FreedomPop switches to Sprint's 3G Ev-Do network in anticipation of future move to LTE

FreedomPop switches to Sprint's 3G Ev-Do network in anticipation of future move to LTE
MVNO FreedomPop is beginning a temporary switch from Clearwire's limited WiMAX network to Sprint's coast to coast 3G Ev-Do network. The carrier eventually plans on moving over to Sprint's nascent 4G LTE network, but according to FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols, "The Sprint LTE buildout is not moving as fast as we'd like." Sprint had hoped to cover 250 million POPs with its LTE signal by the end of the year, but has since cut that back to 200 million POPs. The first FreedomPop device that will be switched over to Sprint's Ev-Do network is the new Overdrive Pro mobile hotspot.

Once the switch is finally made to Sprint's LTE pipeline, the carrier is expected to offer sleeves that fit over phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III and clips for the Apple iPad, both of which provide low-cost LTE service to the appropriate device. FreedomPop offers data only plans with customers receiving 500MB of free data a month. The company makes money when customers buy additional data or purchase usage alerts, speed boosts or data sharing. CEO Stokols said that the freemium strategy is working with 40% of customers purchasing additional data while 49.8% make a purchase of additional data or a service. While profit margins are in the black, the company is spending money on developing more LTE products.

Over the next 6 to 10 weeks, FreedomPop will start offering voice and text through a deal it has with textPlus. While pricing has not yet been announced for those services, the MVNO said that it would offer those services over WiMAX and Sprint's Ev-Do network instead of using its voice network.

source: FreedomPop via FierceWireless

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