Cablevision announces Freewheel Wi-Fi mobile phone service starting at $9.95/month

By April Taylor , Jan 26, 2015 06:42 AM EST

Cablevision Systems is entering the wireless market with a Wi-Fi mobile phone service, making it the first U.S. cable operator to launch such an offer.

The company's new Wi-Fi mobile phone service will be called "Freewheel," and aims to offer a number of advantages to consumers. Since 2007, Cablevision has deployed 1.1 million Wi-Fi hotspots in the greater New York service area, and the new Freewheel will take advantage of them.

As part of this new service, Cablevision broadband customers will have access to an unlimited Wi-Fi voice, data and text plan for $9.95 a month, while consumers who are not Cablevision customers will have to shell out $29.95 per month. Freewheel will initially be available only in the New York area, but the company plans to expand nationwide.

"Freewheel is powered by the millions of WiFi hotspots that extend from your phone to the coffee shop to your office to your school. This means that wherever you are - across town or across the globe - you can talk, text, download, upload, and stream wherever there's WiFi, without ever paying a penny more," Cablevision touts.

"Freewheel is made possible by the sweeping Optimum WiFi network. That's over a million hotspots in the Tri-State area alone. And, when you're moving between hotspots, Freewheel is constantly queuing up your emails, voicemails and texts, so you can get them as soon as you enter the next hotspot."

The service will work with only one phone at first, and that's the Motorola Moto G priced at $99.95. The company could later make it available on other devices as well, through an app.

Bottom line, Freewheel offers unlimited data, as well as unlimited talk and text, for $29.99 per month for non-Cablevision customers, and $9.95 per month for the company's broadband subscribers. This involves no annual contract and no other charges.

"No hidden fees. No up charges or overage charges - period. Nothing to upgrade to or add on. Let's see a cellular company try to make a claim like that," further boasts Cablevision.

With its new Freewheel service, the company aims to offer more incentives for its current customers to stay on board, and also lure in more customers from cellular companies. Cablevision has not offered an exact date for when its new service will become available, but said that it's "coming soon."

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