Cablevision is trying to do something that no other carrier has done in the mobile industry. They have worked to create a truly Wi-Fi exclusive mobile solution, which would allow users to talk, text, and obtain as much data as they see fit – exclusively through Wi-Fi networks. The service is being called “Freewheel,” and would cost either $10 a month or $30 a month – depending on whether an individual is a Cablevision subscriber or not. Believe it or not, there are a few of these Wi-Fi exclusive mobile companies out there. For instance, this Cablevision version will be a significant rival to companies like FreedomPop and Republic Wireless – both of which offer virtually the same service.
However, one major difference between these carriers and Cablevision’s version is that the latter will not rely or fallback on Sprint’s network when Wi-Fi isn’t available the way FreedomPop and Republic Wireless do currently. Interestingly, FreedomPop did recently release a similar Wi-Fi exclusive program that costs just $5 a month – but Freewheel is focused on specifically urban areas where Wi-Fi networks are more present than ever. The Moto G will be the first device that the company launches with this service, selling it for $100 – compared to the $180 price tag for an unlocked version.
As prepaid cellular plans have become more prevalent and more widely used, especially with the two-year contract under as much scrutiny as it ever has been – this is an interesting concept that is being floated by more, and more companies. While it doesn’t seem like a great idea where Wi-Fi is less prevalent, like in more-rural regions. For those who live in extremely urbanized, and well-populated areas – this idea is something that could be very effective. Especially for those who are regularly working from a Wi-Fi space, in terms of needing a phone that will do everything an individual needs.
These devices will make calls, send text messages, and even go everywhere a Wi-Fi exclusive tablet would be able to, but would increase functionality. It’s unclear how well this will takeoff initially, but this should see positive results as time goes on. Especially as more Wi-Fi networks and hotspots are added by tech companies all over the country. Most-recently though, Google is planning to sell wireless service to two major providers. The company has expressed serious interest in expanding their connectivity business, and worked on increasing the data that is out there on the market.