Clearwire To Wholesale To Free Broadband Carrier


Bellevue, Wash. - 4G carrier Clearwire has agreed to wholesale its service to a company formed by a Skype co-founder who wants to offer free wireless broadband data and voice service.

The company, called

Freedom Pop

, is backed by the London-based


venture capital company founded by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom. He also co-founded Kazaa and Rdio.

 Freedom Pop's goal is "to provide disruptive voice and Internet services to all Americans and ensure that no one is left off the connected grid," the company said. Initial service is targeted for 2012.

 The company plans to offer a mobile broadband service that will include VoIP. Service will be delivered to a laptop dongle, a mobile hot spot, and a third device that hasn't been revealed. All devices will require a deposit to use.

Freedom Pop will offer a paid premium service that it expects about 10 to 15 percent of subscribers to use to subsidize free service for other users.

Previously, Freedom Pop entered into an agreement with wholesale carrier LightSquared to offer 4G broadband service, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed yesterday to revoke its conditional approval of LightSquared's plans because of interference with GPS devices.


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