based free plans which come with 500 free MB per month, the free global plan only includes 200 MB. Overage data on the free plan is 2.5¢/MB. FreedomPop is also offering two paid global plans; 1 GB/month for $13.99 or 2 GB/month for $24.99. Overage data on the paid plans is 2¢/MB. For $3.99/month users on any plan can rollover up to 500 MB of unused data per month.
The FreedomPop global service is currently available to customers in the US and the UK and works in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. FreedomPop plans to expand service to Bangladesh, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South America, Thailand and Vietnam "soon".
In an interview with FierceWireless, FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols said that the global service is not roaming. Instead Stokols said that FreedomPop has negotiated individual deals with operators in each country. He also revealed that FreedomPop is paying between $4 and $5 per GB for GSM data.
In other FreedomPop news, the company announced that it has received an additional $50 million in funding from an unspecified investor. That brings FreedomPop's total funding to $109 million. FreedomPop also says it has added over 1 million subscribers since launch.