Feature Article

March 06, 2013

FreedomPop Offers Free Wireless Broadband

FreedomPop, a wireless Internet provider, has launched a free home broadband service.

The plan offers 1 gigabyte per month for free, and the company also offers 10 gigabytes per month for $10. Users of the free plan can increase their usage cap by referring friends to FreedomPop.

Users can extend the cap by 10 GB for every $5 they add, or by signing up for special offers.

All plans come without contracts, meaning that customers can prepay and cancel without having to pay cancellation fees.

"Major broadband providers are charging in excess of $500 per year for home Internet, and continuing to raise their prices - leaving consumers desperate for ways to cut down on their monthly bills for home Internet," FreedomPop CEO Steven Sokols said. “FreedomPop's early success in the wireless market has put us in position to offer home broadband users significantly discounted alternatives.”

Sokols acknowledged to PC Magazine that very few people, or at least those who make use of streaming services like YouTube, Netflix and Hulu, would want to use the free plan. “It's a mass-market plan that hits half the country that's using under the 5.8-gig median," he said.

Most people with such low usage are still using dialup.

There is a catch, however. Users have to spend $89 on FreedomPop’s Burst WiMAX mode, and it does include a Wi-Fi router. The Burst can connect up to 10 wireless devices.

WiMAX networks have been losing ground to LTE, but FreedomPop’s plans are competitive with DSL. FreedomPop’s coverage area is also much more limited compared to wired broadband, being centered around major cities with very little suburban or rural coverage.

FreedomPop runs on ClearWire’s WiMAX network, which is expected to remain active until 2015. The company will replace the WiMAX devices with LTE modems when the time comes.

Edited by Braden Becker

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