FreedomPop hits snag on road to free net access

You may remember a couple of months ago a new company revealed its presence. It was called FreedomPop and it claimed to be working on a new service that would offer "free broadband and voice services to all Americans". It sounded a bit too good to be true and indeed FreedomPop didn't say exactly how it would accomplish this task.

Now it looks like FreedomPop's plans have hit a major snag. Forbes reports today that the company is dumping its previously announced wireless partner LightSquared, which was supposed to be building its own 4G network. Unfortunately, as we have reported in the past, LightSquared's proposed network has been called a hazard to GPS devices, according to a recent study conducted by the US government. LightSquared, which claims the government tests were "rigged", is currently fighting for its life.

In the meantime, FreedomPop claims it is now in talks with other unnamed national wireless carriers to offer up its free wireless voice and net service. Another Forbes story gives some of the details of how this "free" network will work. The company plans to sell three devices (a laptop USB stick, a MiFi mobile hot spot and another "innovative" device).

Access to FreedomPop's services will be free for the vast majority of its users but about 10 to 15 percent of them will likely opt to sign up for the paid "premium" package. Advertising will be a part of the free service but details have yet to be revealed. The network is supposed to go live nationwide sometime this summer.

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8 Comments

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Am I the only one who thinks this article is terribly written? It's supposed to be about a Major Snag in releasing a free web/calling service. In all of the 4 paragraphs there is nothing that states what this snag is!

3x Paragraphs of rather unrelated rubbish that has nothing to do with snags, one vague reference in P2.

I am assuming that this snag is because the proposed partner Lightsquared is currently trying to defend it's freqs wont cause interferance.

remixedcat said,
interferring with GPS???? how?

Lightsquared's equipment operates in a frequency that's very near those used by GPS devices. The problem is that most GPS receivers weren't actually that well built, meaning that even though LS's stuff was not operating on the same frequency, it was close enough to cause interference. The problem is really with the lax enforcement on the GPS receivers, but because GPS is such an important thing, nobody wants to risk the interference. You can see both sides, really.

Kushan said,

Lightsquared's equipment operates in a frequency that's very near those used by GPS devices. The problem is that most GPS receivers weren't actually that well built, meaning that even though LS's stuff was not operating on the same frequency, it was close enough to cause interference. The problem is really with the lax enforcement on the GPS receivers, but because GPS is such an important thing, nobody wants to risk the interference. You can see both sides, really.

oh wow thank you for the info. that's not good for both.