FreedomPop has an unusual model for providing mobile internet access to US customers. You can buy a FreedomPop device and use it to connect to the internet for free — assuming you only need 500MB of bandwidth per month.
Paid plans offer 1GB or more of data for a fee, and options to cut off service when you hit the cap or pay for more data by the megabyte.
Up until now FreedomPop’s network has piggybacked on Sprint’s 3G and 4G WiMAX networks. But now FreedomPop is rolling out its first 4G LTE hotspot, offering average speeds of 6 Mbps or higher, and speeds up to 25 Mbps in some cases.
You can only use the new hotspot in areas that are covered by Sprint’s new LTE network, which means it’s only available in about 150 markets across the US, but Sprint is expanding that network rapidly.
The hotspot also falls back to Sprint’s 3G network where LTE isn’t available.
The only catch is that the new FreedomSpot 5580 hotspot is the most expensive modem the company offers. You’ll have to fork over $150 to pick one up.
After that, there are no monthly contracts and service plans start at $0.
It’s also worth noting that FreedomPop has a reputation for very slow shipping. I ordered an OverDrive Pro 3G/4G WiMAX modem from the company more than two weeks ago and have yet to receive a shipping notification.