FreedomPop said on Wednesday that it has expanded its nationwide coverage with the launch of the Overdrive Pro, a new 4G/3G hotspot device that works on Sprint's 3G network. It's available for pre-order now, and connects up to five devices to not only Sprint's 3G network, but ClearWire's WiMAX 4G coverage with download speeds up to 8 Mbps.
The company initially began offering free internet back in November 2012 through mobile broadband devices like the BOLT USB dongle, the Photon 4G Mobile Hotspot and a 4G-capable iPad sleeve. The company then launched its service in the home broadband market with the introduction of its $89 Burst wireless (WiMAX) modem/router.
But the initial launch has been limited in regards to national coverage. The current map shows a slight growth since the beginning of March, but consumers in Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa are still out of luck… just to name a few. Many states only have one covered city whereas there's a huge stretch of coverage between Washington D.C. and Boston.
"The biggest criticism with our service to date has been the coverage gaps in certain parts of the country," said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop's CEO. "Starting today, FreedomPop users can connect to the Internet across the entire nation leaving no reason to continue paying high monthly Internet bills for Internet from large, expensive carriers."
This of course is thanks to the new Overdrive Pro hotspot device which connects to Sprint's 3G network in addition to ClearWire's WiMAX 4G coverage. The first 500 MB of data is free each month, but will cost $0.02 for every 1MB over the limit – 3G coverage is not a part of the Basic free plan. However customers have two other options including Pro 500MB with nationwide 3G roaming, and Premium 2GB which also includes 3G roaming.
In addition to opening up the pre-order lanes for the Overdrive Pro, FreedomPop said it is also planning to launch a new suite of devices on Sprint's LTE network later this year in line with Sprint's nationwide build-out. LTE devices will also have the ability to roam on 3G where needed, the company said.
"We're planning on launching our full national LTE roll-out by the end of this year, but until then, adding nationwide 3G coverage gives users the ability to connect from anywhere," Stokols added.
To order the OverDrive Pro, head here. Given that it supports 3G roaming via Sprint, qualifying for FreedomPop coverage may not be necessary – you just may not have access to the ClearWire WiMAX network until it arrives in your area.