New service offers cheaper data plans for smartphones

FreedomPop offers free and low-cost data plans for mobile devices. Though much cheaper than many cellular carriers, the plans don\'t include voice services and the coverage isn\'t nationwide - yet. (FreedomPop screenshot)

WASHINGTON – A new service aims to give mobile devices high speed wireless data – for free.

The start-up FreedomPop is offering data packages ranging in price from free (for one gigabyte) up to $35 for five gigabytes, with a few catches, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Those with an iPhone or iPod Touch will need to purchase a special sleeve to wrap around the phone for about $100 or pay a deposit for a portable Wi-Fi hotspot.

In addition, FreedomPop is a data only service, so seperate plans for calling and texting will still be needed.

And since the service is new, the coverage isn’t nationwide – yet.

WSJ reports FreedomPop, which currently uses cellular service from Clearwire Corp., has signed a deal to rent coverage on Sprint’s network.

Read more about FreedomPop from the Wall Street Journal.

WTOP’s Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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