Sick of paying out the nose for wireless data? Well, one enterprising startup may have an option for you: FreedomPop, a wireless service set to roll out in July and September, wants to offer you 1GB worth of 4G WiMAX and LTE wireless data service absolutely free.
The service operates on a "freemium" basis — certain aspects, like the 1GB of data, are free. If you go over the 1GB allotment, you will be charged a fee estimated to be in the range of 1 cent per megabyte. You can also pay for more data in advance, and features will exist where you can share some free data with other users.
FreedomPop will offer three different flavors of broadband: a USB dongle that allows you to connect your computer to the internet, a WiFi hotspot device, and an iPhone case that allows you to override the phone's existing network and use it as a FreedomPop hotspot. All three will require you pay a refundable deposit.
While FreedomPop isn't the first company to try a free wireless data model — you can currently get free service from NetZero — they are the first to up the ante to offer 1GB for free. There are some major drawbacks, however. FreedomPop will be using Clearwire's network, so the range of the free wireless service will be limited to the 70 major cities currently serviced. Still, if you're interested in giving the freemium service a whirl (and live in or near a major city), you can pre-register for FreedomPop on their website.
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