Altice Halts Freewheel Sales

But will continue to support existing subscribers to WiFi-only phone service
freewheel goodbye.jpg

About a month polishing off its acquisition of Cablevision Systems, Altice as moved ahead with a plan to eventually phase out Freewheel, the WiFi-only phone service that Cablevision launched in early 2015.

The Freewheel web site notes that the operator has stopped taking new orders for the service, but that it will keep the service going for existing customers.

“We will no longer be selling Freewheel to new customers. All existing customers will be able to continue enjoying Freewheel,” the site explains.

A similar message recently has been added to the Freewheel FAQ.

The decision was expected. The Wall Street Journal reportedearlier that Altice had given Cablevision the okay to shut-down Freewheel.

Capping new orders is likely just a step toward Freewheel’s eventual shutdown.

Cablevision and Altice have not revealed sub numbers for Freewheel. It was not immediately clear how long Altice intends to support its current base of Freewheel subs. Altice USA has been asked for additional comment.

Cablevision has been selling the Moto G smartphone for Freelwheel for a service that costs $9.95 per month for consumers who took the MSO’s high-speed Internet service, or $29.95 per month for all others.

While Cablevision created Freewheel to take advantage of the proliferation of WiFi hotspots (the CableWiFi roaming consortium recently surpassed 500,000 hotspots), other cable operators, such as Comcast, which recently tapped Greg Butz to lead a new mobile-focused division, are expected to push ahead with mobile and wireless services that pair WiFi with MVNO agreements with cellular carriers.