FreedomPop is taking its free wireless data offering nationwide. The company is now accepting orders for its new 4G/3G MiFi hotspot, dubbed FreedomPop Overdrive Pro, which will be supported by Sprint’s 3G network.
FreedomPop plans to expand its 3G-capable device offerings in the future, said FreedomPop CEO Stephen Sokols in an interview.
Previously the company’s service was available only in markets where Clearwire had deployed WiMax, making it an option only for about half the country, explained Sokols. The new offering will use 4G when available but will fall back to 3G.
Sokols said FreedomPop made the decision to launch the 3G service because its offerings are proving to be “not only viable but quite lucrative.”
FreedomPop offers customers 500 megabytes per month of free wireless data service as well as a competitively priced $18 per month service that boosts the customer’s data allotment to two gigabytes. According to Sokols, almost 40% of the company’s user base is paying for extra data.
He also noted that the company recently launched a $3.49 per month service that lets users roll over any unused data to future months, and already 20% of users have opted to sign up for the service.
FreedomPop’s new MiFi hotspot is from Sierra Wireless and will retail for $39.99. That’s a lower price than the company charges for the equivalent WiMax-based product, which is from a different manufacturer.
Many customers are finding out about FreedomPop through word of mouth, Sokols said. Users can obtain additional free megabyes per month by referring friends and according to Sokols, the average user is inviting 17 friends.
Another part of FreedomPop’s strategy has been to continuously expand its offerings. In recent months the company has added a capability that lets users share data, has added free voice and text to its offerings and has even launched a service that specifically targets low-income users.