FreedomPop adds AT&T as carrier partner

FreedomPop's new mobile hotspot for AT&T's network.

FreedomPop unveiled a partnership with AT&T, launching SIM cards and an LTE mobile hotspot that can be used on the carrier’s network.

The Los Angeles-based MVNO said the $10 SIM card can be used on any certified GSM phone to access AT&T’s LTE network, and it introduced a $30 LTE mobile hotspot that includes 2 GB of free data. FreedomPop had previously been available in the U.S. only on Sprint’s network.

“Adding the AT&T network gives FreedomPop access to the top rated mobile network and allows FreedomPop to provide LTE connectivity across a new range of devices and users,” said John Gilcrist, FreedomPop’s director of data connectivity, told FierceWireless via email.

The move marks another significant step for the MVNO, which uses a freemium model to entice users, then upsells them into bigger packages or other value-added services such as additional local numbers for users in foreign lands or a “safety mode” that prevents overage charges. It sells handsets as well as SIM cards enabling customers to activate their own phones.

FreedomPop’s free plan includes 500 MB of data, 200 minutes of voice and 500 texts per month. It has raised more than $109 million in financing.

FreedomPop last month launched an online marketplace for refurbished, used smartphones for consumers in the U.S., Mexico, Spain and the U.K. The company said it had forged partnerships with more than 200 used smartphone suppliers around the world and planned to sell more than 100 models from brands including Apple, Samsung and LG.

In October the service provider announced a partnership with Dish Network to offer free mobile services in Mexico. FreedomPop will run the operational aspects and power the service while Dish will provide distribution, customer service and “local expertise.” FreedomPop expanded from its U.S. base into the U.K. and Spain this year, and it plans to launch in an additional eight markets by the end of next year in Asia, Europe and Latin America.