Cablevision Systems Corporation plans to launch Freewheel, a new low-cost all-WiFi phone service providing unlimited data, talk, and text.
Cablevision says Freewheel is the first all-WiFi service to be introduced by a cable provider. It will be offered with the Motorola Moto G Android smartphone and works exclusively over WiFi. The service will work anywhere in the world where WiFi is accessible, and will operate only when the device is connected to a WiFi signal. Freewheel customers will have automatic access to the Optimum WiFi network of 1.1 million hotspots.
Freewheel will be available for purchase nationwide starting next month at Freewheel.com. The service will cost $29.95 per month or $9.95 per month for Cablevision’s Optimum Online customers. The service comes with no annual contract. The Moto G will be offered for purchase at a heavily discounted price of $99.95.
“Cablevision recognizes the growing shift to WiFi-driven consumer electronic devices and services,” said James L. Dolan, chief executive officer of Cablevision. “As a company, we are focused on providing services for these consumers and solidifying our position as the New York market’s premier connectivity company. Freewheel is the next leap forward in the advancement of the connected lifestyle, and our Optimum WiFi network and the prevalence of WiFi nationwide serves as its foundation.”
Cablevision has made a significant investment in building its robust WiFi network, which the company began deploying in 2007 just as smartphones were being introduced. Today Optimum WiFi is available at 1.1 million access points and includes both indoor and outdoor locations as well as its expanding network of residential hotspots.
A Cablevision spokesman says this network covers the Princeton area. A map at www.optimum.net/internet/hotspots shows where wifi hotspots are located.
“There has been a dramatic shift in how consumers use their mobile devices; today, it’s all about data, and WiFi is now preferred and clearly superior to cellular,” said Kristin Dolan, chief operating officer of Cablevision. “Freewheel is powered by the strength of our Optimum WiFi network integrated with a high-quality device to deliver a breakthrough service for truly unlimited data, talk and text without the high costs imposed by cellular providers.”
WiFi is already the dominant technology for mobile data communications. Cisco Systems Inc.’s latest yearly index report found that 93 percent of all data traffic generated by mobile or portable devices in the U.S. was carried via WiFi.