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FreedomPop Enters Home Broadband Market With 1 GB Free Plan
9-12 Mbps, $10 Gets You 10 GB a Month
by Karl Bode 05:45PM Wednesday Dec 12 2012
Wireless upstart FreedomPop today announced that the company has entered the home broadband market with a new service that provides up to 1GB of usage, for free. According to the company, FreedomPop is now taking pre-orders for their $90 FreedomPop Hub Burst (that's an awful lot of popping and bursting, no?) home modem, which they say should start shipping out to customers next month. The company already offers users mobile data plans with 500MB of bandwidth for free.

The new at-home service provides users with 1 GB of monthly data for free. Above and beyond that, users have the ability to obtain up to unlimited amounts of data by adding contacts to their network and engaging in partner promotions. FreedomPop says they're also offering heavier data users a number of usage plans starting at $10 a month for 10 GB (their mobile offering provides 1 GB of data for $10 a month, 5 GB for $35, and 10 GB for $60).

"Major broadband providers, including Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, are pillaging consumers, charging in excess of $500 per year for home Internet,” said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop’s CEO. "The median American household uses under 5.5 GB per month at home, yet spends over $50 for Internet service," said Stokols. "FreedomPop gives these users an opportunity to save hundreds of dollars per year at a fraction of the inconvenience, especially for more moderate internet users."

The FreedomPop Hub Burst modem and router supports up to ten devices and connects them all to the Clearwire WiMax network. The company has previously suggested they'll eventually support LTE once Clearwire launches their LTE network (or gets gobbled up by Sprint, whichever happens first).

The home service is only launching in the 80 biggest and most robust Clearwire markets (except, for some reason, San Diego and Phoenix), in order to ensure the service can exceed DSL quality. The company says connections should be somewhere between 9 and 12 Mbps downstream. FreedomPop doesn't much talk about network management, but as we noted recently Clearwire does throttle and boot the heaviest users from their network.

Several users have provided me with less-than-favorable impressions of the beta, suggesting that connectivity is often spotty at best. Still, at that price it's sure to be a compelling offer for some.

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FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Connects them all to the Clearwire WiMax network - LOL

A service with an infrastructure that barely exists and where it does exist, coverage is like swiss cheese with lots of holes. It LOOKS LIKE a wonderful offering - until you try to actually use it.

Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Connects them all to the Clearwire WiMax network - LOL

said by FFH:

A service with an infrastructure that barely exists and where it does exist, coverage is like swiss cheese with lots of holes. It LOOKS LIKE a wonderful offering - until you try to actually use it.

That's because, unlike AT&T and VZW, Clearwire doesn't have the billion dollar+ backing that those incumbent received over the last decade. And to show their appreciation, they gouge us, lie to us, lobby our government, and hand over our information to our government without a cent of concern for our privacy.

FreedomPop is picking up momentum, and overtime Clearwire will expand their network, if AT&T and VZW doesn't get in their way.
--
CheckSite.us | YourIP.us | Reverseip.us
kem09030

join:2004-11-29
Rushville, IL

Re: Connects them all to the Clearwire WiMax network - LOL

said by Rob:

FreedomPop is picking up momentum, and overtime Clearwire will expand their network, if AT&T and VZW doesn't get in their way.

Clearwire is no longer expanding WiMAX service. At some point next year they are going to try to get a bit of LTE up and running. If you have WiMAX you will have it for a few years to come. No WiMAX, it isn't coming. I wonder if this will be available when/if Clear gets LTE going. Clear may not be around at that time...having been bought by Sprint or Dish.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA
I don't think that is the reason. US Cellular has solid coverage in their territory with less financial backing than Clearwire.

Clearwire simply has high frequency spectrum and they did not building out their network accordingly.

NotTheMama
What Would Earl Do?

join:2012-12-06
Here's my (lack of) coverage map--green is good (and it's all around me):


See that little dot in the middle? That's me.


But, as with cell service back in the '80s, I'm sure it'll improve. (heh-heh)
--
"...but ya doesn't hasta call me Johnson!"

meeeeeeeeee

join:2003-07-13
Newburgh, NY

Re: Connects them all to the Clearwire WiMax network - LOL

said by NotTheMama:

But, as with cell service back in the '80s, I'm sure it'll improve. (heh-heh)

Yeah... but I'm OLD. I probably won't LIVE that long and if I do, may not even know what the Internet IS anymore (or my own name).
--
Isn't it sad that those that raise their right hand and swear "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America" are usually the ones most likely to trash it.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
nearest coverage to me is 70 miles away and the people there already have Comcast and U-verse to choose from. Why bother with this?

NotTheMama
What Would Earl Do?

join:2012-12-06

Re: Connects them all to the Clearwire WiMax network - LOL

Why did people bother with DSL back in... uh-oh, they say your memory is the first thing to go... well, somewhere back in the '80s or '90s? It has potential, though it may only turn out to be the potential to fail. From small beginnings...
--
"...but ya doesn't hasta call me Johnson!"
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
...then obviously you aren't a potential customer. And someone in Clear's coverage area is.

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

1 edit
Click for full size
The (lack of) coverage
Ha. Better than me.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast
Clearwire works better with high-powered desktop modems than with low-powered mobile devices. This is from experience, comparing a WiMAX phone (Epic 4G) and a WiMAX hotspot (Clear Spot Voyager) to the Clear Hub Express desktop modem.

Honestly, this is the use case where a WiMAX network in 2500 can be used from a reasonable coverage perspective. Versus a mobile context where the devices just can't pick up the signal well enough to do anything useful with it much of the time.

AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
said by FFH:

A service with an infrastructure that barely exists and where it does exist, coverage is like swiss cheese with lots of holes. It LOOKS LIKE a wonderful offering - until you try to actually use it.

either it works or it don't. For home systems, worth the try.
--
* seek help if having trouble coping
--Standard disclaimers apply.--
ConstantineM

join:2011-09-02
San Jose, CA

Any way to avoid overages with this thing?

I was thinking about signing up with one of their offers, until I realised that it doesn't look like there's any kind of thing to prevent you from going over the allotted free usage, and being charged hefty overage fees.

Is that basically their whole business model, to surprise heavy users with overage fees, or is there some way to actually use the service without overages, and simply choose to be automatically disconnected once you are over your quota? Or, at the very least, have some kind of a setting to limit overage fees to something like at most 5$/mo, and then be disconnected?

Otherwise, thanks, but no thanks. T-Mo would be cheaper, faster and with actual coverage and throughout the nation.
watmore

join:2007-07-27
La Pointe, WI
Reviews:
·PHONE POWER

Re: Any way to avoid overages with this thing?

You are right.

I signed up for the free 500mb plan. Although it is hard to find online I made sure that I would NOT be automatically charged for overages. Inspite of that I was charged $30 without my knowledge for a single session of usage. I should point out I had checked my monthly usage online before this session and it was small.

Learned of the charge when I got my VISA bill. Called FreedomPop and was told that Clearwire only updates an individual's usage once a day so even if you check the "no automatic" overages box, you will still be charged for overages.

Won't be using it again.
ConstantineM

join:2011-09-02
San Jose, CA

Re: Any way to avoid overages with this thing?

So, they actually do have a "please no overages" box somewhere, but it doesn't actually work? :-) How convenient!

Did you demand a refund or issue a chargeback, or did you deem it was still within the terms you've agreed to? (Or just not worth investigating/bothering with?)

Does their access device not offer any internal (but user-accessible) statistics on usage? As a system software engineer, I can tell you that it's entirely possible and relatively trivial to design something like that, and have a captive portal that would take over once you are within a certain percentage of usage, on which you could decide what to do next. Of course, whether or not you have something like that is defined by a business need. :-) On my unlocked Google Nexus, I know exactly how much data I've used in any given period, even without having to consult any on-network billing departments. On the other hand, I haven't heard of Apple implementing any service as rich and detailed yet.
watmore

join:2007-07-27
La Pointe, WI

Re: Any way to avoid overages with this thing?

They would not give me a refund. Told me it was in the "terms of usage". The representative also told me that Clearwire only sends Freedom Pop an update of individual usage "once a day".
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Great idea to far away.

In view of the fact that there is such limited coverage across the United States the company left out an "o" in the name of their company. Until FreedomPop provides universal coverage they should call themselves FreedomPoop!
Bob61571

join:2008-08-08
Washington, IL

FreedomPop keeps inviting me to their beta, but....

I live 3 hours from their closest market!!!

Couldn't they do basic marketing, and analyze their email list (by the zip codes that they entered months ago)?
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

The Price is Right

10GB quota for $10 is more than adequate for us, and most everyone we know.

Too bad our local government assures we alone have no Clear coverage.
Not that I expect the service to perform as advertised; we'll never know.