updated 06:56 am EDT, Fri May 11, 2012
FreedomPop 4G iPhone case goes up for pre-order
FreedomPop is now taking pre-orders for its embedded WiMax and LTE iPhone 4/4S case, which first appeared in March. The company is the latest brainchild of Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom and aims to offer users 'free wireless broadband' using a freemium service model. Users who put down $99 for a case will get up to 500MB of free data per month in an iPhone accessory that offers users the ability to access 4G speeds, FaceTime video calls, as well as the ability to act as an external battery charger.
The FreedomPop iPhone case will also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 8 devices simultaneously and extend an iPhone's battery life by up to six hours, while it can itself last up to 30 hours on a charge. Although not mentioning carriers by name, the company says that it has teamed with both WiMAX and LTE wholesale providers to offer the service. Monthly data allowances can be extended to 1GB if users network with other FreedomPop users, although again, more details are to follow.
Once users pay $99 upfront on the case, no additional charges are payable unless a user exceeds their monthly bandwidth. It is expected that for each megabyte over the 500MB allotment, users will be charged up to 1 cent per megabyte, or for any value-added options or services that are still to be detailed. Users can also opt out of the service and get their $99 back upon returning their case in good condition if they are unhappy with the service.