FreedomPop Sends a Free Gigabyte to the Home
The CEO of FreedomPop is eyeing Americans who don't use huge amounts of data as the target for a new wireless home broadband service.
FreedomPop is starting pre-orders for its new home broadband modem and Internet service Wednesday. The company will sell users an US$89 WiMax and Wi-Fi home router with a free gigabyte of data available per month and each further gigabyte priced at less than $10, according to CEO Stephen Stokols.
"We're going to go aggressively and earnestly after the home market," the ex-BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) man tells Light Reading Mobile.
It's another gadfly move from the company that developed a "free" wireless plan for the iPod Touch. With its home service, the company isn't going after the data "whales" -- as Stokols describes himself -- but is instead targeting the minnows. The median household in the U.S., Stokols points out, uses just over 5MB for data at home a month.
Stokols isn't saying exactly how much the extra gigabytes will cost customers yet but makes it clear he wants to get pricing as low as possible: "$9.99 or under."
FreedomPop also sweetens the deal by allowing customers the opportunity to earn more through promotions and by recruiting friends to the service.
Using the Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) WiMax network, the service will cover the top 80 U.S. metro areas, except Phoenix and San Diego -- "about 80 million Americans," Stokols says.
The home broadband service is expected to be up and running by the end of January.
FreedomPop, meanwhile, is making progress toward using Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in 2013. "We’re going to be ready as far as technical onboarding in Q1," Stokols says.
But the lack of available LTE devices for its services could push that into the second quarter, he says.
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— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile