FreeUP Mobile's first venture into multi-month plans began last November. Just one multi-month plan was launched by the AT&T powered provider. Priced at $40 for 3-months of wireless service, the plan included unlimited talk and text with 500MB of hard capped data each month. Customers also got 500 minutes of international calling to Canada and Mexico. It wasn't the most competitively priced plan available and I surmise it probably wasn't a hot seller.
In February of 2020, FreeUP Mobile's ownership was transferred to Ztar Mobile. Ztar Mobile also operates the competitively priced brand Good2Go Mobile. With the ownership transition, some changes were made to FreeUP Mobile's discontinued grandfathered free plans. Grandfathered customers soon found their free plans downgraded to include fewer minutes and text messages. In the grand scheme of things, this was a minor change as the free plans stopped being offered to new customers months prior. But fast forward today, mid-August of 2020, and the first major changes to FreeUP Mobile's wireless plans have been made under Ztar's ownership. The company is now much more heavily focused on multi-month plans. New plans have been released with a structure that is similar to one of the industry's multi-month plan pioneer's, Mint Mobile. Prepaid wireless expert Dennis Bournique noted in a tweet that FreeUP has also updated one of its monthly plans. FreeUP Mobile's $15 plan now includes unlimited everything with the first 1GB of data each month available at high-speeds before throttling to 2G data speeds. Previously the plan offered 500MB of hard-capped data. Now let's dig into those new multi-month offerings and see how they stack up.
FreeUP Mobile's New Multi-Month Plans Explained
Just like Mint Mobile, FreeUP Mobile is offering its customers the ability to buy either 3, 6, or 12 months of wireless service in advance. Also like Mint Mobile, new customers will get their first 3-months of wireless service at an introductory rate with renewal rates costing more. However, at the end of their first 3-months of service, customers can elect to keep their introductory rate offer by electing to renew for 12-months, another move borrowed from Mint Mobile.
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3GB Plan Options
- 3 months - $25/month, $75 due upfront. The new customer introductory rate is just $15/month with $45 due upfront.
- 6 months - $20/month, $120 due upfront.
- 12 months - $15/month, $180 due upfront.
8GB Plan Options
- 3 months - $35/month, $105 due upfront. The new customer introductory rate is just $20/month with $60 due upfront.
- 6 months - $25/month, $150 due upfront.
- 12 months - $20/month, $240 due upfront.
15GB Plan Options
- 3 months - $45/month, $135 due upfront. The new customer introductory rate is just $30/month with $90 due upfront.
- 6 months - $35/month, $210 due upfront.
- 12 months - $30/month, $360 due upfront.
All plans include unlimited talk, text, and data with the specified amount of data available each month at 4G LTE data speeds before throttling to 2G data speeds. One month is equal to 30-days. The plans also include free calling to Mexico and Canada as well as to over 60 other destinations. Taxes and fees cost extra. 5G data access may also be available, as FreeUP Mobile states that "included with the plan" is "blazing fast 4G LTE, our service runs on the best 5G and 4G LTE network available." According to FreeUP Mobile's terms of service, it would appear that using your phone as a mobile hotspot is prohibited.
FreeUP Mobile's previous $40 multi-month plan has been discontinued in favor of the new offerings.
New multi-month phone plans continue to grow in popularity. In fact, you can even argue that they went mainstream when AT&T Prepaid expanded its multi-month plan offerings. So it comes as no surprise to see yet another MVNO jump on the bandwagon.
FreeUP Mobile is now the second AT&T MVNO to go after Mint Mobile's market share with nearly identical plans. Unreal Mobile is the other AT&T MVNO, but they actually offer plans that are identical to Mint Mobile's. The only difference in basic plan structure between FreeUP Mobile and Mint Mobile is that FreeUP has a 15GB data option for as low as $30/month whereas Mint Mobile tops out with a 12GB option for as low as $25/month. Mint Mobile also differs from both FreeUP and Unreal Mobile by offering service on T-Mobile's network.