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CableVision Launches an OverPriced Wifi-Only Mobile Phone Service

If you are you looking for a more expensive and less convenient alternative to the $5 a month service launched by FreedomPop last week, then you should check out Freewheel from Cablevision.

This cable operator just debuted a new service which will offer its subscribers unlimited phone. data, and text for only $9.99 a month. The catch? It’s Wifi only. Oh, and if you’re not a CableVision customer it’s going to set you back $30 a month.

freewheelTo make matters worse, Freewheel is launching with support for a single smartphone, Motorola’s Moto G, which will set you back $99.95. You’ll need to buy the phone from CableVision because the phone will come preloaded with apps that automatically authenticate with any of the company’s hotspots. Why the apps can’t be loaded on to other phones is not clear.

Subscribers will be able to use the phone to access any of the more than 1.1 million hotspots Cablevision has set up in the New York tri-state area, and they will also be able to use some 300,000 hotspots across the country, courtesy of the CableWiFi initiative. And of course they will also be able to access open Wifi hotspots at libraries, coffee shops, and airports.

That is a far smaller number than the nearly 10 million hotspots claimed by FreedomPop last week, although if you are a Cablevision customer already then Freewheel might work out better for you.

But even if you are a Cablevision customer, I’m not sure it’s worth the cost. I don’t see what this offers that FreedomPop doesn’t offer at a lower cost and with a larger network.

Did I miss something?


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The Commons January 26, 2015 um 11:37 pm

I don’t know about Cablevision, but after one experience with FreedomPop I have to say, never, never again. At least for me the horror stories turned out to be true.

If someone asked me to recommend a primarily-WiFi-based phone service, I would advise they go with Republic Wireless instead. It’s also $5; for $10 you get phone and text service even if there isn’t WiFi.

Nate Hoffelder, The Digital Reader January 27, 2015 um 7:07 am

The odd thing is, I know a couple people who swear by it.

James April 10, 2015 um 10:03 am

I got the freewheel phone on Friday. I’m not sure about whether the $100 for the phone is worth it but I like the service. I still have a verizon cellphone til September- then I will switch to a t mobile $3.00 a month pay as you go phone. It gives me 30 minutes a month which I can use as my emergency phone.

I use the freewheel phone for emails and texting. Don’t need to be connected 100% of the time for that. Now – I have wifi access at home and the office. This is where I use it the most. I also live on Long Island and there are a lot of hotspots around my neighborhood.

So for the price, I think its good. Unless something happens- I plan on dropping my $50.00 a month phone from verizon. It will cost me less than $20.00 a month for unlimited texting and emails.

I don’t talk much on the phone- maybe 5-15 minutes a month. Also my wife still will have a cellphone so we have that phone to while we are together. It wouldn’t work or my wife at this point but for me- I haven;t needed to use my Verizon phone yet.

Limitations – need to be in a wifi area of can’t make calls or texts
– can’t make calls while driving – I did text in the car with no problem at a light.

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