Monthly wireless data plans are great, until you get the bill. With most iPhone carriers moving to data caps some users are paying extra when the limits are exceeded. FreedomPop is looking to provide another solution for iPhone owners, a full gigabyte of data usage free.
So what's the catch? FreedomPop will provide a special iPhone case for a $100 deposit, which is fully refundable if the case is returned in good condition. The case has a built-in WiMAX radio and is capable of connecting up to eight devices (including the iPhone) to the 4G network via mobile hotspot.
TechCrunch reports that FreedomPop will seek to convert 10-15 percent of their free customers to paying data plans, which will pay for everyone else. The service will charge an additional $10 for each GB over the 1GB free limit. Initially the FreedomPop case will connect to ClearWire’s 4G WiMAX network, which is available in 82 markets. Talks with additional service providers are in the works.
The ClearWire network may not be quite as fast as AT&T or Verizon's LTE networks, however it could save some heavy iPhone data users a few bucks if they're in an area with coverage. Of course FreedomPop can't be used as a replacement for standard iPhone data plans, as carriers require a minimum data plan to activate the device. Still, with 30 hours of juice the FreedomPop case could be a welcome addition for mobile hotspot users looking for a low-cost solution to data needs.