FreedomPop has been talking up their “free” service for months, mostly using an iPhone case that incorporates both a WiMax and Wifi radios.
Clear has been delivering a similar $49 modem for over a year.
FreedomPop says their free broadband service will offer 1GB of data consumption per month and a $9.99 monthly subscription that provides 10GB of data usage. That’s a pretty good deal. Unlimited 1.5 Mbps WiMax through Clear, by contrast, costs $35/month.
How the service will perform through Clearwire’s refarming of their 30 MHz-wide WiMax channels remains to be seen. Clearwire is switching to TD-LTE, and may reduce the relative spectrum available for WiMax — which it expects to maintain through 2015.
FreedomPop is a Sprint WiMax virtual operator. They also offer a pay-as-you-go option that costs $5/GB. Free users will be able to earn additional data by engaging friends and participating in promotions.
FreedomPop’s vice president of marketing, believes that 10-15% of users will opt for premium plans, a freemium revenue model is similar to that of Dropbox and Spotify.