The inherent problem with most coffee shops is the crappy WiFi.  Believe us, we know best, as in first hand.  The alternative is to invest in a Mifi, otherwise known as a portable, battery powered router that connects with one of the many cell phone service provider’s network.  Course, this will cost you on average about $50 a month and with most networks, except for Sprint and Virgin America (one in the same). you’ll only get 5GB of bandwidth.  After that you’ll start to pay overage fees.

The Freedom Sleeve for the iPhone liberates you from the tyranny of cellular service providers and hooks you up with 1GB of 4G wirelessly connectivity completely free (we’re hearing that amount will be reduced by 50% once the product begins to ship).  So what’s the catch?  There doesn’t seem to be one, with the exception that you’ll have to pay $99 for their iPhone sleeve, which can share it’s wireless connection with up to 8 WiFi devices and purportedly extends the iPhone’s battery life by up to 6 hours. And once you burn through your allowed bandwidth you can add more for $10 a GB, which effectively puts you back on par, at least in terms of pricing, with the majors.  That said, you can supposedly gift unused bandwidth to other Freedom Pop users, though we can’t confirm that at this time.

So we’re not sure how the company can afford to do this, unless of course the promise of free Internet is for a finite period of time.  It would seem that their device is both WiMax and LTE compatible, since they say they’ve “partnered with leading wholesale 4G Wimax and 4G LTE mobile broadband networks.”  Nonetheless, details are scant on their website, so expect more info to trickle out over the next few days as the product gains momentum in the webosphere.

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."