Back in October 2012, we talked a bit about the FreedomPop device that promised and free 4G connectivity to Apple gadgets such as the iPhone. The FreedomPop device for the iPhone also has an internal battery and would sell for $99. The problem for the manufacturer is that the iPhone sleeve has been stuck at the FCC.
FreedomPop has announced that its WiMAX iPhone sleeve has been delayed in the FCC approval process due to an untested design element. According to the company, the delay is unexpected and has cost it a significant amount of money. FreedomPop says that the delay has cost it $550,000 so far.
FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols told FierceWireless during CES 2013 that the holdup had to do with the design of the iPhone sleeve, which placed the WiMAX radio right next to the iPhone cellular radio. According to the CEO, the FCC hadn’t tested a device with a radio against a radio design in the past. That meant that the FCC had to do extensive testing on the sleeve when used with the iPhone.
That extensive testing has delayed the commercial release of the sleeve for the iPhone 4 and 4S. The iPhone version of the WiMAX sleeve had previously been up for pre-order, but the FCC testing delay meant the company stopped taking pre-orders a while ago. Stokols said that the company has 5000 of the sleeves at U.S. Customs waiting for FCC approval. He does expect that approval to come within the next “few weeks” and then the sleeves will begin shipping immediately.