FreedomPop Expands Nationally Via Sprint

FreedomPop, the free, broadband wireless Internet company led by Stephen Stokols, said this morning that it has expanded its service via Sprint's 3G network. The company said the coverage expands its coverage nationwide. In conjunction with the expansion, the firm said it has begun accepting orders for a new, 4g/3G MiFi hotspot device. The new device, FreedomPop Overdrive Pro, allows users to access FreedomPop's broadband network on both high speed 4G as well as a backup 3G network.

The expansion by FreedomPop helps address one of the company's initial stumbling blocks in adoption, which was limited access to its backing, 4G network, which is being provided by 4G provider Clearwire; Clearwire's network had good coverage in major metropolitan markets, but, even in such areas as Los Angeles, lacked in full coverage. With the new deal with Sprint, FreedomPop has opened up its free wireless broadband network nationally. The company said it is also planning a full, LTE-based rollout by the end of the year with Sprint; Sprint itself has been building out its own, LTE network, after losing its gamble on the WiMax standard. Sprint had tapped Clearwire--mostly owned by the company--to build out a WiMax network, only to see the rest of the industry gravitate towards LTE.

FreedomPop lets users access up to 500MB of data for free, and earn more data by sharing information on the service with friends; the company also offers up low cost, 2Gb or 4GB plans at a big discount to other carriers. The firm is backed by high profile investors, including the founders of Skype.