When Apple first announced the iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular, I thought, “Who would want to pay a separate contract for their phone and tablet?” Apparently, a lot of people. However, not everyone wants, or can afford, to carry two data plans and still choose Apple’s iPad with Wi-Fi only in hopes that their local coffee shops and hotels will offer free Internet connections. FreedomPop wants to free Wi-Fi only tablet users from the restrictions of Starbucks and Days Inn by offering cellular data capabilities through their upcoming “LTE Clip.”
According to Forbes, FreedomPop attaches to Wi-Fi only tablets, giving them cellular data capabilities. Sprint Nextel’s network will be supplying the LTE data. The LTE Clip is expected to be released in the second half of this year.
The device clips to your tablet and offers 500 free MB of 4G service per month on its network. If you want more data, you can pre-pay or pay as you go. The LTE Clip weights less than 3 ounces and has a six hour battery charge. It is compatible with most tablets, including the iPad and iPad mini. The LTE Clip can connect up to eight devices at once.
FreedomPop seeks to open Wi-Fi to the U.S. by creating free and low-cost Internet access. In addition to their basic services, the company offers special plans to subscribers through a sharing program. Subscribers earn credit toward more free Internet access by making their own access free to others by virtually sharing to anyone on FreedomPop’s network.
The company will also be rolling out “open Wi-Fi” local-sharing Internet service, which will enable FreedomPop devices to share broadband access to others nearby using two SSIDs. Once activated, anyone nearby can log onto that broadband device through one of the SSIDs.
There is no information at this time as to the cost of the LTE Clip. However, the company previously released a case for the iPad touch for $99 that turned the music player into a WiMax Internet device.