Who needs a text and phone plan? FreedomPop to launch data only service
A start-up called FreedomPop, which is backed by a founder of Skype, is set to launch a wireless only data service. No calls or texts, just the data.
The experiment in low-cost wireless pricing comes as the average smartphone bills continue to rise and will do so further with faster 4G services.
However, rather than pay $80 to $100 a month you could get a FreedomPop account for as little as $10 a month, which gives you gigabyte. For $35 you get five gigs.
For many wanting services such as social networking and email that’s ideal. It also, according to the Wall Street Journal, significantly cheaper than data plans from the likes of Verizon. The US mobile carrier is charging $80 a month for six gigabytes of data with $40 smartphone connection fee.
“Getting FreedomPop’s lower rates isn’t a straightforward matter of signing up for new service. Users will need to pay $99 for a sleeve that wraps around Apple Inc.’s iPhone or iPod Touch, or pay a deposit for a portable Wi-Fi hot spot. The phone uses Wi-Fi to communicate with the device, which in turn connects with the cellular service offered by Clearwire Corp. CLWR +3.36%
“Since the service is data only, users will need a separate plan for calling and texting, or use Internet-based services such as Skype and WhatsApp.
“Users also can’t get nationwide coverage yet. Clearwire’s network only covers about 136 million people in the U.S. FreedomPop, however, has signed a deal to rent service on Sprint’s networks—both its current third-generation system and the LTE network it is rolling out—that will give users national coverage beginning around March. People who bought a device made for the Clearwire network will be able to trade it in for one that works on Sprint’s,” according to the WSJ.