Republic Wireless: Wi-Fi powered mobile phone service
Ever since I first caught wind of Republic Wireless and their Wi-Fi powered mobile phones and plans, I was intrigued by their innovative offerings. Since then, I have been closely watching their progress and public updates.
Republic Wireless is shaking up the mobile phone industry by providing monthly service at extremely low rates. For a mere $19 per month (plus tax, which averages $3.57 a month for Republic customers), you can get unlimited calling, text and data. All with no contract, no caps and no overage fees.
Republic can offer service rates this low because the majority of the calling, texting and data usage is done over an available Wi-Fi connection instead of a traditional cellphone network. This is called "Hybrid Wi-Fi" technology. These Hybrid Wi-Fi calls use VoIP (Voice over IP) technology to connect calls and deliver voice service. VoIP calls can be even more clear and crisp than mobile phone network calls, which is a plus. When Wi-Fi is not available, the phone latches on to Sprint's mobile network to provide service.
So what happens if you are in the midst of a Wi-Fi call and you move out of range into a Sprint only service area? Your call will be disconnected and your phone will automatically redial the number.
To use their service, you need a special phone that supports Wi-Fi calling, and their current offering is the Motorola DEFY™ XT Smartphone running Android 2.3. This smartphone boasts a front and a 5MP rear facing camera, a 1GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 1GB of storage, an LED flash, a 3.7 inch Corning® Gorilla® glass display that makes it dust-proof, water and scratch resistant. Republic currently sells this phone for $199.
Typical smartphone service plans from the big carriers routinely cost more than $150 a month for 2 lines. Compare that to $19 a month for one line of Republic's service and you can see there is opportunity for significant savings.
Check out the video below to learn more about Republic Wireless.