I recently moved into a new apartment in Omaha, Nebraska and when I was searching for internet providers, I was a bit sickened by the high prices of major ISPs in the area. The only way you could get a decent rate with any of them is to be locked in to their services for extended periods of time (2 or 3 year contracts!)
As a person who values freedom and mobility, I looked for alternative options.
With a quick Google search, I stumbled on Karma, NetZero, Juno, mobile hotspots from major cellular services, and lastly Freedom Pop. I researched Freedom Pop because you could potentially get internet access for free!
I am a fan of testing free on certain items, so I signed up and got a 4G Photon mobile hot spot. I did this after checking the coverage area on their online map. Apparently, FreedomPop rents out bandwidth from Sprint’s cell towers. Over the past year, Sprint has been upgrading their service to offer robust 4G service all over town. With these things in line, I clicked activate online and began. The cheapest shipping option was supposed to take a week and the moment you click on the ‘Activate’ button, your 30 day free-trial of their premium plan kicks in.
It took about 8 days for the device to arrive. I started charging it. The multiple LED’s had a legend on the device. Regardless, I spent hours trying to get it to work.
It was pretty frustrating, so I put the gadget aside and checked on it in a later date. When I picked it up again, I still couldn’t get it to work. The next day I called up the service line. Be aware that when you call during your lunch hour, you’re doing the same thing as many people around the country. As a result, I was on hold for 45 minutes before I hung up.
I tried again the next day during the afternoon and talked to a customer support person after being on hold for only 20 minutes. The issue I had was resolved. It turns out that the device I had bought was a 4G WiMax hubspot and didn’t work with Sprint’s 4G LTE network.
A couple of weeks later, I called up FreedomPop again to order the 4G LTE mobile hotspot, which costs $199. Surprisingly, I was helped out by the same person who had helped me a couple of weeks earlier. Even more surprising, the representative, name Julius, remembered me and was excited that I was getting more help. He mentioned to me that the customer service department is located in the Philippines and we chatted about life. All in all, when you actually connect with the customer support team, they are fantastic, but the wait can be a huge pain.
So at this junction, I’m waiting for my 4G LTE mobile hotspot to arrive. I will update you on the service quality as soon as I can!