UK Network to Hand Out "Free" Data and Call SIMs from July

By Gary Cutlack on at

US mobile network FreedomPop is coming to the UK this summer, when it'll launch a completely free SIM that includes a small amount of data, mobile call minutes and texts.

FreedomPop will initially start to offer a SIM that includes 200MB of data, 200 text messages and 200 minutes, allowances it presumably hopes customers will routinely sail through.

There's also an interesting selection of paid services launching alongside the SIM, with FreedomPop letting users pay £2 a month to add a second, international number to the SIM -- letting overseas friends or relatives call the subscriber at a local rate. Anonymous browsing and the option of rolling over unused data are other possible premium features.

The bundles deal sounds like a better way of making money than previous free SIM options we've seen in the UK. You may remember Ovivo Mobile, the ad-funded "free" network that quickly failed, leaving abandoned customers to switch providers. Trying to survive on just a hopeful £2 a month from a small section of subscribers sounds like a big ask for FreedomPop, but we can see potential for use as a spare in-car SIM, or a locked-down option for a child who can't be trusted.

And it's the cheapo SIM-only plans it's attacking, with co-founder Steven Sesar telling the BBC: "In the UK there is a lot of interest in the lower-use end of the market which is where we plan to wipe out the guys offering £5-£10 data plans."

The network says that registering your interest now could get you an early doors SIM to test. [FreedomPop via BBC]