Smartphone usage is increasing across the world. Most individuals see their Android or iPhone as more than a necessity, but as a luxury. However, operating such devices can be expensive at times. Smartphones often require high amounts of data and streaming to keep them operating. However, one company is looking for a way to minimize data usage by offering unlimited access to Wi-Fi.
FreedomPop is a new startup that offers users free (albeit limited) text and speech plans. If users want access to voicemails or more than their allotted time/text usage, they'll have to pay. However, FreedomPop isn't willing to include data usage. If users want that, they'll have to find a Wi-Fi network.
FreedomPop realized its users' needs and it wants to make things easier. The company recently announced that it would add a service that would let users get unlimited use of - and automatic sign-in - for millions of Wi-Fi hotspots across the United States for the small cost of $5 per month.
Why does FreedomPop think this is a good idea? The company quoted an (unsourced) stat about how 90 percent of data used by mobile users is through Wi-Fi networks.
FreedomPop founder Stephen Stokols told TechCrunch that users could get access to this new Wi-Fi service via an Android app, as well as a future iPhone app.
But who is providing the Wi-Fi networks?
While the company cannot reveal all of its partners because of the contracts, FreedomPop was willing to say that it has teamed up with notable Wi-Fi providers including Starbucks, Burger King and Best Buy. FreedomPop has explicitly stated that it isn't working with public Wi-Fi provider Boingo.
The one thing that isn't certain about FreedomPop's plan is how fast these networks will be, or how many of them would have been usable if one didn't sign in. The service certainly sounds neat and makes a lot of sense for FreedomPop's clients, but it's not clear if the service will attract users outside of FreedomPop's customer base.