Completely free monthly data? Sounds impossible, and it is, but FreedomPop is about the closest you’re going to find to it for now.
FreedomPop’s 4G WiMax service will allot subscribers 500 MB of free 4G-speed Wi-Fi every month, with no contract. In order to get started with their service, you will have to put down some cash – $49 for a USB modem or $100 for a 4G Hotspot. Those payments will be in the form of deposits, so conceivably, if you wanted your money back, you could get it at any time, at the cost of losing access to the service.
Alternately, you can preorder a sleeve for the iPhone 4/4S or the iPod Touch (excluding the newest generation of the Touch), which will provide those devices access to FreedomPop’s WiMax service. Those sleeves are selling for $100 each, and will ship in a few weeks.
And that 500 MB free deal is for real – no strings attached, minus the start-up costs. Of course, if you want more data from FreedomPop, you’ll have the option to pay for it. Those prices haven’t been nailed down yet, but all indicators are saying that they will be very competitive with those offered by Verizon and AT&T. The one knock on the deal is that WiMax isn’t as reliable or fast as what Verizon and AT&T offer (and that FreedomPop, for now, will only be available in a limited number of large metropolitan areas), but hey – it’s free. Also, it’s 500 MB – a number that actually should be enough to satisfy most casual users who just want to check their email and do a little web browsing on their smartphones.
If you’re interested, you can sign up to get a device from FreedomPop now and join the beta rollout of the service.