FreedomPop’s mystery project: an iPhone case with free WiMax data

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Mysterious wireless company FreedomPop will soon offer an iPhone case with a WiMax radio inside and free access to a 1GB data plan, according to a TechCrunch report.

FreedomPop will be mimicking NetZero’s just-announced plan to offer a freemium model for wireless service. Users from both FreedomPop and NetZero will get some access free and then pay for more data on top of the free allotment. NetZero has a plan system, while FreedomPop will charge $10 per GB over the free gig of data.

The FreedomPop case will basically act as mobile hotspot, can run up to 30 hours, and can share its connection with up to eight devices. The iPhone case will cost a deposit around $100, but the money can be refunded to customers if they return the case in good condition.

Clearwire, the troubled wireless company that provides Sprint and NetZero with 4G data, will be providing the data for FreedomPop’s device. Clearwire’s WiMax service isn’t as impressive speed-wise as Verizon Wireless and AT&T’s LTE networks, but it’s still generally faster than 3G data networks.

There’s no word on availability for the product, but we’ll let you know as soon as we hear more.

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