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Republic Wireless Beta Re-Opens This Summer
Unlimited $20 Service On Road to Full Launch
by Karl Bode 08:55AM Thursday Mar 22 2012
Bandwidth.com recently announced a new wireless carrier named Republic Wireless promising unlimited text, data, and voice for an unheard-of $20 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 back off the idea and promised to offer truly unlimited service.

In a new blog post, the company announces that things have been going well in beta, and they'll re-open the beta to new users sometime this summer. From the post:
quote:
Now two months into full swing, our beta is going very well. Hybrid Calling works, and the Wi-Fi wave is alive and continuing to swell. Due to all the positives we’re seeing and our enthusiasm for what republic is becoming, we’ve decided skip the baby steps in favor of serving a greater number of you, sooner… and better. To those who have been hoping to join us early this year, let me assure you that waiting a while longer, if you can, will be well worth it. In the meantime, we’re upgrading republic wireless! Next month, we’ll provide some tools to help save you money on your Big Cell bill even before you can join and make your escape. In May, we’ll introduce a new Wi-Fi to cellular handover technology that is already blowing us away in the lab (our developers are good!).
The company has posted a beta milestones page highlighting where they are in their launch.

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kaila

join:2000-10-11
Lincolnshire, IL

Welcome news.......

Although 'Summer' seems a little too far away for adding new signups. I've used them since November with mostly positive results. Looking forward to the refreshed phone lineup.
--
Jeff Howe
Jeff's Blog - »www.ostjournal.net

Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

1 edit

Best of luck to them

If they're going to be using low-end Gingerbread phones, I hope they've done something about the slow wifi switching that wasn't fixed until ICS.

Also, is it safe to assume this will require a 2 year lock-in?

Edit: Scratch that, they front-load the cost of the phone into the first month:

»republicwireless.com/what-it-costs

$180 is kinda high for an older phone like the LG Optimus, but it's a nice idea.
--
Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Islamic religion?

Labac

@charter.com

Re: Best of luck to them

when they were around before all you had to do was pay for the phone they had available, no contract.
HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
No lock-in. It's month to month. No contracts. You buy the phone, it's yours to keep. Don't like the service? Change to another carrier at any time and eBay the RW phone. No ETF's.

The first beta filled up before I even read my invite.

Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21

Re: Best of luck to them

Good point. I wonder if they will disallow activating second-hand RW phones.
--
Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Islamic religion?
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: Best of luck to them

said by Cabal:

Good point. I wonder if they will disallow activating second-hand RW phones.

I don't see why they'd do that. My guess is that the price is what it is because there's no phone subsidy, not because they're making money off it. I think they'd view the sale of a used phone to a new customer as a way for someone to get in for cheaper than with a new phone, which is an easier add for them.
ShatterGhost

join:2002-05-20
Saint Louis, MO
It's not considered a Pre-Pay phone either so you are looking at $3 to $6 dollars in taxes added on to the bill each month.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

They will have to cap

They have to cap once it's out of beta. There just isn't any way to offer unlimited everything for $19/mo. It depends on a high amount of wifi offloading to work.

I hope they do well, even though they have very limited data coverage (native Sprint).
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: They will have to cap

I agree. And, I hate to say it, but, given the price point, many of their customers may end up being cheapskates. I could even imagine that some of them won't even have wi-fi at home.

And what are they going to do when someone roots the phone and tethers? You know it's going to happen.

Still, I wish them the best of luck.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: They will have to cap

If they cap the data usage, tethering won't matter. What they are doing could be revolutionary, but the whole unlimited thing isn't going to work. They should have tiered plans, just with wifi usage not counting against them. Maybe three plans with different CUI allotments, plus a true unlimited or something for people who just want better coverage.

They are also going to have to deal with roaming. They can't afford to pay Cellco roaming rates, even without data roaming (which is another big killer). Apparently the service also doesn't work in AK.

Hopefully the next phone is something like an SGSII or similar to make the handset side of things a little more exciting.

Basically, it's full of problems right now, but I really hope they work it out, as this could be revolutionary.

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

i'd be interested but...

not on sprint's whored out network. They let all comers hang off that network and I'm sorry but it is too congested. Republic also only allows one android phone which sucks.

I'll stick with my $45 unlimtied everything service on Straight Talk that is non beta and runs just fine on ATTs network.
--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: i'd be interested but...

My StraightTalk phone on Sprint works just fine except data can be horribly slow at times.

Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

Re: i'd be interested but...

said by 25139889:

My StraightTalk phone on Sprint works just fine except data can be horribly slow at times.

I think that's what he was referring to.
--
Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Islamic religion?

momcat1
No Relation To The Bobcat

join:2002-10-21
Wappingers Falls, NY

wonder when I'll be contacted

Requested to join their beta in Nov 2011. Still haven't heard back.