By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Los Angeles – MVNO FreedomPop, which recently launched free and paid-for 4G mobile and wireless home-broadband service, launched its first LTE device, a mobile hot spot that works on Sprint’s 3G CDMA and 4G LTE networks.
Later this year, the company will debut a CDMA/LTE version of its iPod Sleeve, which adds cellular-data connections to an iPod Touch, and launch LTE versions of smartphones available with its free and paid-for Freedom Phone service, a spokesperson said. Other LTE products are also planned.
The MVNO’s current data products operate on Clearwire’s 4G Mobile WiMAX network, which operates in more than 80 major markets. Sprint bought Clearwire and plans to convert the network to LTE as part of its nationwide LTE rollout. Sprint will support WiMAX service through 2015, FreedomPop said.
The CDMA/LTE hot spot is the FreedomSpot 5580 LTE, available for awhile at the introductory price of $149, or $100 less than Sprint’s price for the same device, FreedomPop said. The regular price will be $199. The mobile hot spot weighs 3.5 ounces and connects up to 10 Wi-Fi devices to the cellular network. FreedomSpot also features 1.54-inch OLED display, 10 hours of battery life on a single charge, GPS over Wi-Fi, and advanced security.
FreedomPop mobile-data data plans give users 500MB of free data each month. Users also get to share and request extra bandwidth from friends and earn additional data by participating in partner promotions. Users can also pay for additional data.
The company’s home-broadband service provides 1GB of data free per month at speeds of about 1.5Mbps to an $89 WiMAX-equipped router. For now, the company will continue to offer the WiMAX router because “LTE pricing does not support” a home offering, a spokesperson said.
Home-broadband customers get additional free data by getting friends to sign up or by participating in partner promotions. Heavier home-broadband users can opt for paid plans starting at $10 for 10GB at the 1.5Mbps speed, $15 at 6Mbps speeds, and $19 for 12Mbps.
Freedom Pop, founded in 2011, sells its products and services through its website and Amazon. “We will be announcing additional plans for distribution in the future,” the spokesman added.
The company is backed by Mangrove Capital, DCM and Skype Founder Niklas Zennstom's Atomico.
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