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Freedom Mobile Review

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Freedom Mobile for those that don’t know is the new carrier released by Shaw Communications after buying Wind Mobile.

So one can essentially say it’s Wind Mobile however keep in mind that Shaw is heavily investing into this new wireless carrier to really bring value to subscribers.

Freedom Mobile has over 1 million subscribers and comes in as the 4th largest carrier in Canada after the big boys.

Time will only tell if it has what it takes to compete with the big 3.

Shaw officially took over Wind Mobile on March 1, 2016 and they renamed it to Freedom Mobile in November 2016.

The launch of Freedom’s 4G LTE service, of which coverage has been a hot topic, was also launched in November 2016.

A lot has changed since they originally launched.

They now offer ‘unlimited’ plans like the other carriers, however reception and coverage still seems to be a hot topic.

Freedom is also launching 5G service.

 

Freedom Mobile Coverage

When it comes to coverage with Freedom Mobile, they originally used to break out their options as either on the Home network, Variable network or Away network.

They now break out their network as Freedom and Freedom Nationwide.

Freedom:
Usually when you’re in major cities and the provinces which they have coverage in which is Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta – access all the features available in your plan.

Freedom Nationwide:
Usually where Freedom does not have coverage which is outside major cities and you flip to a partner network – access almost all of the features of your plan, the major limit being data.

 

So Is Freedom Mobile Reception Any Good?

Pros

Works pretty good if you’re in city centres.

4G LTE seems to be working well in city centres.

Price for the coverage is great if you rarely go outside of city centres.

 

Cons

If you travel between city centres i.e. Toronto to Ottawa there will be dead zones and roaming charges in between the two cities.

Go to the cottage often? Or Blue Mountain? Reception will be challenging.

4G LTE network still needs work outside of the city centres

 

According to the Freedom Mobile website, millions of Canadians now have access to fast LTE data.

In addition, they’ve also started to push their roll out of Extended LTE which is their Band 13 LTE (700MHZ low-band spectrum).

What Extended LTE means is you should get stronger coverage in areas where you currently get just ok coverage as this spectrum has a better ability to penetrate walls.

This should also help Freedom expand their network further. Extended LTE is available in the GTA and we’ve been seeing a lot of positive comments in regards to coverage.

 

So how is Freedom Mobile LTE?

Freedom Mobile’s LTE coverage has definitely already come a long way compared to when they first launched.

LTE coverage is now standard anywhere they offer service on their network so that’s a good step.

 

Freedom Mobile Plans

Before you review their plans, the Digital Discount is $5 off per month of eligible in-market plans.

  • Activate a Pay After or Pay Before service
  • Set up pre-authorized payments
  • Use the Digital Discount code
  • Voila!

 
Freedom Mobile offers various ‘Big Gig Unlimited Data’ plans.

The plans include a variation of talk, text and a huge amount of data.

In terms of pricing, again this is the cheapest out of all carriers for this combination of data and talk!

We’ll highlight the Big Gig Unlimited 10 GB.

Freedom Network

  1. Unlimited Talk
  2. Unlimited Data
  3. 10 GB + 10 GB Bonus
  4. (Reduced speeds after 20 GB)

 

Freedom Nationwide

  1. $0.05 per minute for talk in Canada
  2. Unlimited incoming calls
  3. 500 MB of data

Full details on all plan offerings can be seen on the Freedom Mobile website.

 

Freedom Mobile also offers what they call Freedom Plans.

These plans start at only $15.

The Freedom 250 MB for example provides:

  1. 250 MB of data
  2. 100 minutes of nationwide calls
  3. Unlimited incoming calls
  4. Unlimited global text, picture and video messaging

 

Freedom Mobile initially offered discounts for multiple lines on the same account however these discounts have been removed in 2020.

 

Pros

All plans offer very good value for the monthly fee.

Unlimited data however they will cap the data to 256 kbps download and 128 kbps upload once you use the allotted amount.

 

Cons

Once you’re outside of the Freedom area you have much less data to use.

No roaming option to extend your plan for $7 – $12 per day the way Rogers and Telus offer – ‘Roam Like Home’.

 

Freedom Mobile Phones

Freedom Mobile runs Bring Your Own Phone offers where you can save an additional $5 or $10 per month off your monthly plan, so look out for these discounts.

Currently, if you activate online, you can get a $10 per month credit for 12 months if you Bring Your Own Phone.

Freedom Mobile offers the latest phones now from the major brands such as Apple, Samsung, LG, Google and more.

 

What is MyTab?

Simply put, you pay a portion of your phone purchase upfront and put the rest of the phone cost on your ‘Tab’.

With MyTab you pay the remaining balance owning on the phone by adding a monthly payment for 24 months.

 

What is Absolute Zero?

Freedom initially did not have 2 year contracts which was a bonus, however with the introduction of their Absolute Zero offering, 2 year terms are back.

With Absolute Zero, you can choose from a specified list of phones and pay:

  1. $0 upfront for the phone
  2. $0 extra monthly for the phone
  3. $0 additional payments for the phone after the 2 year term is complete

 
A few of the phone choices currently include:

  1. iPhone 11
  2. iPhone SE
  3. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

Most other carriers have now gone to the same model as Freedom where you essentially pay off the phone over 24 months.

BYOP: Keep in mind that you can also Bring Your Own Phone!

You will save $120 ($10 per month for 12 months) when you activate your own phone on a new line on a Big Gig plan.

You can use any compatible phone you may already have or you can purchase a used phone as well to be used on the Freedom network.

 

Pros

You get 24 months to pay off your phone of choice.

They have the latest Apple and Samsung devices which are absolutely beautiful.

 

Cons

None really as long as you understand that paying $0 today doesn’t mean a free phone.

 

So is Freedom Mobile worth it?

In our opinion, having a fourth major carrier in Canada is great for competition.

The plans Freedom Mobile offers, especially the Big Gig plans provide the most amazing value for money available in the market.

The fact that they now offer iPhones is amazing.

The reception may not have been the greatest when they launched but we’re hearing it’s getting better and better, especially if you’re based in the city.

Overall, we think Freedom Mobile is an excellent choice!

 

Recommendation

  1. Great for those who want large amounts of data
  2. Good for those who are usually in the city/close to the core
  3. Cheaper than the big 3 (on a straight up plan for plan basis)

 

Any downsides? Who is Freedom Not For?

  1. If you spend a lot of time at the cottage or in rural areas
  2. if you’re on the road a lot travelling between larger cities and smaller towns
  3. If reception is imperative to your job function, such as for salespeople where a missed call can be detrimental

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Freedom Mobile

 

  • Does Freedom Mobile have good coverage?

  • Freedom Mobile coverage is excellent in urban city centres in Southern Ontario, Alberta and BC. They’re very focused on continuing to increase and enhance coverage.
  • Is Freedom Mobile unlimited data?

  • Yes, Freedom Mobile’s Big Gig Unlimited Plans offer unlimited data.
  • Is Public Mobile better than Freedom Mobile?

  • Each carrier has their benefits. A big difference though is that while Public Mobile operates on the strong Telus network, they now only offer 3G data speeds.
  • Does Freedom Mobile offer prepaid service?

  • Yes, Freedom Mobile does offer prepaid service.

    Go to the Freedom Mobile website and enter your IMEI number in their Bring Your Own Phone compatibility checker.

    If you’re phone will work on their network, the next step will allow you to order a sim card for free.

    The sim card should arrive in 4 – 5 business days, after which you can activate it on Freedom Mobile prepaid service.

  • Why is Freedom Mobile so cheap?

  • Since Freedom Mobile is a new entrant into the space and competing with the Big 3 Carriers is no easy task, it seems like they are using lower price points as a tactic to help increase the amount of subscribers.

    The lower price does not relate to the quality of the network by any means, Freedom Mobile is heavily investing in bettering their network.

    One big difference however is their coverage area and what is considered covered in your plan or your home area vs what is considering roaming or your away area.

  • Does Freedom Mobile sell the iPhone?

  • Yes, Freedom Mobile now sells the iPhone and carries various models (Initially when they launched they did not).
  • Do the iPhone 8 and iPhone X work on Freedom Mobile?

  • Yes, all iPhones now work on Freedom Mobile
  • Does Freedom Mobile have 5G?

  • Freedom Mobile is currently rolling out 5G coverage. It looks like it will take the greater part of 2021 until 5G is broadly available.
  • What’s the Freedom Mobile Customer Service number?

  • You can contact Freedom Mobile at 1-877-946-3184 from 8 AM to 1 AM ET 7 days a week.

 

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Shawn Gant

Shawn is a passionate techie particularly interested in the fintech space. He loves to dig into the ever evolving number of apps and SaaS platforms available to Canadians. In his free time, catch him on the mountains shredding some powder.