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FreedomPop Starts Selling iPod WiMax Sleeve
Though Early User Impressions Have Been Very Mixed
by Karl Bode 11:22AM Monday Oct 29 2012
As we've noted, FreedomPop plans to try and disrupt the current wireless carrier ecosystem by selling users a $99 case that turns the iPod Touch into a mobile VoIP phone, all running over the Clearwire network. The service, which is being aimed at a younger set less dependent on reliability, offers users 500 MB of free data a month -- up to 1 GB if they participate in referrals or promotions. A public beta launched October 1, and in addition to the iPod sleeve, users can buy a $50 USB modem (Bolt), and a $90 mobile hotspot (Photon).

Click for full size
FreedomPop has been taking pre-orders for the iPod sleeve since May, and according to a company press release, FreedomPop has started shipping the $99 sleeve to customers.

"Until today, the iPod touch has been a Wi-Fi only device. As of today, consumers can now receive fast and free Internet for their iPod on-the-go," said Mauricio Sastre, Vice President Product, FreedomPop. "By leveraging a VoIP app such as Skype, the iPod touch essentially becomes a carrier-free option that allows consumers to enjoy an iPhone-like experience without signing contracts or paying monthly fees."

While that all sounds great, early reviews of both the sleeve and the service have been mixed, with several users telling me their experiences have been sub par, with consistent connectivity issues cropping up. That is not uncommon for a beta, and we'll be interested to see user impressions as the service becomes more widely available.

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FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Clearwire coverage so bad, this product is a joke

The Clearwire coverage is so bad, even in areas where Clearwire claims they have service, why would anyone sign on for this product?
--
»www.gop.com/2012-republican-platform_home/
»www.gop.com/2012-republican-plat···onalism/

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Re: Clearwire coverage so bad, this product is a joke

said by FFH5:

The Clearwire coverage is so bad, even in areas where Clearwire claims they have service, why would anyone sign on for this product?

Free Data! All they see is the word "Free".

I wouldn't touch this product with a ten foot pole. It is already obsolete as it uses WiMAX and that is going away. Plus without a 3G fallback, it is useless in areas without WiMAX. Frankly I think this whole plan was dreamt up by someone facing a huge writeoff on a bunch of WiMAX devices sitting in a huge warehouse. Rather than pay to scrap them they figured they would charge people for them and let them scrap them. Give me an LTE sleeve for $99 with 500GB/month free data and I would seriously consider it.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

ilikeme
I live in a van down by the river.
Premium
join:2002-08-27
Sugar Land, TX
kudos:1

Re: Clearwire coverage so bad, this product is a joke

The clear coverage around here is horrid. Where they do have coverage it has more holes than swiss cheese, and forget about it if you leave the major cities or are on the edge of them. I tried Clear and returned it within the trial period.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
said by n2jtx:

Free Data! All they see is the word "Free".

More often than not, you get what you pay for. A lot of people don't seem to understand that relatively simple fact these days.
tivoboy

join:2004-05-10
Menlo Park, CA

size matters

Man, that thing is a PIG. I hope they weren't simply showing the iphone version from its GOOD side!

Esteban

@nextweb.net

Re: Clearwire coverage so bad, this product is a joke

Clearwire coverage is great at both my home AND work locations. I ain't got no complaints.

dave49er

join:2004-05-05
Walnut, CA
I got the Photon. Even though it says my home has no coverage, I still get better speeds and less latency that AT&T's HSPA+ 4G. In fact, everywhere I've tried it, it works better than AT&T on my iPhone 4S.

anonNYC

@mindspring.com

And they round your usage data off to the nearest MB

per session!!! and I think they define a session as 15 min???
Why can't they just round it off at the end of the month?
What the hell are they thinking?

zeiss

@comcast.net

Re: And they round your usage data off to the nearest MB

wrong. 0.1 MB

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US

You guys are funny.

If I have the choice of a free wimax service or $50 for 1gb of service for my iPod which I'm probably not gonna take very far I'm not gonna complain about coverage. This would be great in my area (and quite a few others i take my wimax phone to) if I had a use for it.

Eddy120876

join:2009-02-16
Bronx, NY

If only 1GB was under 15 bucks

That would really make FreedomPop...POP. People would sign up like crazy. I know if they offer the 1GB for 15 I would go for it. Since none of the telcos offer you that much for 15.

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US

Re: If only 1GB was under 15 bucks

Click for full size
said by Eddy120876:

That would really make FreedomPop...POP. People would sign up like crazy. I know if they offer the 1GB for 15 I would go for it. Since none of the telcos offer you that much for 15.

That's great for someone who's in the area.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: If only 1GB was under 15 bucks

Even though billed per MB, an extra GB is $10? Is my math right? If so, WTH? Is $10/GB some kind of universal constant or do we need more competition in the wireless space? That's probably 10 times more than it should be.

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US

Re: If only 1GB was under 15 bucks

said by rradina:

Even though billed per MB, an extra GB is $10? Is my math right? If so, WTH? Is $10/GB some kind of universal constant or do we need more competition in the wireless space? That's probably 10 times more than it should be.

Yeah, unless you're with Verizon ($15) or Sprint($50).

Eddy120876

join:2009-02-16
Bronx, NY

Re: If only 1GB was under 15 bucks

I was looking forward to this but unfortunately they don't work down in the NJ shore..... where i spend all my weekends.

Eddy120876

join:2009-02-16
Bronx, NY
Well the reason why I said that was because 1GB should be the free version . Their offers are good 2GB for 17 but it should be 3GB to stick it to the big telcos. Like you said if you had service is great, too bad where my gf lives theres no service .
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

How many VOIP minutes?

Does anyone know how many minutes one could talk with 500MB of data? Is that about 100 - 150 minutes a month (depending on rounding.)

zeiss

@comcast.net

Re: How many VOIP minutes?

GrooveIp claims 1.2 MB/min = 400 mins/500 MB.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: How many VOIP minutes?

I was thinking a VOIP codec might require somewhere between 30 - 75Kbps. I had Vonage for a number of years a long time ago and I thought they offered a couple different stream rates...these numbers stick in my head for some reason.

So I considered something in the middle around 50Kbps which would be about ~150 minutes.

Of course I didn't consider that these bit rates would probably deliver land-line or better quality -- which would far exceed typical cell phone sound quality. If we lower the bar to cell quality, it's probably realistic to get a lot more minutes as you cite.

Mvofct

@cox.net

Great for Middle School student

Just got the ipod case with the free 500mb plus 500 free mb for referring friends. I gave it to my 11 year-old daughter to use instead of a phone contract. It works great in the Hartford Ct area. I created a google voice account and connected it to Truphone so she can send and receive calls. She can also use Facetime. She has not used much data at all just texting and making calls. Saves me about $500 year.