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Cablevision Introduces Wi-Fi Mobile Phone Service 'Freewheel': Here Are The Details

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Cablevision System Corp is launching a wireless Internet mobile service to users in February in order to provide a cheaper alternative to the data plans from huge carriers such as AT&T and Verizon. Dubbed as "Freewheel," the new mobile service is said to run on any Wi-Fi connection.

Cablevision is offering the service to deliver unlimited data, talking and texting that will be made available worldwide for a monthly fee of $29.95. Likewise, the company's Optimum Online subscribers shall get a discounted monthly charge of $9.95 which is relatively cheaper compared to the standard charges from traditional cellular providers.

Customers who want to get the service should be able to purchase the Motorola Moto G mobile phone. Originally priced at $180, the device will be sold to "Freewheel" customers for only $99.95 without a contract.

Cablevision proudly claims that the launching of the new Wi-Fi phone service is the first one to be done by a cable company. It aims to attract customers who are active in downloading unlimited data on their mobile devices through Wi-Fi connection which is cheaper compared to using the data services from a cellular network.

"The time is coming when Wi-Fi will shift from being a secondary network to being a primary one; instead of thinking of Wi-Fi as an alternative to cellular where Wi-Fi is available, we will instead begin to think of cellular as a backup network only when Wi-Fi is not," said telecommunications analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson. "That shift may sound subtle, but it will usher in a period of profound disruption."

A recent report from the Adobe Mobile Benchmark reveals that more than half of mobile phone browsing is now done using a Wi-Fi network. Likewise, more than 93 percent of such browsing are also done by tablet users.

"The big picture for us is the fundamental transformation in how people use their devices," said Chief Operating Officer Kristin Dolan of Cablevision. "It has been a migration in the past decade from voice to data."

Cablevision is prepping up for a regional marketing campaign as a way to promote the company's new service. The campaign will focus on customers who stay in homes or work in offices that have Wi-Fi connection. It will also include those who are careful not to overspend on data, live in places where cellular services are poor, or want to use the service for their children because of its cheaper charges.

"Today, it's all about data, and Wi-Fi is now preferred and clearly superior to cellular," added Dolan.

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