Here's another new option for FREE text, talk, and unlimited data on your smartphone from a startup out of Boston.

I told you recently about the offer of limited free smartphone service from FreedomPop. Now a new company called Scratch Wireless that launched in October 2013 has another offer.

Research from Cisco finds that smartphone users are near free wifi around 80% of the time. So the Scratch Wireless business model affords you free texting, data, and voice minutes when you're near wifi.

If you're not, you simply buy a pass for $15 a month that lets you get cellular service for voice and another pass for data. (Texting remains free and unlimited all the time, no matter where you're on wifi or a cellular network.)

So how can you get in on this deal? It starts with you buying a Motorola Photon Q for $269. It's a fancy smartphone with a 4.3 inch screen that runs Android 4.1 (Jellybean). Once you buy it, your service is free with the stipulations I outlined above.

If you choose to get the cellular network pass for $15 a month, why would you do Scratch Wireless rather than, say, Republic Wireless for $25? (Read my review of Republic here.)

Well, I see Scratch as a perfect service for a parent who wants their child to have a smartphone. You can always reach them by text thanks to the free and unlimited service that doesn't require wifi. And you don't have a big cellphone bill every month!

It's like poor man's cellphone service. All these services like FreedomPop, Republic Wireless, and Scratch Wireless are a niche; they won't serve a big number of people. But they're all another sign of the trends that point to cheaper and cheaper service to come.

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Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. View More Articles

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