FreedomPop is aiming to bring high-speed 4G internet to the US masses for free. The service is entering Beta now, on a first come, first served basis, and it offers every user 500MB of free data per month. That data will be delivered via the Clearwire WiMAX network right now, but FreedomPop is due to start using Sprint’s 4G LTE spectrum in 2013.
The company claims there are no gimmicks here, no caps or throttling, just 4G wherever you go, on any device, without a contract. When you go past your free 500MB, you’ll pay $10 per gigabyte. Current speeds are touted at 4 to 10 Mbps download, and 1 to 2 Mbps upload.
How do you take advantage? Well, you need the Freedom Spot or the Freedom Stick. The Freedom Spot is a hotspot that can serve up to eight devices and you can get one by putting down an $89 refundable deposit. The Freedom Stick is a USB dongle and you can get it with a $49 refundable deposit. Apparently the company has iPhone and iPod cases, or “Freedom Sleeves”, that double as hotspots in the works. They’ll be available in the next few weeks for $99 and the iPhone version also works as a charging case.
If you’re wondering how FreedomPop expects to turn a profit, the plan is to offer various premium services. These will include faster 4G, device protection, and data cap alerts. The company is also going to run promotions that allow you to earn more data each month. You can earn up to 1GB by referring friends to the service and there will be rewards for signing up to partner services or watching an advert.
Sound tempting? It certainly looks like FreedomPop is seriously undercutting the competition, but can its business model work? Only time will tell. You can find out more at the FreedomPop website. If anyone gets onto the Beta let us know how it goes.