FreedomPop launches its free 4G data service in beta
By Dave LeClair
October 4, 2012
FreedomPop is finally ready to bring its free 4G data service to the masses (as long as they are in the United States). We recently covered FreedomPop when it intended to bring 4G data sleeves to iPhone and iPod touch users, and while it still is offering those, it's also rolling out a USB dongle and a 4G mobile hotspot.
The 4G hotspot, which FreedomPop is calling the Photon, allows users to connect multiple devices at one time. For users looking to connect an iPad or other device without a USB port, this is the option they will want. Users can connect up to eight devices at a time and the device sports a six-hour battery life.
The Bolt USB dongle is great for users who are only looking to connect one device with a USB port. Because the dongle plugs into USB, there is no need to charge it.
Both devices are available now. FreedomPop says they are free, but they do require a refundable security deposit. The USB dongle requires a US$49.00 deposit and the 4G hotspot requires $89. It is not clear how users get these deposits back.
As I mentioned in the opening, FreedomPop is still offering its 4G service to iPhone and iPod Touch users with its sleeves. They are available for preorder for $99.
FreedomPop is offering users 500MB of data for free each month. With the free plan, users are charged $.02 for each MB over their limit. There are prepaid plans available as well. For $17.99 per month users can get 2GB of data, and for $28.99 users receive 4GB. With the paid plans, the overage charge is $.01 per MB.
FreedomPop also has a speed boost available for $2.99 per month. This is supposed to give a 50 percent boost in speed, which should bring speeds up to 12Mbps. Users can also earn extra data by inviting friends to the service, by completing surveys and by watching ads.