Cablevision Launches $10/Month Freewheel Wi-Fi Phone Service

Remember that low-cost Wi-Fi mobile phone service we told you about a week ago? Well, it's here -- Cablevision has begun taking orders for its Freewheel Wi-Fi calling and data service, which runs $10 per month if you're a Cablevision Internet subscriber and $30 per month if you're not. Either way, it's an affordable alternative to traditional wireless services, provided you often have access to Wi-Fi.

"Cellular was built for voice and Wi-Fi was built for data, which is why Wi-Fi is the preferred choice for data usage today," Cablevision COO Kristin Dolan said in a statement. "Freewheel integrates a high quality device backed by the strength of our professionally maintained carrier-grade Wi-Fi network. As the thirst for data continues to grow, Freewheel provides consumers with a better, faster data experience, all at a fraction of the cost of cellular."

Freewheel Phone

At those prices, you can be sure there are caveats. One of them is that it only works with a single handset -- Motorola's Moto G, though you can't bring your own. You have to purchase an optimized version from Freewheel, which will set you back $100. That's actually not a bad price, though it's a bummer that you can't bring your own handset, or at least have a larger selection to choose from.

The other (obvious) caveat is that Freewheel is a Wi-Fi only service. The phone will automatically connect to Cablevision's more than 1.1 million public Optimum Wi-Fi hotspots in the New York tri-state area. You can also add any locked Wi-Fi hotspots that you have access to -- just enter the password a single time and the phone won't ever ask for it again.

If you wander away from a Wi-Fi area, there's no cellular backup, you'll just be without service. Otherwise, you can enjoy unlimited talk, text, and data with no annual contract.

You can find out more and/or sign up for service on Freewheel's website.