Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless is now shipping out the phones many have pre-ordered, and the $19 monthly hybrid network is up and running, ready to go. After a beta period where users had a chance to try a modified LG Optimus One, the retail Motorola Defy XT units will soon be in customers hands, including ours.

This isn't about specs, or playing the high-end phone of the month game. This is geared towards folks who want reliable service from their smartphone, and don't want to pay 75 to 100 dollars a month for it. Republic offers unlimited voice, text, and data for the $19 monthly fee, and the handset itself has an up front cost of $249, making a years service cost just $477 -- about five months worth of service from one of the big four on a contract. 

It works by using a hybrid tech of VoIP and cellular for voice, text, and data. When you're in range of a Wifi hotspot or router, you use it for calls and data. When you're not in Wifi range, you are using the Sprint 3G network. There is nothing for the end user to fiddle with, it just works. It's something new and disruptive, and something that is new and disruptive is exactly what the US telco situation needs.

We're very curious how well this new system is going to work, and our demo unit is out for delivery. I'll be seeing how it all handles things in various settings and locations, and see what it takes to break it. Here's hoping Republic can shake up the status quo a little bit. There's a video and press release after the break, and you can learn more at the link below.

More: Republic Wireless

Low Cost WiFi Smartphone from Republic Wireless With Unlimited Data, Text and Voice Shipping Now

Just in time for the holidays, Republic Wireless now shipping WiFi smartphones nationwide that offer unlimited data, text and voice service for $19 per month, well below prevailing market rates.

Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) December 12, 2012

A much-anticipated Wi-Fi smartphone plan that costs just $19 per month became widely available today as Republic Wireless began nationwide shipments of a new breed of smartphones. The service is already a hit with holiday shoppers looking for no-contract service that delivers value and performance.

The plan offers unlimited data, text and voice for $19 per month, a small fraction of the average monthly wireless phone bill. Republic Wireless keeps rates low with a Hybrid Wi-Fi cellular Calling network that uses a combination of home, office and public hot spot Wi-Fi as its primary network and the nationwide network of Sprint when Wi-Fi is not available.

Republic Wireless CEO David Morken said the launch follows a year of intensive work by his team, which included beta testing with thousands of subscribers. He said the past year’s work has provided strong validation that the company’s Wi-Fi-first approach is a winner.

Market data supports Wi-Fi Smartphone for talking and texting as well as data.

“We saw Wi-Fi becoming ubiquitous and cheap, while cellular spectrum has become increasingly expensive and controlled from the top,” Morken said. “So we set out to invert the status quo, by routing as much as possible – voice, text, and of course data, over Wi-Fi whenever possible. When Wi-Fi is not available, our smart phone works just like a regular phone on the nationwide network of Sprint.”

The WiFi smartphone is poised to be a disruptive force in the wireless industry. The Wireless Broadband Alliance reports worldwide public hotspots continue to increase rapidly, and an April 2012 report from industry analyst firm Strategy Analytics estimates 61% of all US households currently have Wi-Fi networks installed at home.

“This is a story about the way smartphones should be – a smart phone with a smarter phone plan. Republic Wireless is all about providing great benefits and returning value to consumers with a Wi-Fi smartphone,” Morken adds.

Republic Wireless is shipping the Motorola DEFY XT, available for $249 on the company’s website, plus a $10 start-up fee and applicable taxes. The plan is pay-as-you-go, with unlimited data, text and voice calls, backed up by a 30-day money back guarantee.

The dual-band Android CDMA handset features a 3.7-inch Corning® Gorilla® Glass display, VGA webcam, and 4x digital zoom camera with auto-focus and LED flash. It is compact and lightweight and delivers rugged, water-resistant performance.

Republic Wireless offers quick and simple signup for the game-changing WiFi smartphone on its website, where purchasers click on buttons to select the phone, set up their phone number and proceed to checkout.

About Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless, a division of Bandwidth, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, is spearheading a wireless freedom movement to return value and control of the smartphone experience to members by leveraging the power of Wi-Fi and an engaged community of users. Republic Wireless offers truly unlimited data, text, and voice service for $19 per month, with no contract. Our Hybrid Calling uses Wi-Fi in the home, office or anywhere else as the primary network for calls, texts and data. When outside of Wi-Fi coverage, the smartphone works just like a typical cellphone on the national cellular network of Sprint. Visit http://www.republicwireless.com/ for more information. 

 
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Republic Wireless devices now shipping, $19 a month gets all you can eat

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No, they want you to use their device that allows you to use wifi for voice, etc. to keep costs low. Reminds me of the app that t-mobile used for voice over wifi, but I think that was to makeup for bad service in your house.

Okay, this is some kind of sh#t.
WiFi Calling = T-Mobile or Google Voice
Sprint 3G = slow & horrible

This is basically a Mobile AirRave.

But who can beat $19 a month to use my own WiFi at home and public WiFi everywhere else.

I'm a happy Sprint LTE customer, and I'll gladly pay $79.99 + tax for fast, unlimited data. Google Voice can handle the minutes when I call landlines excessively.

I don't think you and I or really anyone here on the Android Central is the primary audience. I initially thought about getting it as an emergency houseline because oddly Sprint has stayed up around these parts even when AT&T, T-Mo and Verizon went down after a series of storms, but then I heard about Ting, and went that route instead - $6/month if I don't use it, maybe $12 if I do, and I get to bring a $90 lightly used Nexus S 4G instead.

We need something like this in Canada, stat. I know many people would love this. While landline Internet is still expensive compared to other OECD countries, it's still cheaper than mobile networks. I think the new entrants in Canada should invest in developing a similar system to help resolve their spotty signal zones. People can still get an awesome experience while they build out their network.

I read up on this last year when looking at new phones and a new contract. What keeps me from getting too excited is that if you us the Sprint 3G too much they might cut you off. Not sure if that's changed but that was how it worked before.

Good thing they paired up with Sprint then because their 3G speeds are so slow that no one can really use too much, amirite?

Not anymore.

They revised their policy.

There's no 3G cap. They talk about this on their website...

So does this just connect to any open network, or is there some database that is continuously updated? I assume you can manually add network as well?

I know it's $19/mo, but the idea of going back to a Gingerbread device keeps me away. But I'm sure this will be great for a budget-minded consumer who has no care of what version of Android he's using.