FreedomPop ships its 4Genabling iPod touch case, lets us nearly go phoneless for $99

FreedomPop's gamble on free WiMAX data launched in beta at the start of month, but early adopters had to be contented with conventional hotspots and modems at first; those of us with a fixation on data-only cellular handsets had to keep waiting. We can stay slightly cooler-headed now that the provider is shipping its iPod touch 4G Sleeve. Shelling out $99 grafts a 4G hotspot to the back of the fourth-generation media player that gives it independence from WiFi as well as connection sharing with eight other devices -- at least, for anyone willing to burn through that 500MB of free monthly data in record time. About the only catches are the $10 per gigabyte overage fee and a design that's just slightly behind the times for iPod addicts. While some of us will still cling to smartphones for coverage or legacy reasons, others who mostly communicate through Instagram food photos could have that excuse they need to drop cellular phone service once and for all.

Update: Thanks to reader (and early adopter) Penn who pointed out that overages are $20 per gigabyte if you're on the free plan -- it's only $10 if you're a regularly paying customer.

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FreedomPop Launches Market-Disruptive 4G iPod touch Sleeve, Transforming the touch into an iPhone

Sleeve provides users 500MB of Free Nationwide High-Speed 4G every Month

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 29, 2012) – The wait is over! FreedomPop, the disruptive free wireless Internet company, today announced it is now shipping its highly anticipated iPod touch 4G Sleeve, which until today has been limited to pre-orders only. The FreedomPop iPod touch 4G Sleeve snaps onto any fourth generation iPod touch, enabling a seamless connection to FreedomPop's free high-speed 4G network and allowing the iPod to function like an iPhone. With FreedomPop's iPod touch 4G Sleeve, users will be able to use their iPod touch anywhere there is FreedomPop coverage – not just on Wi-Fi at home or in public venues.

"Until today, the iPod touch has been a Wi-Fi only device. As of today, consumers can now receive fast and free Internet for their iPod on-the-go," said Mauricio Sastre, Vice President Product, FreedomPop. "By leveraging a VoIP app such as Skype, the iPod touch essentially becomes a carrier-free option that allows consumers to enjoy an iPhone-like experience without signing contracts or paying monthly fees."

With the Sleeve, the iPod touch can stream videos, make VOIP calls, serve a hotspot for up to eight devices, and be connected to Wi-Fi anywhere FreedomPop's 4G network exists. The iPod touch 4G Sleeve delivers speeds of up to 10x 3G speeds currently available on the iPhone 4/4S. It also turns the iPod touch into a wireless hotspot, allowing up to eight other devices to connect to it.

The availability of the FreedomPop iPod touch 4G Sleeve comes on the heels of the company's public Beta launch earlier this month, which has shaken up the wireless market with it's game-changing offering: a guaranteed minimum of 500MB of free 4G wireless Internet service every month. No contracts, no ads, no gimmicks. An overview of markets served nationwide can be found at www.FreedomPop.com.

The iPod touch 4G Sleeve is available now for purchase at www.FreedomPop.com, retailing for $99.