MVNO FreedomPop enters in-home broadband market
FreedomPop, an MVNO operating on Clearwire’s WiMAX network, today announced its foray into home broadband and the company has begun accepting orders for its Hub Burst modem/router.
The broadband service will operate on a “freemium” model similar to the wireless data services that FreedomPop began offering earlier this year, but customers’ initial data allocation will be upped to 1GB from the 500MB offered to wireless customers.
FreedomPop’s broadband customers will be able to earn free data by making social network connections with other people on the company’s network and through FreedomPop’s platform, which will follow a model similar to Zynga's social gaming platform. Customers will earn free data by signing up for promotions, downloading featured apps and playing online games.
“We figured out the economics of the business,” COO Steven Sesar said. “We believe we can apply the same model and disrupt at-home.”
FreedomPop has announced plans to move from Clearwire's WiMAX network to Sprint’s LTE network next year, a switch that will expand availability for its wireless service as well as the new broadband service.
The Hub Burst will be similar to the Hub Express, which Clearwire already markets for $49. FreedomPop says the stationary Hub Burst has a better antenna than its mobile hotspot.
When the broadband service launches, customers who also use FreedomPop’s wireless service should expect to need two separate accounts to manage the data for both their wireless and broadband. When the service jumps to Sprint's LTE network next year, existing customers won't have to switch out their hardware although they can if they want.
The FreedomPop team added that the "reality is that the WiMAX home hub is likely to get faster speeds than the LTE version."