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Has your Twitter timeline been hit with an advertisement for Freewheel? Mine has. Freewheel is Cablevision's attempt to branch out as a mobile phone service provider, all for the not so low price of $29.99 a month. The service will include unlimited talk, text and data via wi-fi only and will grant subscribers access to Cablevision's network of 1.1 million "Optimum wi-fi" hotspots. To start, only one phone will be offered with the service, the Morotola Moto G, and it will be designed with software to allow it to automatically and seamlessly switch between various wi-fi networks as you go throughout your day. If you are already a subscriber to Cablevision and its Optimum Online service you'll get Freewheel discounted to a price of $9.99 a month. Given the expense associated with what will more than likely be a very limiting experience to the end user it's hard to envision this service as being anything more than DOA unless the price drops drastically. For what they are offering, there are simply too many services out there for far less money some of which are even free. For starters, FreedomPop just offered a similar service for only $5 a month which includes access to 10 million wi-fi hotspots and that number is rapidly growing. Furthermore, Freedompop does not limit you to just using one phone, you can use any phone or tablet on any carrier, all you need to do is download their app from either the iTunes or google play store. Scratch Wireless and Republic Wireless also offer wi-fi only service although their phones don't seamlessly and automatically connect to various wi-fi hotspots. Google is also set to soon launch a hybrid wi-fi/cellular network based service. You can also use Google Hangouts/Voice to make all the free calls and texts you want over any wi-fi network you can connect to. While I do think wi-fi will one day pose a serious threat/competition to cellular networks, the technology is still in its infancy and is not without its faults and in the case of Cablevision it is simply too much money for what it is.
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