$19 Republic Wireless Service Opens to Public
Sole Available Phone for Service Now Available for Pre-Order
Bandwidth.com recently announced a new wireless carrier named Republic Wireless promising unlimited text, data, and voice for an unheard-of $19 a month. How did they plan to reach such a price point for "unlimited" service? The company offloads most of that traffic to Wi-Fi, and initially stated they'd kick you off the network if you consumed to much (Sprint) cellular capacity
. After the press and public complained that their "Cellular Usage Index" (CUI) fairness plan was too complicated, the company backed off the idea and promised to offer truly unlimited service.
This week Republic Wireless has announced that the company's service is now available for all, and users can now start pre-ordering the only phone currently available for the service -- the dual-band Motorola DEFY XT. According to a company blog post, the phone will cost users $250, plus a $10 start up fee and your first month's service:
quote:Obviously the price is certainly right, so Republic's success will be dictated by the quality of service. We're happy to pay any users who are willing to write up their experience of the service. Interested users can head here to sign up.
The dual-band DEFY XT features our Hybrid Calling(TM) technology that uses Wi-Fi where it's available and cell where it’s not. Unlimited talk, text and data, all for just $19 a month. No overages, contracts, or hidden charges in small fine print. Just great phone service at the lowest monthly rate in America.
You can pre-order your dual-band DEFY XT today for $249 plus a $10 start-up fee and applicable taxes. Your start-up fee includes shipping and handling. Your first $19 monthly membership will be charged when your phone ships. Don't forget, we'll continue to offer a 30-day money back guarantee so you can join republic with no risk.
Service littered with censored complaints. I've been keeping up with the history of RW... and while they've taken a few steps in the right direction, they have a habit of censoring negative complaints against them.
On a service standpoint, their open-ended TOS pretty much still has them kicking you off if you use too much cell. Problem is there's no working wifi-to-cell handoff STILL for this service. When asked about it, if you get a response, all you get is "we're working on it". More often than not, if you're not a customer, you simply won't get a response to a question at all.
Limited devices (one), more importantly poor device selection and what amounts to a custom version of CyanogenMod 7 (SEVEN, Android 2.3) at that, for the up front cost it is kind of lackluster at best.
Review of device and service »www.geek.com/articles/mobile/rev···0120816/
Defy XT packs a 1GHz processor with 512MB RAM and a removable storage slot. The 5MP camera and VGA front-facing camera get the job done, but dont take particularly breathtaking photos or video. The 480×854 FWVGA display works great indoors but, like most ruggedized smartphones, is mostly unusable in direct sunlight.
The call quality when connected to Republic Wireless network is fantastic. After using the service exclusively for a week, I found myself with better call quality than I have ever had on a mobile carrier. I also have a top-notch wireless setup in my home, so this wasnt terribly surprising. I went to the local Starbucks and McDonalds, connected to their wireless networks and attempted to make calls. Surprisingly, even when the WiFi at McDonalds was so bad that I was struggling to load a webpage on my tablet, I was able to make and receive calls just fine. There was a noticeable difference in call quality, but the difference put RW in line with what I expect from a cellular network
Theres still one painfully obvious wrinkle with Republic Wireless: theres no call handoff from a SIP call to cellular. If you are on a WiFi connection when you receive a call, youll need to stay on that network until you have ended the call or it will drop.
The world is ready for a $19/month unlimited everything plan that is powered by WiFi, of that I am certain. If I could bring my device to Republic Wireless, or if it worked as an app that could be added to a prepaid phone, I think I would seriously consider making the switch.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.