Cablevision Offers WiFi-Only Cell Phone Service

Would you buy a phone that comes with unlimited text, talk and data, but no cell coverage? Cablevision Systems Corp. is betting that many people will. At least, that seems to be the thinking behind its announcement Monday that it will start offering mobile phone service, but only over a Wi-Fi connection.

Dubbed EUFreewheel,EU Cablevision is offering the service for $29.95 a month. Existing customers of CablevisionEUs Optimum Online Internet service will get an even cheaper deal at $9.95 a month. The service will only be offered with the Motorola Moto G Android handset, and comes with no annual contract, according to Cablevision. The company will sell the mobile phone at the discounted price of $99.

Shift to WiFi

The service will work anywhere in the world where Wi-Fi is accessible, and will operate only when the device is connected to a Wi-Fi signal. Freewheel customers will have automatic access to the Optimum WiFi network of 1.1 million hotspots.

EUCablevision recognizes the growing shift to Wi-Fi-driven consumer electronic devices and services,EU said James Dolan, chief executive officer of Cablevision said in the press release announcing the new service. Dolan described the service as the EUnext leap forward in the advancement of the connected lifestyle.EU

Although the new service drastically undercuts the prices of current cell phone service plans, the obvious problem with Freewheel is that your phone is useless when not in a Wi-Fi hotspot. That said, Cablevision pointed out that the service can be useful for people who spend the majority of their time in Wi-Fi rich environments, such as university campuses, offices, or homes.

It may also prove no worse for people who live in areas with little or poor cell phone coverage, or appeal to parents looking for devices for their children. Cablevision also said that it has made...

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