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Republic Wireless goes live, makes $19 unlimited plans a reality

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Republic Wireless goes live, makes $19 unlimited plans a reality
We've recently told you about Republic Wireless – a new carrier that undercuts all existing US mobile operators by a huge margin with its $19 unlimited everything plan. How is that even possible? Republic Wireless uses a technology that has been available for a while – UMA wireless basically allows you to seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi and cellular networks, with the bigger stress on Wi-Fi and the smaller on Sprint's network, which the company is leveraging.

“Newsflash: anything a cell network can do, the Internet can do better and cheaper,” Republic Wireless enlightens us on its website. It's hard to argue with that, but it's the process of switching between networks that was the first big unaddressed issue. The carrier has tackled it with its own software, which for the moment is only available pre-loaded on a single handset – Republic Wireless's LG Optimus, a version of the LG Optimus One coming with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and costing $199.99 but with no contract ties whatsoever. The lineup is to expand in the future, though.

“Hybrid Calling is just like a hybrid car, only traditional carriers are the oil companies,” the carrier adds. The second issue is bigger. It's obviously Wi-Fi networks that allow the carrier to cut the monthly fee so sharply, so you do need to have a home Wi-Fi network, a work Wi-Fi network and pretty much try to stay in Wi-Fi networks instead of watching Netflix movies when you're out of Wi-Fi coverage. The carrier doesn't give any details about limits as the catch word here is unlimited, but we can imagine that if your non-Wi-Fi usage grows over certain unnamed limits, you'd get kindly asked out. Republic Wireless says that those who don't go over 550 minutes of calls, 150 texts and 300MB of data monthly wouldn't need to worry, but the rest are still going to get the boot.

As the carrier says, it's more about your usage habits than the carrier and you're always free to use a simple VoIP app on top of your cell plan, but that would just mean overpaying. Hit the source link below for all the tiny details. Are you ready to make the switch to Republic Wireless or is that just too much of a sacrifice?


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posted on 08 Nov 2011, 06:38 2

1. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


i love the idea of it. Those cities that said they were going to have free public wifi.. did that ever happen? If it did, and you live in one of those cities, i dont see anything stopping you from trying this out.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 06:46 1

2. ibap (Posts: 681; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)


I think this is a great idea, but what cellular network are they using? - According to PC Mag, they're using Sprint 3G. Why wasn't that in this story?

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 08:23 1

3. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


no idea. most prepaid carriers run off of sprint though, so that wouldnt be a big surprise.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 08:39

4. Victor.H (Posts: 406; Member since: 27 May 2011)


Thanks for mentioning that! It's Sprint indeed - we've added this to the article.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 10:43

5. beruit17 (Posts: 7; Member since: 16 Jun 2011)


Nice idea but really 300 MB on an android phone? Also how is 150 text messages unlimited? Come on people.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 11:36

6. downphoenix (Posts: 2267; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


they mean when you're not connected to a hotspot. 300MB and 550mins seems veryreasonable if you aren't away from a wifi hotspot for long, but 150 text seems kind of light, especially given that texts in general are very light in comparison to those 2.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 15:46 1

7. Penny (Posts: 1098; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


Excellent work. This is a bold step to make against the current forces that be in the mobile industry, and a necessary one. I hope that they build enough of a user base to become a relevant threat to the other major carriers, and more importantly, I hope they get popular enough to reveal to consumers what they are spending money on and what is possible.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 15:54

8. jdrevolution (Posts: 87; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


I think this is a really smart idea and would help out a lot of people. But seeing as they're a new company, do you think they will spread fast enough by word of mouth or are do they have a marketing plan in place?
Hrrrrrmmmm...

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 23:04

9. Penny (Posts: 1098; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


Any business sets a marketing budget when they are starting, so I am sure they do have a marketing plan in place. Of course, you may not see it in your area as smaller companies generally have smaller budgets for such purposes, so they will probably go after target consumers.

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 08:55

10. rob5150 (Posts: 103; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


their terms of service and acceptable use policy are sort of weird. As for the acceptable use policy they refer to goes to a webpage not found..

posted on 09 Nov 2011, 10:49

11. corporateJP (Posts: 1520; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


This is the start of something that could potentially become BIG...

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