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Wireless Wifi Internet Access Hotspots App: FreedomPop Allows Users to Buy Unlimited Wifi Network With Their Android Device

First Posted: Jan 21, 2015 12:33 PM EST
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Wireless Wifi Internet Access Hotspots coverage map FreedomPop

Photo : Twitter/@stieldirect

Los Angeles-based startup FreedomPop is rolling out a low-cost WiFi service with automatic sign-on and unlimited use of 10 million hotspots across the U.S. for $5 a month.

According to FreedomPop, 90 percent of data consumed by mobile users is via WiFi, TechCrunch reports. Its service is expected to rattle LTE service carriers who price at a premium.

Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop CEO and co-founder, told TechCrunch that while the initial launch will cover 10 million hotspots, the number will increase to 25 million by the end of Q1.

FreedomPop's WiFi service can work across a user's multiple devices. It will be available initially through the company's Android app. An iPhone app is "in the works" and is expected to be released in a couple of weeks.

"It will take longer to get the auto-connect functionality on par with Google's," Stokols said.

There are no plans for a Windows Phone app.

Stokols said the company has taken care to create something compelling on a standalone basis, "ensuring that the WiFi experience works like cellular (auto-connect) versus rushing an experience that turns users off."

FreedomPop is not disclosing who is providing its WiFi due to contract restrictions, but Stokols said the carrier is "on pace to break 1 million users this year, adding in the hundreds of thousands per quarter."

To date, FreedomPop has offered a free, but rather limited service of 200 minutes of calls, 500 texts and 500MB of data a month. Users have to pay to get voicemail or increased allowances. The company says the WiFi offering is a standalone service to attract new customers.

"This is [an] opportunity to deliver value regardless of what carrier the user is on," Stokols said. "For example, for $5 per month, you can cut your cellular data bill in half. You'd only need a 300 MB plan for that 5-15% of time when not on WiFi."

The company's other target market are consumers who have phones but no connectivity.

User will be able to access the FreedomPop WiFi service at large retailer locations like Starbucks, Best Buy and McDonald's.

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