FreedomPop has been promising to bring mostly free 4G internet access to the masses for over a year now, but those ambitions have been hampered by partner Clearwire’s spotty WiMax coverage — there are sizable swaths of the country where you just can’t get service. That won’t be the case for much longer though, as FreedomPop has just started taking orders its first Sprint-friendly wireless hotspot.
Granted, it’s not exactly a new one. The $40 Overdrive Pro first hit Sprint shelves back in early 2011, but at least the dual-mode device allows FreedomPop users to tap into Sprint’s sizable nationwide 3G network when WiMAX isn’t available. As always, FreedomPop users are given 500MB of free wireless network access per month, but the company offers a slew of monthly rate plans and features in hopes of generating some additional revenue. It seems to be working well enough so far — FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols told FierceWireless that nearly half of the service’s existing users have made some sort of additional purchase.
Frankly, it’s about time. FreedomPop first announced that it would migrate to Sprint’s CDMA/LTE service last July, and since then the Niklas Zennstrom-backed company has dutifully pushed out WiMAX devices while talking up the eventual switch.
In the event that you’ve already thrown down some cash on one of FreedomPop’s earlier doodads, you can contact customer service to coordinate a swap, though you should know that the company is also hoping to roll out some devices capable of running on Sprint’s growing LTE network in the months to come. Among those forthcoming LTE devices is a nifty clip that physically attaches to tablets, and FreedomPop previously confirmed that it plans to flesh out its existing hardware lineup with a slew of wireless data cases for Android devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S III. It’s worth noting though that the iPhone sleeve that garnered plenty of early attention in the company still hasn’t seen the light of day because the FCC has qualms about its design, so these sorts of device-specific hotspots may need some more fine-tuning before FreedomPop pushes them out the door.