Republic Wireless exits beta, launches $19/month unlimited wireless network

Republic Wireless is an unusual phone company which offers unlimited talk, text, and data for just $19 per month. What’s the catch? Well, despite what it says on the website, there are a few.

First, you get a choice of exactly one phone at the moment: A $249 Motorola DEFY XT.

Second, the phone is configured to make calls over WiFi whenever possible, which is how Republic Wireless hopes to keep its data costs low.

Republic Wireless

In fact, even when your phone isn’t connected to a WiFi hotspot, calls are made using VoIP technology. So basically the only thing you’re paying for is an unlimited monthly 3G data plan.

Republic Wireless launched a limited trial last year, and it’s been testing the service since then. Now anyone can sign up for a new plan.

Customers pay full price for the phone, so there’s no contract lock-in. If you want to cancel the service, just stop paying.

But keep in mind, this is a relatively new company that’s trying to do something very different. You won’t get the same sort of support you’d expect from a more established phone company.

In a welcome video, Republic Wireless tells prospective customers that there’s no support line or call center at all. Instead, there’s a support website where you can search for answers from the wider community or submit questions to Republic Wireless and wait up to 24 hours for a response.

  • ARXD

    I like the concept! when it be available in Canada?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sam-Curcio/100001739982933 Sam Curcio

    There are whole states out there without cell coverage, and I doubt there’s many WiFi hotspots.

  • buzz86us

    I’d like it if I didn’t have to pay so much for such an outdated phone.

  • cgpr

    The intent of republic wireless is to use WiFi for the majority of voice and data – most people are already paying for WiFi in their homes, and it is readily available in most offices. Through a partnership with DeviceScape, it is easy to find WiFi hotspots all over the country. There is free WiFi in nearly every Starbucks and McDonald’s across the country. That said, when you need it to, the republic wireless phone operates on the nationwide Sprint network just like any normal cell phone.