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FreedomPop Launches - 500 MB/Month of Free Mobile Broadband



FreedomPop has launched. The freemium mobile broadband service backed by $7.5 million in venture capital funding from Mangrove Capital, DCM, and Skype Founder Niklas Zennstom's Atomico is now accepting customers.

FreedomPop currently runs on Clearwire's WiMAX network but plans to begin offering LTE data from Sprint next year. There are three plans:

Free 500 MB Plan - 500 MB/month at no cost with overage charged at 2¢/MB
Casual 2GB Plan - 2 GB/month for $17.99 with overage charged at 1¢/MB
Premiere 4GB Plan - 4 GB/month for $28.99 with overage charged at 1¢/MB

There's a $2.99/month FreedomPop Speed Plus add-on for all three plans that promises no throttling, "prioritized data" and 50% faster speeds of up to 12 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps up. I guess this means that without the add-on speeds are throttled to 8 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up - still very decent speeds given the price.

FreedomPop users can earn up to 1GB of additional free data each month by referring friends and by participating in other promotions as such as watching ads.

A FreedomPop device is required to use the service. At launch there are two devices,  a Freedom Stick - Bolt  USB stick and the Freedom Spot - Photon mobile hotspot. Both devices are "free" but require a refundable security deposit of $49 for the USB stick and $89 for the hotspot. Customers can return the devices at anytime for a full refund.  Standard shipping is $4.99. In four to six weeks FreedomPop plans to begin selling $99 snap on data sleeves for the iPhone and IPod.

FreedomPop certainly has the potential to shake up the mobile industry particularly when Sprint's LTE build out is complete. Even now it looks like a great deal for anyone  who can live with Clearwire's somewhat limited coverage (map).

15 comments:

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  1. Heard about it this morning. Gonna hop on this once they switch to LTE

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    1. I'm considering it too. Here's hoping LTE comes soon.

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  2. Clearwire nationwide LTE is a year or 2 away. Wimax? No thanks.

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  3. I see this being especially well for young children and teenagers that live and go about their days within Clears coverage area. And with data plans being as expensive as they are these days, I'm seriously considering this but I want to wait untill there are some reputable reviews online.

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  4. I have the free package. I have seen download speeds of up to 7mbps and upload of 1.2mbps. So not quite as low as you mentioned. I just imagine they throttle at peak times rather than all the time. I'm also not in the best coverage area as it is spotty around my house.

    Great little package for basically free. Works well for me.

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  5. You need to work on your math. If something is 50% faster, than 1.5X is 12 Mbps, where X is the base speed. Please note that 12 Mbps is 100% faster or twice as fast as the base speed. Using simple math, you get 12 Mbps divided by 1.5 and you get the base speed of 8 Mbps, and not the 6 Mbps as outlined in the article, respectively. That also means the base upload speed is 1.0 Mbps.

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    1. Please note 12 Mbps is 100% or twice as fast as the 6 Mbps as stated in the article. Sorry for the typo.

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    2. You are correct about 12 Mbps being 50% faster than 8 Mbps. Thank's for pointing out the error which I've corrected.

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  6. Called to activate service today. Clear has a tower one street over from my house. They have no idea about this service and tried to sell me a different service. Is there a 3rd party provider on this or what am I overlooking?

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    1. Did they refuse to sell you the device? What service did they try to sell you?

      If you are sure you are within range of a working Clear tower, FreedomPop service should work idf you can get a device.

      You can get Clear service from NetZero and Clear, but FreedomPop's has the best pricing. See US Prepaid Mobile Broadband Plans Compared for details of the alternates.

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  7. Home modem can be pre-ordered now for $90.
    Free 1GB per month. Extra $5 1GB.
    $10 for 10 GB.

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  8. Notes from the T&Cs:
    -You can only return your modem for refund or deposit refund as long as they are offering it, and not to exceed one year from subscription start date (order date). They can take up to 90 days to refund.
    -You must use at least 5mb/month or pay a 99c 'Active Status fee.' If there is no $account balance, they will charge your credit card $10, and deduct the fee from that.
    -If they cancel your account due to non-payment, you pay $19.99 to reinstate it, plus balance owed. They may cancel your account if your credit card cannot be charged.
    -You should turn off autopay to prevent being charged $10 for more data when you go over 80% (400mb) of the free amount. If you go over the maximum during a session, you still have to pay them for the overage. Once the $10 balance for overages is goes below $2, they charge you another $10.
    -All payments you make to them are final and non-refundable.
    -They charge you a reconditioning/restocking fee if you return your device. The amount of the fee is not identified. Mine was $8.25, not too bad. My device condition was exactly as received, with all included material. Your have to use the original packing material and include all carton contents. Shipping fees, ~$6 for Spot or Sleeve, are not refunded. You also pay return shipping and insurance.
    -If you return your device for a refund, you still have to cancel your account, according to the T&Cs. The CS rep said no, my account would be automatically terminated upon receipt of the device, but it took a couple of weeks. You should at least change to a free subscription and cancel any options online to preclude being charged for another month.

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  9. Anybody have any more info on freedom pop? Will they also get sprint 3g when they get LTE? I have read mixed answers to this question.

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    1. On their Facebook page FreedomPop posted "we're gearing up to get Sprint 3G/4G to users very soon, so check back on our website. LTE won't be available for until closer to late 3rd quarter." So it sounds like they will have 3G before LTE.

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    2. Good news. Sounds like we may be able to trade our 4G modems for a new dual or tri-mode modem soon.

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