Freemium Sprint and AT&T MVNO FreedomPop announced today that it will launch a new MVNO brand called UNREAL Mobile in “early summer”, with a Beta starting soon. You can request an invite to the Beta at unrealmobile.com. FreedomPop’s announcement says UNREAL Mobile will offer Unlimited Everything plans on the Sprint network starting at $ 15/month. No plan details were revealed but I suspect that at the $ 15 price point UNREAL will include only a small amoun
t, say 512 MB or 1 GB, of high speed data followed by unlimited throttled data. Update: UREAL Mobile CEO Stephanie Lewe, told Android Authority that the $ 15 plan is throttled after 2 GB. The plans will also include a VPN service, encryption, the ability to use your UNREAL number for VoiP calls and messaging on any device (tablet, another phone, computer), and mobile ad blocking.
According to FreedomPop, “Unlike FreedomPop, which competes aggressively with pre-paid brands like Boost and Cricket and leverages VoIP and streamlined customer service, UNREAL will offer a full service premium product to compete directly with Sprint and T-Mobile’s postpaid business. Starting at $ 15/month on the exact same 4G LTE network, UNREAL is the nation’s lowest priced unlimited plan stacked with features now critical for every mobile user, including VPN for anonymity, built-in encryption, the ability to use your UNREAL number on any device (tablet, another phone, computer), and mobile ad blocking.” That statement seems to imply that unlike FreedomPop, which is a data only service with calling and texting handed by a proprietary VOIP calling and OTT messaging app, UNREAL will offer native cellular calling and messaging.
FreedomPop claims that the proposed T-Mobile and Sprint merger is what makes UNREAL’s low pricing possible. FreedomPop SVP Mauricio Sastre said, “A year ago, there was no way Sprint would have allowed us to offer UNREAL. Today however, their hands are tied, as Sprint and T-Mobile are held up in regulatory approvals contingent on their ability to demonstrate that competition won’t suffer.”
That suggests that Sprint has significantly lowered the wholesale prices it charges FreedomPop, and presumably other Sprint MVNOs. It that is true, expect to see a new round of MVNO price cuts and data increases.
This is not the first time FreedomPop has offered an “unlimited” plan. In May, 2014, it launnched an “Unlimited Everything” plan. The old unlimited plan cost $ 19/month (later increased to $ 24.99/month). It included unlimited VoIP calls and OTT messaging and unlimited data, with the first 1 GB at full speed followed by unlimited “3G” speed data. Initially the 3G speed was 512 kbps. In June, 2015, FreedomPop announced that the throttled data speed was being reduced to 128 kbps for new users and 256 kbps for users who activated their plans after June, 2015. FreedomPop discontinued the unlimited plan for new users in late 2015 and switched all remaining unlimited users to a non-unlimited plan in July, 2017.