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Comments on news posted 2012-10-08 08:41:16: Wireless upstart FreedomPop says the company hopes to target fixed-line broadband customers with their new service offering. ..

Eek2121

join:2002-10-12
Newton, NJ
Reviews:
·FreedomPop

No Coverage

The big problem of course being that they use Clearwire. Clearwire doesn't have service anywhere. Of course that being said, we arean hour away from NYC (in NJ) and we still don't have Verizon or AT&T LTE.
--
Root Your Kindle Fire HD!
Bob61571

join:2008-08-08
Washington, IL
Reviews:
·MTCO Communicati..
·DIRECTV
·Frontier Communi..

1 edit

Re: No Coverage

Ditto on the small coverage area problem.

Wouldn't it make more sense for them, to use a WalMart philosophy on this? Start in the rural areas where the need for speed is biggest. THEN, build into the big metros.

They offered me a beta for this the other day, but nothing within 100 miles of me...Can't they check zip codes before beta invitations?
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: No Coverage

Since FreedomPop is an MVNO and they use Clear, are we suggesting Clear should go with a rural strategy first?

Also, I think it depends on what "rural" means. Before Wal-Mart grew gigantic, they put stores in areas with a "trade territory" of 50,000 or more. I don't classify this as a "BFE" rural area. Many small towns of this size probably have potentially more-than-competitive wired options (DSL and cable). While Clear's speeds are DSL-competitive, latency is an issue for gamers. Even if the local cable company is still using older DOCSIS (provided they aren't using a dialup return!), Clear may not be competitive.

This leaves disgruntled cable and DSL users or users with no other options. In Missouri, many of these towns already have a fixed wireless option or two and Clear would also have to compete with them.

I don't see much profit with this strategy unless they go LTE and can match cable's slower packages for a cheaper price. They would then offer a viable competitive option to cable and potentially gain DSL defections.

thomasnetguy

@comcast.net
they have also signed an agreement with sprint for both LTE and CDMA. so coverage should get better but slower in many areas.
thively

join:2004-01-06
San Jose, CA
In under a year they plan to transition to Sprint LTE. At that point they'll supposedly allow you to swap your device for an LTE capable (perhaps for an upgrade fee?) I believe they plan to have WiMax/LTE/EVDO devices.
The reliance soley on WiMax is temporary and you should at least get Sprint 3G coverage, if not LTE when available and WiMax where available.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Reverse Channel Cannibalism

FP has a winner with their "free" and under-$20 tiers, and I guess I understand the appeal of the misery-loves-company "social" / MLM marketing.

But if their service runs on Clear, why would anyone pay $35/5gb or $60/10gb when Clear sells "unlimited" service for $35?
cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:9

Re: Reverse Channel Cannibalism

E-X-A-C-T-L-Y

How the hell is this "competitive" when they're reselling someone else's network for *more* than the owners of the network? Hitching an anchor to Clear's horrbile WiMax network is clearly suicide. Sprint is only a slightly less horrible network -- 'tho infinitely less likely to go *poof* overnight.
thively

join:2004-01-06
San Jose, CA

Re: Reverse Channel Cannibalism

That's only for people that need more than 5GB. Most people don't need that much. $35/month is a total waste of money for me because I won't use near that amount. I don't travel a lot or regularly and I have broadband at home and work not to mention an iPhone data plan with AT&T.
For me this is extremely competitive. I'll be paying between $0 and $10 in any one given month for my MiFi needs.

If you're a heavy data user, FreedomPop clearly isn't the right choice. For $35 you can also get VirginMobile unlimited 4G.

If you take a look almost all data plan pricing caters to either the heavy user, or the light user. None of them really work for both groups so you need to pick the right service and plan to be cost effective.
cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:9

Re: Reverse Channel Cannibalism

5GB on a cellphone is a lot. (esp. if no streaming video has been used.) But for a full computer -- laptop, desktop, etc. -- there can be 5GB of background traffic invisible to the user.

If you have internet access at home, work, friends' houses, numerous resturants, etc., then there's very little need for a MiFi. If you have a cellphone with data, then there's almost zero reason to have one. I got one simply because it's "free" (minus "deposit".) Being anchored to Clear's WiMax network means it's coverage is laughablly small. (I'm surprised it stayed connected from RDU to West of Apex, NC on US-64.)
thively

join:2004-01-06
San Jose, CA

Re: Reverse Channel Cannibalism

Almost zero is the key. The need is not totally zero. In most cases restaurants and coffee shop WiFi is horrible and it's really inconvenient unless you're going to one specifically to hang out there. There is the occasional travel to places or outings where it's useful and this day in age it makes life a lot easier to have some kind of MiFi or tethering. I'm always looking for a solution that isn't going to require me to pay a monthly fee when I'm not really using it.

FreedomPop is really gets it's key market from the iPod touch case they'll be shipping soon. There is a huge group of customers here that don't have the money or the desire to pay for internet access otherwise they'd probably have an iPhone.
They'll have one for the iPhone too, but I don't really understand the point of that. Apparently there are there are millions of people who took unlocked iPhones to TMobile (which only provides EDGE data) so they'll be able to benefit from faster speeds this way at no extra cost.

Yes, the WiMax network is laughably small. The whole service is transitioning to LTE within a year (I hear you'll be able to swap your device for a discount fee) and the LTE network will theoretically grow (at least to the limit of Sprint's coverage) and be able to fall back to 3G. So that'll at least be more useful.

There are those who need 3G/4G service for streaming, downloading, etc. This type of thing is not for them. You're best finding the cheapest unlimited service that covers your primary area.
cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:9

Re: Reverse Channel Cannibalism

I have never seen WiFi worse than Clear. The odds are very much against you on the "travel and outings" as well. Unless you stick to places where Clear has towers, find a spot where you have a signal, and don't move more than 10ft... you might be ok. Even where there is green on their map, you can walk 50ft down the street and instantly have no signal.

Clear already has 3G/WiMax hybrid devices. Using Sprint's network costs more, 'tho. I'm waiting to see what comes out with Sprint LTE. Sprint isn't bankrupt, but their coverage is only slightly less horrible than Clear.
civicturbo

join:2009-11-08
USA

Correction on prices and more

The product is a WiMAX 4g sleeve for your iPhone4 it cost $99 to buy, you then get 500MB of free data a month! I currently use a clear hotspot called th iSpot. I gets service in most all of the Vegas valley. But Fpop gives me the ability to save 25/mth plus consolidate two battery powered devices I have to carry around. I stream pandora a lot on the road and use the Internet and m clear usage is right around 500mb so this should work well.
kenoarto

join:2003-06-20
Chicago, IL

WARNING $Overcharged$ 3 hour delay in data usage reports !!!

While testing lousy connection, was illegally "topped off". I specifically rejected this option, but they did it anyway. Took several lengthy arguments with "customer service" agents to have charge reversed. New company is going through some serious growing pains!!!