updated 10:30 pm EDT, Thu March 14, 2013
Users can collect unused data for later; 30 percent already on board
FreedomPop, a cellular internet service provider and maker of an iPod Touch case that can turn it into a full working smartphone, has just implemented a new "data rollover" feature for its plans, which let users keep unused data from month to month. The service, which offers 500MB of monthly WiMAX and LTE cellular data for free following the purchase of one of its custom sleeves for iPhones or iPod touch models, allows users to share data with friends and earn additional free data through referrals. It provides either mobile or home internet service.
The company reports that 30 percent of its users signed on to the optional rollover feature in its first 24 hours of availability. The FreedomPop plans works on the premise that users who sign up for normal cell data plans often do not use the full amount they paid for, leaving a quantity of data available that could be pooled and repurposed. The company gives away 500MB per month for free, and charges a modest fee of $29 for usage over the free 500MB up to 4GB. Users can earn credits to discount the fee by donating or getting friends and family to share their unused but paid data. It has other plans for users who need even more cellular data.
The company works primarily with Sprint and has recently added the ability to request or share bandwidth through social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Last month it announced a plan to create a product to allow the iPad to participate in the plans, and a $89 Burst 4G home router.