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Republic Wireless Softens Rooting Stance
Wants to Embrace Android Tinkering Audience
by Karl Bode 09:21AM Wednesday Dec 26 2012 Tipped by newview See Profile
Republic Wireless appears to have softened their previous stance on rooting phones, which they claim could result in users being disconnected from the new service. As we noted last week, Republic Wireless stated the tough stance was due to the fact that phones running custom ROMs can prohibit the company from collecting useful data during the product's beta. The company now seems to have softened this position somewhat, posting to their website that tinkerers will not be booted from the network, and that they want to embrace the modding Android community:
quote:
Rooting isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. Beyond just warranty and support reasons, there are also other security risks and considerations to take into account. We want you to be aware of these risks. But let’s be clear, republic will NOT kick you off our service just because you root your phone. We will only terminate service if we feel that someone is trying to abuse our service or threaten the network for our community.
Republic is trying to disrupt traditional wireless pricing by offering users data service over the Sprint network for $19 a month. Prices are kept low by offloading the lion's share of network traffic to Wi-Fi whenever possible.

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Maxo
Your tax dollars at work.
Premium,VIP
join:2002-11-04
Tallahassee, FL

Good move

And glad to hear they have reconsidered their position. Let's hope they are clear on what constitutes "abuse" unlike so many ISPs.

jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

I wouldn't

Why would someone need to root their phone? Is it not already "open" enough? I have one so help me understand why I might want to root my phone?

Isn't it a problem when modifying the phone could impact phone service to the point where you can't make a call when you need to?

Phone service is regulated by the FCC so I can see why an operator who is running custom software would not want you to tinker with the device.
Network Guy
Premium
join:2000-08-25
New York
kudos:2
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Optimum Online

Re: I wouldn't

One would want to root an Android phone to unlock features that carriers typically lock to charge customers extra for. Rooted phones let you install different ROM's that often run much better than stock and without the carrier-issued bloatware.

The advent of rooting is really what made AT&T and Verizon switch to bucket-o-byte pricing. Aside from exponential increase in network traffic, carriers cannot tell who's tethering or not. And God forbid the customer has the one up on them.

My older rooted and unlocked GSM phone lets me use SIMPLE Mobile's $50 all-you-can-eat plan as a wifi hotspot and as a USB modem. Yes, just $50 on the nose. Try doing that with big blue or big red.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: I wouldn't

said by Network Guy:

Yes, just $50 on the nose. Try doing that with big blue or big red.

If your in an area with good CDMA(VZW) coverage, simple mobile is the way to go, and if your in an area with good Tmo/AT&T coverage, Straighttalk for $45 per month is the way to go.

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Saint Clair Shores, MI
said by Network Guy:

One would want to root an Android phone to unlock features that carriers typically lock to charge customers extra for. Rooted phones let you install different ROM's that often run much better than stock and without the carrier-issued bloatware.

Example, not paying for what use to be PAM service (phone as modem) and "tethering it" to a laptop so you can surf the net at will. Or, making it a wifi hotspot, (another charge) allowing freeloaders to use your phone as a router or allowing kids access while driving down the highway so they can play games online.

It's akin to removing macro-vision from a movie so you can play it through certain devices or make a copy. In a nut shell, it's for avoiding payment for services that big cell likes to charge you for.
kerya666

join:2002-12-20
Valrico, FL
said by jjoshua:

If you would try Linux you would find out really quickly why you need root .
Some more advanced applications will not even function without root access. It does not always have to affect phone service, there is much more to it than that.
I personally cannot even imagine running a phone without having root access now, thus why I been running Samsung phones lately thanks to their unlocked boot-loader and easy rooting.

jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3
I'm trying to figure out what I'm missing on the Republic Moto Defy XT that I need to root the phone to get.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter
said by jjoshua:

Why would someone need to root their phone? Is it not already "open" enough? I have one so help me understand why I might want to root my phone?

Isn't it a problem when modifying the phone could impact phone service to the point where you can't make a call when you need to?

Phone service is regulated by the FCC so I can see why an operator who is running custom software would not want you to tinker with the device.

Most people root their phones to use functionality that their carrier has locked(for instance, thethering on the iphone is a native capability of the device, but carriers continue to block it unless you "pay" for the grace of using something you phone can do already). If you have ever purchased a phone from someone like net10 or straighttalk, you would understand that these phones are crippled on purpose so that people cannot fully use the services they pay for. I jailbroke my iphone to use it on ST wireless a long time ago, and have enjoyed tethering, along with unlimited data, minutes, and text, without ever having heard so much as a peep from them. The other side of the coin is that if you root your Republic Wireless phone, its likely they will not be able to throttle or track or monitor the phone itself. Remember CarrierIQ? yea, im guessing they use something like that to improve(track) the service of each customer. I don't blame people for getting rid of carrier bloatware on their phones.

jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3

Re: I wouldn't

I already have unlimited talk, data, and text.

It seems like a nice phone and I have access to Google Play. What am I missing?
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: I wouldn't

said by jjoshua:

I already have unlimited talk, data, and text.

It seems like a nice phone and I have access to Google Play. What am I missing?

Most carrier phones are filled with bloatware, and are crippled so that you cannot use its full functionality.

dcurrey
Premium
join:2004-06-29
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Cincinnati Bell
·ViaTalk
Most seem to want to root the phone for two reasons.

1. The phone has tones of bloatware like facebook google+ and bunch of Motorola apps that no one wants to use. They can't be moved to memory card or deleted. RW doesn't seem willing to remove them.

An OTA update is planned that removes facebook. Hell the installed google+ has some bug that doesn't allow pictures to upload to google+ or some damn thing. Once removed and new google+ app is downloaded its fixed.

2. Some apps require root access to function properly. Several root to just get Titanium backup installed.

C0deZer0
Oc'D To Rhythm And Police
Premium
join:2001-10-03
Tempe, AZ
said by jjoshua:

Why would someone need to root their phone? Is it not already "open" enough? I have one so help me understand why I might want to root my phone?

Isn't it a problem when modifying the phone could impact phone service to the point where you can't make a call when you need to?

Phone service is regulated by the FCC so I can see why an operator who is running custom software would not want you to tinker with the device.

One big reason that I root my phone is to run Adfree Android. It's able to update your hosts file so that it can neutralize most ads not only when browsing pages, but also in-app ads, too. Considering that some apps can be responsible for up to 75% of the total power draw from a given app, that's very much worth the time.
--
Because, f*ck Sony

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast
said by jjoshua:

Why would someone need to root their phone? Is it not already "open" enough? I have one so help me understand why I might want to root my phone?

The Motorola Defy XT557 Dual-Band that is currently the phone that Republic Wireless ships ... has 380MB of internal storage and a 4GB SD card.

The ridiculous amount of internal storage is compounded by the fact that the bloatware that ships with the phone CANNOT be moved to the SD card, and once you reach 40MB of space remaining, the phone will not allow any more apps to be be installed until you make space available.

So essentially you have 340MB of usable internal storage ... which the bloatware that ships with the phone easily gobbles about 150MB, reducing that available storage to 200MB or less.

Many people want to root the phone to delete the bloatware and move the apps from internal storage to the SD card, along with purchasing a more realistic 16-32GB SD card.
Kearnstd
Elf Wizard
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
said by jjoshua:

Why would someone need to root their phone? Is it not already "open" enough? I have one so help me understand why I might want to root my phone?

Isn't it a problem when modifying the phone could impact phone service to the point where you can't make a call when you need to?

Phone service is regulated by the FCC so I can see why an operator who is running custom software would not want you to tinker with the device.

Customer software is and never has been a threat to the network. it is still based on the Android kernel.

Those 4G wifi hotspots are also proof that software cannot threaten the network itself. as they are just a router with a 4G radio on the WAN port effectively.

The primary factor to locking a device is revenue protection and customer support. A feature in the carrier ROM might get moved in a custom ROM and as such a phone rep would send someone to the wrong place.

Though hopefully anybody who can unlock and install a ROM is capable of using Google.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
Crusty

join:2008-11-11
Sanger, TX
Reviews:
·Embarq Now Centu..
·CenturyLink
·Speed of Light B..
said by jjoshua:

Why would someone need to root their phone? Is it not already "open" enough? I have one so help me understand why I might want to root my phone?

Isn't it a problem when modifying the phone could impact phone service to the point where you can't make a call when you need to?

Phone service is regulated by the FCC so I can see why an operator who is running custom software would not want you to tinker with the device.

Ummm...."open phones" from factory?? Hardly. Now android phones are much more useable (customizable) out of the box as compared to the iDevil but like others here have already mentioned, you need to root/jailbreak your phone to truly unlock what it can do. Much longer battery life, tweaked antennas, custom apps, tethering, hotspots, custom roms, font packs...and the list just goes on and on.

Try it. You'll never go back.

jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3
I'll have to take a look and see if some of those services are actually blocked on my phone.
watmore

join:2007-07-27
La Pointe, WI
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Republic does not use Clearwire

The article states Republic Wireless uses the Clearwire Network. Republic Wireless strongly encourages its subscribers to make calls using the Wi-Fi capability of the Republic handsets. When Wi-Fi is unavailable, the handset switches to the Sprint Network, not Clearwire.

Freedom Pop, a data only wireless service uses Clearwire.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Republic does not use Clearwire

said by watmore:

The article states Republic Wireless uses the Clearwire Network. Republic Wireless strongly encourages its subscribers to make calls using the Wi-Fi capability of the Republic handsets. When Wi-Fi is unavailable, the handset switches to the Sprint Network, not Clearwire.

Freedom Pop, a data only wireless service uses Clearwire.

Didnt you hear: clearwire was bought out by sprint, and before the total buyout, Sprint held a controlling stake in clearwire anyways.
watmore

join:2007-07-27
La Pointe, WI

Re: Republic does not use Clearwire

I did hear that, thanks. However, as of today Clearwire and Sprint operate entirely different networks using different wireless technologies, Sprint 4g using LTE, Sprint 3g using EVDO, and Clearwire using WIMAX.

lev
Smells better here without the monkey
Premium,Ex-mod 2002-08
join:2001-05-30
Chicago, IL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..

Have Republic XT and don't plan to root

Not during beta, anyway.

They are doing something different and groundbreaking with this phone, and it IS in test. The hybrid wifi capabilities of the phone are exciting, in that they may lower cost in other places, or at least expand a reliable footprint for the phone. A phone that bypasses the need for femtocells and just uses wifi to route it's regular communications is a great idea.

Rooting the phone, especially for the price, kinda means you're a selfish bastard who doesn't give a crap about anything other than his own immediate gratification. It is in test, and they will continue to test. Yes, it shouldn't have the bloatware on it, and Facebook will be coming off, but if that lowers the price that Motorola charges them for the phone, and ultimately the price that we pay, I'm willing to put up with it... for now.

I have modified the phone using the Android developer tools to allow me to save any downloaded app to the SD card. That should cause any problems, and if it did, that'd be the first place I'd look, by moving an app back to internal storage.

$19/month is very, very inexpensive. Be happy with that. For now, I'm carrying the phone as a second cell. Since switching my iPhone over to Straight Talk, I have no problem investing those savings ($80/month) into new phones and toys. Got a Wahoo ANT+ case and sensors for my road bike, and the Republic Phone. I've still spent less than I would have with AT&T in the past six months.