Nov 08 AT 10:50 AM Anthony Domanico 42 Comments

Republic Wireless officially launches, unlimited talk/text/web for $19/month

Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless, a division of Bandwidth.com, is finally unleashing their plan to revolutionize the mobile industry this morning. Republic Wireless is attempting to take advantage of Wi-Fi technology, which users are connected to about 60% of the time, to offer an unlimited talk, text, and web service for only $19 per month.

So how does Republic Wireless work?

When you’re in range of a Wi-Fi network, your device will automatically make all calls and send text messages over the Wi-Fi connection. When you’re not near a Wi-Fi network, your phone will revert to Sprint’s 3G network for voice, text, and data (still unlimited).

The flat fee for the plan is $19 plus taxes.

What devices will be supported on Republic Wireless?

When it launches later today, Republic Wireless will offer the entry-level LG Optimus Android 2.3 smartphone. Though the Optimus series is not the most feature-packed Android smartphone out there, you will be able to get the device for $180 (billed on your first month’s bill of $199). In an effort to bolster its initial userbase, Republic Wireless is slashing $100 off this price if you order by November 27th using coupon code welcome19.

Other devices are coming to Republic Wireless soon, though the devices and pricing have not yet been announced. It’s possible we’ll see some higher end devices come to Republic Wireless, but those will come at off contract prices.

When can I sign up?

The service is launching to consumers later today, and the phones will be shipping on a first come, first served basis. The phone and service come with a 30 day money-back guarantee, so you can return the device within the first 30 days of service for a full refund.

Is Android and Me willing to test this service out for me?

To show my Minnesota acclimation: You betcha! I will be ordering one of these devices as soon as Republic Wireless opens up the ordering system. After a week or two of testing, I’ll report how my experience with Republic Wireless has been and let you know whether this is a viable alternative to the traditional carrier models.

If you simply can’t wait for my report, you can head over to Republic Wireless to sign up. Don’t forget to use the coupon code above.

Anyone out there planning on picking one of these up? Do you like the way Republic Wireless is taking advantage of Wi-Fi networks to fuel your cell usage?

Via: GigaOm

Source: Republic Wireless

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • GeauxLSU

    Sounds like a great idea for kids.

    • isaiah

      so what if i dont have wifi almost all the time will i still be able to text my friends ?? and do my facebook and youtube not alot but enough ???

  • http://about.me/willfanguy Will F.

    The Optimus is a great phone for this. Plenty of features for cheap and a very active hacking community. If I didn’t already have this phone on a Sprint family plan, I’d jump on this quick. If it works as advertised, this could change the way we use cell phones. Great article. Looking forward to hearing how it works out.

    • waazzupppp

      Do you really think they can isolate the software needed for Republic’s network and hack the Optimus to a working state – and that RW will keep that device active?

      I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one – just keep that little puppy locked up and enjoy $20 a month service before the prices go up because people are torrenting from their phones.

      • http://about.me/willfanguy Will F.

        Please read the article. The service is launching with the Optimus as its charter phone. If it’s hackable on Sprint and Verizon, Republic’s version can’t be far behind.

        Proofreading is an acquired skill. I get it.

  • wesley

    If they could activate my Evo3D (assuming I unlock it first) I would switch from sprint in a heartbeat. Currently sprint does not offer 4g in my area (polk county FL) so I am only on 3g or WiFi anyways (except I pay 3x as much. This is a smart innovation

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      They won’t be allowing phones other than the Optimus S at this time. They do have a product roadmap that they’re keeping hush-hush.

  • IanSapp

    This sounds like a cool idea, but what if you’re litterally never in a wifi spot? Is it still only 19 bucks a month? What about security over random open wifi spots?

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      Yes, it’s still only $19 per month. Unlimited applies to both their Wi-Fi and 3G network (Sprint 3G).

      • waazzupppp

        Really? Their Wi-Fi network? You really need to read their site better. It’s using YOUR Wi-Fi network, not theirs???

        It says you use your network or public networks (Starbucks, McDonalds, Etc…) and roll over to Sprint 3G when you are out of range.

        As far as the original question – they have a CUI number that they are using to boot abusers. They monitor your traffic weekly – and if you are over – they send you an email telling you why you went over. If you don’t have Wi-Fi available at least 50% of your day, this is not going to be your plan. I bet the soft cap on data is in the 500MB to 1GB range – and then you get the letters.

        Don’t panic when you see that number though as we did a bit of testing with our EVO’s and found that we used about 3GB of data on 3G/4G only and only 400MB when we used Wi-Fi when available – and the EVO is a HOG compared to the Optimus.

        • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

          Yeah, okay I said it wrong. Shoot me.

    • http://www.garriewilson.com Garrie Wilson

      The site says it does have a ratio of wifii/cell usage but it depends on each persons usage.

  • justtony

    Not able to sign up yet.

    Do they require a contract? If so, will it be 2 years?

    • waazzupppp

      There’s no contracts and the phone is $99 after the special discount deal.

      • shannon

        What is the discount code?
        Thank you :)

  • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

    So the overloaded Sprint 3G network will be even more bogged down?

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      Duh!

  • Brandon

    Why does Sprint allow other companies too use their services, when their data speeds are already terrible? (BOOST, VIRGIN and now this). It doesn’t make sense.

    • Eli

      because all those companies are PAYING Sprint to use them. Since sprint is struggling keeping their subscriber numbers, this is another way for them to stay afloat.

      • Nathan

        I’m not sure they are technically paying Sprint, since Sprint owns both Boost and Virgin…

  • Rashad

    I’m quite interested in the results of this test

  • Steve

    So how does the phone handle the terms agreement acceptance via a web page (each time you access initially) at open wifi spots like Caribou Coffee?

  • http://facebook.com/jestertx2001 Jes

    What about handing off the call when you move from a Wi-fi environment to a standalone 3G environment? Do you lose the call?

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      Nope, the call I think pauses for a second or so, but it should be mostly seamless transition.

  • donnieace

    Just ordered this as an xmas gift to my old man. Hope this hybrid combo maintains good call quality. Thanks for the discount code :)

  • Karen Lundgren

    Could you please post the discount code…for $100.00 saving?

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      It’s in the article.

  • Matthew H

    I just tried to sign up for this, but it said that the beta was already full. Bummer! Not quite the dual core 4G LTE monster I wanted to get, but I can’t complain, I would have saved over $100/month!
    Hopefully I will be able to sing up soon.
    Anyone else able to sign up!

  • McLovin

    I tried also early this morning. At first it said, try again, then it said “We’re full (for now).”

    I’m not too sad I didn’t get in. Seeing their inability to keep their website a float during their opening day is not a good sign. Either that or they grossly underestimated the voracious appetite that people have for no contracts and seemingly “unlimited” plans. I certainly have no loss of love for any moble phone carrier.

    If it seems too good to be true…yadda yadda yadda.

    • McLovin

      During the recent rage comics contest one had this opinion of moble phone carrier pegged. …”That’ll be 2 years of your life please!”, FU&U Carrier. And the poor sap had to reply, “Sign me up, bitches!”…

  • http://pryvateidz.posterous.com Dave

    Next device, then I’ll probably be there. This would be so epic for me. At school w/ all WiFi, then using that so much I would be able to use more data & voice off campus, PERFECT! I don’t see this just perfect for kids, but perfect for business users (at work) or off, handling business, & college students.

  • RT

    It says unlimited text, but then 150 texts is listed as acceptable range. Some people text a whole lot–5 texts per day is not enough, but then they hardly use their voice minutes. What happens? Is this ok? I want my whole family to switch over, but my son says it will not work if it limits his text use.

    • Matthew H

      As long as you are on Wifi, your texts are going over another service you are paying for, so it costs Republic nothing. So you should have unlimited texts on Wifi. But off Wifi, I could believe 150 texts per month would be there soft limit. For a teenager, that would probably not work given their mobile lifestyles, but for me, 90% of the time I am on Wifi in my house, so ti works awesome.

  • http://awesome-tv.tk

    so…if i got a SIM from them, would i be able to use it in my old phone? or would i have to use a gevey or something?

  • Levar

    Does the wifi have to be an open one? There is wifi everywhere I go, but most of them require a password to use.

  • randy

    perfect if you live in n.y metro area with Cablevision’s Optimum Wifi

  • http://www.stonemastersinc.net Soap Stone

    what this thing run, like 36 hours. It’s still showing that they’re full, but will accept your e-mail so you can be notified when they get more phones ????

  • phaet2112

    Wish some of these companies were GSM instead of CDMA, but maybe Tmo is going to squeeze the GSM MVNO out anyway by racing to the bottom.

  • pritams

    I would love to try this one,,just waiting for a decent device..

  • Alex

    can i use it on my iphone if i order a sim card??? that be awsome unlimited talk txt & wed on iphone for 19$ smoking deal!!!

  • ana

    what about if i am out of state but in a wifi area can i still make phone calls?

  • scroggrj

    Purchased a Republic Wireless Moto G with 16MB storage in early June 2014. Works great! Ported (transferred) my existing AT&T cell phone number last week. Took only two days for the port to complete, both Voice and Data. Great service in my house via my existing WIFI. Great service not on WIFI also for Voice and Messaging in my area (Orlando, FL). Bluetooth also works great with my Chrysler Uconnect to answer incoming calls and initiate outgoing calls.

    If you want to go with Republic, use the below code and receive a $20.00 credit on your monthly bill.

    rwshar.es/PaKu

    I also get a $20.00 credit on my monthly bill if you use the above link, so please consider using it as it is an advantage for both of us. If you will, let me know that you use the link please.

    Republic has three different calling plans as follows.
    A $5.00 per month for unlimited Voice, Messaging and Data on WIFI only.
    A $10.00 per month plan for unlimited Voice, Messaging and Data on WIFI and unlimited Voice and Messaging while not on WIFI.
    A$ 20.00 per month plan for unlimited Voice, Messaging, and Data while on WIFI and while not on WIFI.
    While not on WIFI, the phone uses Sprint, so check you Spring coverage in your area to make sure you will have service when not on WIFI.

    I use the $10.00 per month plan.

    If you have any questions or problems relating to the above link, please let me know. If you have questions regarding Republic Wireless or the Motorola Moto G, please ask.

    Again phone is great.

  1. Sounds like a great idea for kids.

    • isaiahGuest 4 years ago

      so what if i dont have wifi almost all the time will i still be able to text my friends ?? and do my facebook and youtube not alot but enough ???

  2. The Optimus is a great phone for this. Plenty of features for cheap and a very active hacking community. If I didn’t already have this phone on a Sprint family plan, I’d jump on this quick. If it works as advertised, this could change the way we use cell phones. Great article. Looking forward to hearing how it works out.

    • waazzuppppGuest 4 years ago

      Do you really think they can isolate the software needed for Republic’s network and hack the Optimus to a working state – and that RW will keep that device active?

      I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one – just keep that little puppy locked up and enjoy $20 a month service before the prices go up because people are torrenting from their phones.

      • Please read the article. The service is launching with the Optimus as its charter phone. If it’s hackable on Sprint and Verizon, Republic’s version can’t be far behind.

        Proofreading is an acquired skill. I get it.

  3. wesleyGuest 4 years ago

    If they could activate my Evo3D (assuming I unlock it first) I would switch from sprint in a heartbeat. Currently sprint does not offer 4g in my area (polk county FL) so I am only on 3g or WiFi anyways (except I pay 3x as much. This is a smart innovation

    • They won’t be allowing phones other than the Optimus S at this time. They do have a product roadmap that they’re keeping hush-hush.

  4. IanSappGuest 4 years ago

    This sounds like a cool idea, but what if you’re litterally never in a wifi spot? Is it still only 19 bucks a month? What about security over random open wifi spots?

    • Yes, it’s still only $19 per month. Unlimited applies to both their Wi-Fi and 3G network (Sprint 3G).

      • waazzuppppGuest 4 years ago

        Really? Their Wi-Fi network? You really need to read their site better. It’s using YOUR Wi-Fi network, not theirs???

        It says you use your network or public networks (Starbucks, McDonalds, Etc…) and roll over to Sprint 3G when you are out of range.

        As far as the original question – they have a CUI number that they are using to boot abusers. They monitor your traffic weekly – and if you are over – they send you an email telling you why you went over. If you don’t have Wi-Fi available at least 50% of your day, this is not going to be your plan. I bet the soft cap on data is in the 500MB to 1GB range – and then you get the letters.

        Don’t panic when you see that number though as we did a bit of testing with our EVO’s and found that we used about 3GB of data on 3G/4G only and only 400MB when we used Wi-Fi when available – and the EVO is a HOG compared to the Optimus.

    • Garrie WilsonGuest 4 years ago

      The site says it does have a ratio of wifii/cell usage but it depends on each persons usage.

  5. Not able to sign up yet.

    Do they require a contract? If so, will it be 2 years?

    • waazzuppppGuest 4 years ago

      There’s no contracts and the phone is $99 after the special discount deal.

      • shannonGuest 4 years ago

        What is the discount code?
        Thank you :)

  6. So the overloaded Sprint 3G network will be even more bogged down?

  7. BrandonGuest 4 years ago

    Why does Sprint allow other companies too use their services, when their data speeds are already terrible? (BOOST, VIRGIN and now this). It doesn’t make sense.

    • EliGuest 4 years ago

      because all those companies are PAYING Sprint to use them. Since sprint is struggling keeping their subscriber numbers, this is another way for them to stay afloat.

      • NathanGuest 4 years ago

        I’m not sure they are technically paying Sprint, since Sprint owns both Boost and Virgin…

  8. I’m quite interested in the results of this test

  9. So how does the phone handle the terms agreement acceptance via a web page (each time you access initially) at open wifi spots like Caribou Coffee?

  10. What about handing off the call when you move from a Wi-fi environment to a standalone 3G environment? Do you lose the call?

  11. donnieaceGuest 4 years ago

    Just ordered this as an xmas gift to my old man. Hope this hybrid combo maintains good call quality. Thanks for the discount code :)

  12. Karen LundgrenGuest 4 years ago

    Could you please post the discount code…for $100.00 saving?

  13. Matthew HGuest 4 years ago

    I just tried to sign up for this, but it said that the beta was already full. Bummer! Not quite the dual core 4G LTE monster I wanted to get, but I can’t complain, I would have saved over $100/month!
    Hopefully I will be able to sing up soon.
    Anyone else able to sign up!

  14. I tried also early this morning. At first it said, try again, then it said “We’re full (for now).”

    I’m not too sad I didn’t get in. Seeing their inability to keep their website a float during their opening day is not a good sign. Either that or they grossly underestimated the voracious appetite that people have for no contracts and seemingly “unlimited” plans. I certainly have no loss of love for any moble phone carrier.

    If it seems too good to be true…yadda yadda yadda.

    • During the recent rage comics contest one had this opinion of moble phone carrier pegged. …”That’ll be 2 years of your life please!”, FU&U Carrier. And the poor sap had to reply, “Sign me up, bitches!”…

  15. DaveGuest 4 years ago

    Next device, then I’ll probably be there. This would be so epic for me. At school w/ all WiFi, then using that so much I would be able to use more data & voice off campus, PERFECT! I don’t see this just perfect for kids, but perfect for business users (at work) or off, handling business, & college students.

  16. RTGuest 4 years ago

    It says unlimited text, but then 150 texts is listed as acceptable range. Some people text a whole lot–5 texts per day is not enough, but then they hardly use their voice minutes. What happens? Is this ok? I want my whole family to switch over, but my son says it will not work if it limits his text use.

    • Matthew HGuest 4 years ago

      As long as you are on Wifi, your texts are going over another service you are paying for, so it costs Republic nothing. So you should have unlimited texts on Wifi. But off Wifi, I could believe 150 texts per month would be there soft limit. For a teenager, that would probably not work given their mobile lifestyles, but for me, 90% of the time I am on Wifi in my house, so ti works awesome.

  17. ...Guest 4 years ago

    so…if i got a SIM from them, would i be able to use it in my old phone? or would i have to use a gevey or something?

  18. LevarGuest 4 years ago

    Does the wifi have to be an open one? There is wifi everywhere I go, but most of them require a password to use.

  19. randyGuest 4 years ago

    perfect if you live in n.y metro area with Cablevision’s Optimum Wifi

  20. Soap StoneGuest 4 years ago

    what this thing run, like 36 hours. It’s still showing that they’re full, but will accept your e-mail so you can be notified when they get more phones ????

  21. Wish some of these companies were GSM instead of CDMA, but maybe Tmo is going to squeeze the GSM MVNO out anyway by racing to the bottom.

  22. I would love to try this one,,just waiting for a decent device..

  23. AlexGuest 3 years ago

    can i use it on my iphone if i order a sim card??? that be awsome unlimited talk txt & wed on iphone for 19$ smoking deal!!!

  24. anaGuest 3 years ago

    what about if i am out of state but in a wifi area can i still make phone calls?

  25. Purchased a Republic Wireless Moto G with 16MB storage in early June 2014. Works great! Ported (transferred) my existing AT&T cell phone number last week. Took only two days for the port to complete, both Voice and Data. Great service in my house via my existing WIFI. Great service not on WIFI also for Voice and Messaging in my area (Orlando, FL). Bluetooth also works great with my Chrysler Uconnect to answer incoming calls and initiate outgoing calls.

    If you want to go with Republic, use the below code and receive a $20.00 credit on your monthly bill.

    rwshar.es/PaKu

    I also get a $20.00 credit on my monthly bill if you use the above link, so please consider using it as it is an advantage for both of us. If you will, let me know that you use the link please.

    Republic has three different calling plans as follows.
    A $5.00 per month for unlimited Voice, Messaging and Data on WIFI only.
    A $10.00 per month plan for unlimited Voice, Messaging and Data on WIFI and unlimited Voice and Messaging while not on WIFI.
    A$ 20.00 per month plan for unlimited Voice, Messaging, and Data while on WIFI and while not on WIFI.
    While not on WIFI, the phone uses Sprint, so check you Spring coverage in your area to make sure you will have service when not on WIFI.

    I use the $10.00 per month plan.

    If you have any questions or problems relating to the above link, please let me know. If you have questions regarding Republic Wireless or the Motorola Moto G, please ask.

    Again phone is great.