Print 16 comment(s) - last by bobsmith1492.. on Oct 1 at 5:58 PM

FreedomPop public beta underway

A company called FreedomPop has launched a free wireless data plan in major metropolitan areas around the United States. The company is giving out Wi-Fi hotspots, and USB dongles to tens of thousands of users reports The Verge. During the public beta, users will be able to use 500 MB of free wireless data per month in the covered areas. 
If you live in an area where Clearwire offers WiMAX connectivity, you should be able to access the FreedomPop beta network. The dongles and hotspots being given out aren't free, however. Users pay $49.99 for a USB dongle or $89.99 for a wireless hotspot; that price is fully refundable (within the first 30 days) according to the company and is considered a deposit. If 500MB/month is not enough for you, you can get 2GB/month for $17.99 or 4GB/month for $28.99.
The company is also planning to launch sleeves that will work with the iPhone and iPod Touch at the same $99 rate in the next few weeks.

FreedomPop plans to switchover to Sprint's LTE network next year. Customers that have already purchased a WiMAX-based connection device can return them to FreedomPop for credit towards an LTE-based device.
The service marks one of the first “freemium” mobile broadband offerings and joins the likes of Netzero’s 200MB/month service. FreedomPop hopes that enough users will opt to pay for larger data allotments helping to subsidize the free offering.
Users of the network can get additional free access with awards of 10 MB per month for recruiting new users for the network. Users will also be given small chunks of data for doing things such as browsing a website, earning 3 MB of data, or 1.2 GB of free access for things such as subscribing to LoJack laptop protection software. 
The service requires no contracts, and has no activation or cancellation fees. 

Sources: FreedomPop, The Verge

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By FlyBri on 10/1/2012 10:54:08 AM , Rating: 2
Just checked out their website, and it seems that their 2GB plan is $17.99/mo, and they also have a 4GB plan for $28.99/mo. I don't see any 5GB or 10GB plan. Maybe the plans and prices vary by area...who knows. Also, after you click on a plan, they try to sell you "FreedomPop Speed Plus" for an extra $2.99/mo, which guarantees faster speeds and no throttling.

By anactoraaron on 10/1/2012 11:06:14 AM , Rating: 1
which guarantees faster speeds and no throttling.

From my experience with wimax all data is throttled .

Are they saying that it's possible to have an even slower throttled speed??

By Newspapercrane on 10/1/2012 11:54:42 AM , Rating: 2
If all your data is throttled, is it still considered throttling? I suppose anything where you're setting an upper limit to speeds could be considered throttling, but isn't that common practice for ISP's and Mobile Carriers alike?

By Newspapercrane on 10/1/2012 1:23:07 PM , Rating: 1
Right, but there's a difference between throttling and just getting shitty service. For years people on Sprint have been complaining about crappy 3G speeds. (Things finally seem to be getting better due to Network Vision upgrades, but that's a different conversation) The term "Throttling" implies that there is an active measure in place slowing down your speeds, normally put into place after a certain amount of data usage in a period excess of a cap. I've seen people getting reasonable speeds from WiMax nothing great, and certainly not LTE category, but usable. I have also heard of people getting terrible speeds on WiMax... it's location and situation dependent. If a tower is overloaded because there isn't enough bandwidth in the backhaul, or you are at the edge of a service range doesn't mean you are getting "Throttled" it means that you have crappy service.

In short: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

By anactoraaron on 10/1/2012 3:31:07 PM , Rating: 1
Ok, fine let me rephrase it for you and all those who rate me down.

There will be normal wimax warp 1 shitty speed...

and there will be super impulse throttled shitty speed.

It's like having dial up throttled and blaming it on shitty service ("I got 92k where I live- I don't know what your problem is"). OK whatever. It could just be that wimax was never meant to be fast - but hey, that's just my opinion.

You get what you pay for and at $15 for 2GB it is implied with wimax and low fees to be slow.

By Ringold on 10/1/2012 5:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
I for one think you had it correct, since for now they're using Clearwire.

My experience with Clearwire about a year back was that they did have a higher advertised speed that, no, most of us wouldn't call throttling.

But, as soon as they peg you as a user that might DARE use the service, then yes, they'd throttle you in to the stone age. Don't take my word for it, hit up Google, the internet and their own message boards are full of complaints, and I even got a notice in the mail of Clearwire settling a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit was on the grounds they made it tricky to quit, but that was only an issue because of throttling.

So, yeah, Clearwire specifically does throttle even just moderate users. And again, as of about a year ago, if you got high enough up on the tech support chain, they'd admit it -- then try to sell you business class service, which, woops, throttles too.

This looks great once they switch to LTE, though.

By anactoraaron on 10/1/2012 5:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
If all your data is throttled, is it still considered throttling?

I don't know...

If no one has the ability to hear do things still make sounds?
If everything is blue does anything have any color?
If there is no light is everything dark?


By kmmatney on 10/1/2012 4:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a heavy user, but I average about 150GB of data monthly with my Comcast account (which costs $45/mo). It doesn't take much at all to hit 500MB. What happens after that?

My son would really like this for his iPod touch, though. They have a sleeve to give an iPod 4G connectiviity, but it cost $99.

RE: 500MB?
By kmmatney on 10/1/2012 4:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
The $17/mo plan is too close to what you can get by adding tethering to an existing smart-phone phone plan. I have free tethering with a Jailbroken iPhone, but it would be nice if this puts pressure on the phone companies to increase caps or include free tethering. I'm not sold on Freedom-pop, as it's another device to lug around (unless yo get one of the sleeves for iPhone or iPod touch).

RE: 500MB?
By Souka on 10/1/2012 4:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a heavy user, but I average about 150GB of data monthly

150GB month? Well acording to Comcast you are among their 3% highest users .. 97% higher than their typical user

RE: 500MB?
By bobsmith1492 on 10/1/2012 5:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
5GB/day is not heavy? I'd have to be downloading constantly 8 hours a day on my DSL 1.5mb/s to get 150GB/month.

By chromal on 10/1/2012 10:21:31 AM , Rating: 2
Data will be sold à la cart with 2 GB costing $15, 5 GB costing $35, and 2 GB costing $60.

This statement confuses me. Is 2GB $15 or $60?

RE: confused
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/1/2012 10:23:51 AM , Rating: 2
$60 for 10GB. It's been corrected.

putting other companies to shame
By MadMan007 on 10/1/2012 11:15:16 AM , Rating: 2
And now we know a more realistic cost of mobile data. (I know, it's not fully comparable, they are an MVNO which are always cheaper and are running off what is presumably a cheaper deprecated network, but still...) This
à la cart with 2 GB costing $15, 5 GB costing $35, and 10 GB costing $60
is pretty cheap compared to others, especially at the lower allotments.

By Ammohunt on 10/1/2012 1:43:30 PM , Rating: 2
FreedomPop hopes that enough users will opt to pay for larger data allotments helping to subsidize the free offering.

The good ol Hippie commune business model. What is stopping users from purchasing four dongles for $200 granting a free 2Gb a month; would pay for itself in less that 4 months vs. the $60 a month service.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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