FreedomPop Rolls out Public Beta for Free 500MB/Monthly WiMAX Service
October 1, 2012 9:23 AM
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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
. 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.
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RE: Prices don't seem to match to what FreedomPop's site shows now
10/1/2012 5:38:18 PM
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.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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