FreedomPop Review: The UK Network With Free Minutes, Texts & Internet

September 23rd, 2015

FreedomPop is a new UK network promising a free mobile service with no monthly charges. Customers get 200 minutes, 200 texts and 200MB of internet every month.

FreedomPop LogoFreedomPop is a new mobile network which has just launched in the UK today. Their headline offer is a free service with 200 minutes, 200 texts and 200MB of mobile internet. The company has been offering a service in the USA for 4 years and is now launching in the UK as their first international market.

In this article, we review the FreedomPop service in the UK. We’ll look at the FreedomPop price plans and how the FreedomPop service compares to other networks. We’ll also discuss the coverage you’re able to get on FreedomPop.

Pricing & Tariffs

Price Plans

FreedomPop Phone

In the UK, FreedomPop currently offers a choice of three tariffs. The basic tariff has no monthly cost and comes with 200 minutes, 200 texts and 200MB of mobile internet. For frequent mobile users, FreedomPop has paid-for plans from £8.99/month:

Network Minutes Texts Internet Monthly
FreedomPop 200 200 200MB £0.00
& £6.99 upfront
FreedomPop 1,000 1,000 1GB £8.99*
& £6.99 upfront
FreedomPop Unlimited Unlimited 2GB £11.99
& £6.99 upfront

The inclusive minutes and texts can only be used in the FreedomPop application. * For new customers, the £8.99 tariff is free for the first month.

There’s an upfront charge of £6.99 when ordering your SIM card from the FreedomPop website. £5 of this is for activating your SIM card; the other £1.99 covers postage and packaging.

When you first sign up, FreedomPop will store your credit card information which will then be used automatically for additional charges. For instance, if you go over your inclusive allowance of mobile data, you’ll pay 1.5p/MB for all further usage (this means you’ll pay £15 for using 1GB of extra data). On the paid-for tariffs, the out-of-bundle rate is reduced very slightly down to 1p/MB (so you’ll pay £10 for each additional GB of data).

There are also a couple of opportunities to earn additional free data by completing offers and surveys through the FreedomPop website.

Additional Services

FreedomPop Premium Voice Call

FreedomPop has a Premium Voice service for an extra £1.99 per month.

A big part of FreedomPop’s business model is their efforts to upsell you on additional paid-for services:

  • Premium Voice (£1.99/month on the free tariff; free on the paid-for tariffs). A major limitation of the FreedomPop service is that calls can only be made through the FreedomPop application. This differs from every other mobile network in that it uses voice-over-IP technology (VoIP) for the phone call. If your internet connection is too slow for making phone calls, it typically won’t be possible to use the service. With the Premium Voice add-on, FreedomPop solves this problem by allowing you to make outgoing phone calls over the mobile network as a backup. Incoming phone calls can’t be used with Premium Voice service (the incoming phone call will probably break up if your internet connection is too slow).
  • Data Rollover (£1.49/month). For an extra £1.49/month, you can roll over up to 500MB of unused mobile data to the following month. Your data will continue rolling over as long as you have the additional service (you’re able to accumulate 20GB of rollover data as a maximum).
  • FreedomPop Usage Alerts (99p/month). A key danger of the FreedomPop service is you’re charged automatically for going over your allowance. If you’d like to receive a message when you reach your allowance, you’ll need to pay 99p/month for the Usage Alerts service.
  • Voicemail (99p/month). By default, there is no voicemail on the FreedomPop service. It costs 99p to add the service for one month.

Comparison to Alternatives

Mobile Mast

Lack of coverage, especially for voice, is a major problem on the FreedomPop service.

In our opinion, there are four major downsides to the FreedomPop service:

  • Coverage is limited especially for phone calls. The main downside of using FreedomPop is very limited coverage, especially for calling. With FreedomPop, it’s only possible to make a phone call where there’s sufficiently fast internet to support voice-over-IP calling. With the £1.99 Premium Voice add-on, you can partially side-step this but only for outgoing phone calls (incoming phone calls will still come through the app).
  • 200MB is actually very little data. The free tariff on FreedomPop only includes 200MB of data (this is equivalent to approximately 360 web pages, 40 songs, 24 minutes of video or 15 applications). Only very light users will be able to get away with only 200MB of monthly data.
  • Your account is topped up automatically when you reach 100MB of remaining data. FreedomPop will automatically top up your account by £10 of credit when you’re within 100MB of your download allowance. This means you’re only really able to use 100MB without paying anything extra.
  • It’s very easy to run up additional charges without even knowing. With FreedomPop, your credit card information is stored during sign-up. As the payment details are held on record and used automatically for when you incur additional charges, it’s very easy to accidentally run up a bill by surprise. If you’d like to receive a notification when your allowances have been used, FreedomPop charges an extra 99p/month for this service.

Collectively, these four downsides make us highly reluctant to recommend the FreedomPop service.

5 Pound Note

Just £5/month would get you a tariff on more established mobile networks such as ASDA and giffgaff.

In our opinion, you’re much better off choosing a paid-for service without these limitations. For instance, both ASDA and giffgaff have Pay As You Go bundles from £5/month. There’s much better coverage, especially for calling (ASDA uses the EE network whereas giffgaff uses O2). There’s also better control on your spending and there’s a more established name behind the service.

ASDA Mobile1002,000100MB£5.00
ASDA Mobile2002,000-£5.00
ASDA Mobile300Unlimited500MB£7.00

For around £10/month, the major networks also have a Pay As You Go tariff without the disadvantages of the FreedomPop service:

ASDA Mobile600Unlimited1.5GB£10.00

Using FreedomPop

FreedomPop SIM CardIf you do choose to try the FreedomPop service, you’ll need to have an unlocked smartphone of your own. The smartphone needs to be compatible with the FreedomPop application for iPhone or Android. This is because all phone calls and text messages need to be made through the FreedomPop application.

When ordering your SIM card from the FreedomPop website, you’ll be asked to choose the type of SIM card you require (either Standard SIM, Micro SIM or Nano SIM). Customers wanting a Standard SIM should choose the Micro SIM option during checkout. If you aren’t sure which size of SIM card is required for your phone, please see our in-depth guide to smartphone SIM card types.

FreedomPop Application

On FreedomPop, phone calls and text messages are provided as an over-the-top service. You must use the FreedomPop app to access these services (it isn’t possible to use the native dialler or messaging app on your phone).

Network & Coverage

97% Mobile Internet Coverage

Three Coverage

FreedomPop uses the Three UK network for 97% mobile internet coverage.

FreedomPop is a virtual network operator that uses Three as a network coverage provider. At the time of writing, there’s approximately 97% population coverage for 3G and 4G internet.

Before ordering a SIM card from FreedomPop, we strongly recommend checking the coverage in your area. The easiest way to do this is by entering your postcode in the FreedomPop coverage checker:

Check FreedomPop Coverage ( »

Limited Coverage For Calling & Texting

Unlike all other mobile networks, FreedomPop only provides a voice-over-IP service. Your phone calls and text messages are delivered using an application (the app makes use of either wi-fi or 3G internet). Your data connection will need to be of a sufficient speed to support the phone call. This severely restricts your ability to use FreedomPop in areas of low coverage or where the masts are congested.

Customers with the £1.99 Premium Voice add-on can make outgoing phone calls on the normal mobile network (this gives 97% population coverage for outgoing phone calls). Incoming calls can only be routed through the FreedomPop application (so the coverage will be limited as described above).

Keeping Your Phone Number

FreedomPop WebsiteIf you’d like to keep your existing phone number, it’s a straightforward process to transfer it into FreedomPop.

Firstly, you’ll need to ask your old mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. This is a nine-digit code that authorises the transfer of your phone number to FreedomPop. It is a legal requirement for all UK mobile networks to issue you with a PAC Code within 2 hours of your request.

Once you’ve done that, you should order your new SIM card from the FreedomPop website. Once it’s arrived and once you’ve set up your account, you can enter the PAC Code through your online account (log in and go to My Account > Phone Number > Transfer Existing Number).

For a step-by-step guide on transferring your phone number to FreedomPop, please select your current network provider:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to giffgaff

Your current network provider:

  More Options

The ability to transfer your phone number in to FreedomPop has only been available since April 2016.

More Information

For more information, please see the FreedomPop UK website.

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About Ken

Ken Lo

My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.

Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 13 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. Stave said:

    Freedompop is great for a light user especially if you are have access to a decent WiFi connection. I usually make calls on WiFi at home and have a MiFi device when out so I don’t have to worry about running out of data on the basic free plan. On my iPhone I turn “mobile data” off for all apps except Freedompop. Not sure what the equivalent settings are on Android. I also have a extra SIM in case I run out of talk minutes and have disabled auto top up for data.

    One problem I have is that when I am in my car I can receive calls via my iphone on my car’s bluetooth handsfree (Ford SYNC) but when I try to dial out I get the message “your service does not allow access to this number”. This seems to be because the car is using the native IOS dialer which dials voice calls on the SIM (3 network) and not through the Freedompop app which uses a data connection.

  2. Paul said:

    I came across your site a few weeks back when googling reviews of Freedompop, and saw a comment (now gone) by a visitor to UK from Australasia who, like me, wants to safeguard their UK mobile number permenantly so it is available on their next visit. I am away for typ 18 months at a time. On this visit to the UK I found the Giffgaff service using 4GB/£15 pcm roughly matches my usage (most of the time my phone is just used as a 3G modem to connect my laptop or Pc, hence the high data usage), except voice use of normal celular service is less than 5-50% of the goodybag allowance. I mention this, because the ‘FREE’ Freedompop account appears not intended for those needing 4 to 6GB data pcm.

    I gather to keep my SIM alive with Giffgaff, I need to leave SIM with a friend in UK and add £5 credit avery 6 months, i.e will cost me £20 if away for 2 years.

    It was my search for a cheaper reliable method of safeguarding my UK phone number when overseas that perked my interest in a so-called FREE phone (for light users). However, I dont like Freedompop marketing as it seems misleading, and I get annoyed if deceived. What with that, £7 upfront cost for their SIMcard, and from your review, complications in making/receiving clear voice calls, it seems doubtful whether migrating my Giffgaff number to Freedompop is any better than paying £10 PA to keep Giffgaff SIM alive.

    Ken, do you know a simpler, reliable, and cheaper way of safeguarding a UK phone number for say 2 years unused ?

    I depart UK in 2 weeks, so little time to organise something.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your comment. I agree, and I don’t think FreedomPop will be a very good way for you to keep your phone number active. I’ve got an article here about Pay As You Go inactivity which you might find of interest, but in short: most mobile networks will simply require you to either top-up or use your phone once every 6 months.
      In your case, seeing as you already have a giffgaff SIM card, you’re probably best off just sticking with the giffgaff SIM. The easiest & cheapest thing to do would be to send a text message from the SIM card once every 6 months (this would cost 5p each time, so it would only cost 20p to keep your SIM card active for 2 years). Alternatively, like you say, you could also top-up the account once every 6 months. In this case, it’s worth noting that giffgaff has a minimum top-up of £10 each time. However, the good thing is your credit doesn’t expire providing your SIM card remains active (so the next time you come back, you’ll still have all of that credit remaining on the account for you to use).
      Hope this helps,

  3. Luis said:

    Thank you for the review, it is the first one that analyses properly their operation. The information from media/other websites is completely biased and manipulated. Keep up the good work

  4. Youngslinger said:

    I am a very light user, mainly using the mobile for voice calls, being with Tesco Light tariff. I joined FP during the beta stage and use a dual sim Motorola, having the best of both worlds. The main problem with FP VoIP is the delay, sometimes confusing the other end, but once aware the calls go quite well. My data usage is minimal but suitable for my usage. FP, to my mind, would be unsuitable for customers with heavy usage. Since the end of the beta program, I have found very few problems. Customer Service is not that good, being via email and a propensity to close the query quite quickly when passed to another department. (I am still awaiting a reply to a query several months ago that was passed to the technical dept!!)
    I found that FP blogs were more helpful to resolve problems – for new customers should be their first point of help!

  5. Anthony Powell said:

    Freedompop is useless there is no customer service to contact by phone. They sent me a sim and took out money from my account before the sim actually arrived and work. There is no phone number to call. They said it free. Not a minute

  6. StuB said:

    Complete waste of time, the Service is poor at best, Charged in advance and service not supplied. This is just WhatsApp with a Charge applied. Service cannot run without app, no customer service to call.

  7. Ian said:

    My understanding is that you can only make calls to geographic numbers starting 01 and 02 and to mobile numbers starting 071-075 and 077-079.

    I believe that all calls to non-geographic numbers starting 03, 08 and 09 are blocked, as are calls to numbers starting 0500, 055, 056, 070 and 076.

    A service that does not allow calls to 03 and 080 numbers is next to useless. Those are the numbers now used by the majority of public services, health services, customer services and financial services as well as by a number of important charity helplines.

    1. RickyG replied:

      I’ve got a Freedom Pop SIM and can call 01/02/03/05 and 08 numbers!

  8. arahant said:

    I just got a freedompop sim for my note 4 and found if I remove there sim and insert my giffaff sim I can still receive giffgaff calls and sms whilst still using freedompop sms service.only thing I can’t do is make calls on giffgaff until I uninstall freedompops app but can make calls on freedompop still thete handy if your at home a lot and have good BB wifi.saved me a few bob over having to buy a giffgaff goodybag or use my giffgaff airtime credit.

    1. arahant replied:

      Forgot to add that if u use all your minutes u don’t get charged more all that hapens is you can’t make any more calls.

  9. premierfella said:

    “Your account is topped up automatically when you reach 100MB of remaining data. FreedomPop will automatically top up your account by £10 of credit when you’re within 100MB of your download allowance. This means you’re only really able to use 100MB without paying anything extra.”

    What, no mention of being able to unselect the auto top-up (thus limiting the risk of data spend to situations where you use a lot of data over a short period that takes you over the allowance due to usage reporting lag).

  10. Amir said:

    C*** service and the voice calls are voip i.e whatsapp and vibrer. Yes they call normal numbers but so does skype and viber! Dialler only use android and ios what a joke compared to normal phone!

    Use life mobile that is now owned by EE or asda or tesco! Can’t believe people are that desparate! Read the american views of this company and you’ll realise how sly they are


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