Dec 23 AT 2:51 PM Nick Gray 68 Comments

Republic Wireless ditches ‘fair use policy’ and becomes first truly unlimited service provider

Republic Wireless

Looking for the best wireless service deal currently available? We suggest you take a second look at Republic Wireless. We’ve blogged about them a few  times, noting that the main drawback to the service provider’s “unlimited” data, sms and calling plan was that it wasn’t a true unlimited service. Republic Wireless had a “fair use policy” which implied unlimited service as long as the majority of your data consumption, phone calls, and text messages went over WiFi rather than its 3G network.

But after only a few short weeks, Republic Wireless has had a change of heart. In a new blog post, the service provider announced that customers will no longer be subjected to any thresholds — effectively making Republic Wireless the first carrier to offer true unlimited service for only $20 a month.

Rather than revising our fair use policy, we've decided not to have one at all. There will simply be no thresholds, and no risk of losing service. We're doing away with all of that to keep all of the focus instead on where it really belongs: Creating a new wireless future together. A future that is simple to understand, unfettered to use, and an amazing value for all. That's what we started down this path to do. That's where the power of this vibrant community, dynamic WiFi ecosystem and revolutionary technology should be investedBrianRepublic Wireless

We applaud the bold move by Republic Wireless and hope other small carriers will follow in their footsteps. We’re sure all of you  would love to pay only $20 a month for truly unlimited service, but are you willing to give up your high-end Android powered phone for an LG Optimus?

Via: Engadget

Source: Republic Wireless

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • damambt

    Wheres the coverage map?

    • Nick Gray

      They run their service on Sprint’s CDMA network so their coverage should be fairly good.

      • anonymouse

        I think you meant, “so their coverage should be terrible.”

        • DUMB

          your a dumb ass

          • Clos

            No sir your a dumb ass their network blows more than a vietnamese hooker.

          • vforvortex

            you’re*, not your. :)

    • zyphbear

      It’s all of sprint’s 3g coverage since they have the contract with Sprint.

      • Sean the Electrofreak

        So… couldn’t those of us with Sprint phones be able to take it to Republic Wireless?

        • Nick Gray

          Yes, the CDMA network is the same, but Republic Wireless has custom software built into their version of the LG Optimus which allows it to route its calls and sms over WiFi. It’s probably not that different than Sprint’s WiFi calling app, but you do have to get their version of the phone in order for things to work right.

          • BJ Beier

            So there’s no special hardware inside this LG Optimus, correct? If so, that’s a great sign that the next step would be either a custom ROM to flash our phones or even better, just a simple app to install. When that happens, I see Republic Wireless having a great stance at taking on Big Cell Corp.

      • damambt

        Npt bad, but I’m not digging’ the whole, “1 phone” only. Other than that it sounds pretty great. For now, i will continue to observe and see what this new “network” develops into. Like stenzor said, “I hope they don’t change their policies once they grow” !

        • Futureboy

          It’s one phone “for now.” They’ve been saying that they will be adding more phones as they roll out their service. However, now that they don’t have to bake their software for the Sprint/Wifi requirement into the phones, I imagine they will offer more choices in devices rather quickly.

          Do note that they are closed to new customers right now and they are wait-listing people. So if you think you might be interested, hop on over there and sign up.

          • WlfHart

            Sounds like it could be worth a try!

  • zyphbear

    This is pretty great! I can’t wait for more devices and I might even give them a try.

  • stenzor

    I hope they don’t change their policies once they grow

  • ranwanimator

    Yes. Yes I would be willing since my “high-powered” device is a G1. I just need them to start accepting people again and I’ll be all over it.

  • Lee Swanson

    Good news! This may be a good replacement for our Comcast home phone.

    • Lee Swanson

      Well…and my daughter is reaching that age when she will want a cell phone.

  • tjwwm0m

    Awesome. Now if only the waiting list wasn’t such a long wait, more people could take advantage of it.

  • YMS123

    Now would someone figure out how to flash some more powerful phones to their network? Thanks.

  • Clark Wimberly

    where does wifi fit into this plan? Can you get $19 unlimited as a completely standalone deal?

  • lew247

    Actually your not quite right when you say “Republic Wireless the first carrier to offer true unlimited service”
    Although we are in England Giffgaff here has had truly unlimited internet including streaming videos/movies for over a year now.
    Might be worth mentioning it for anyone in the US that plans on a holiday (Vacation) to the UK, pick up one of their PAYG sim cards and get unlimited internet (including skype etc) for about $15 for a month as well as unlimited UK texts, and some UK calls.

  • alexanderharri3

    Start the clock – how long til it’s used to the point where the service collapses…

  • Arturo Castro

    I’m curious how they could offer this but sprint doesn’t?

    • Steve Heinrich

      I’m not 100% sure on this, but I’m guessing Sprint has way more overhead to account for.

    • sunrise

      The whole idea behind this provider is that customers primarily use wifi for voice/data/text etc. If customers don’t stick to that business model and start abusing the service, e.g., tehtering…then this company will go out of business.

      Hopefully people won’t abuse the business model and this company can thrive.

  • Toonshorty

    First truly unlimited service provider… in the US.

    Three in the UK have ‘The One Plan’.

    For £15 a month you get:

    2000 Minutes
    5000 Texts
    Unlimited Data (No FUP)

    Nice to see some American corporations that aren’t overly greedy and corrupt.

    • Oscar Ortega

      Sounds like a awesome plan!

      • Toonshorty

        It is. My Dad’s got a Galaxy Nexus with them.

        £40 /month.
        Phone is free.

        2000 Minutes.
        5000 Texts.
        Unlimited Data.

        Makes your USA plans look embarrassing. Don’t you pay like $70 a month for 2 minutes and 64KB of data? Oh, and then another $200 for the phone.

  • Skis03

    This is how all services should be. It would love to get something like this with Big Red!

  • Dan13

    Let’s hope that they do so well that all the major carriers will be forced to lower their prices. I know it won’t happen, but I can dream can’t I? :)

  • Marcus

    That is pretty amazing. And the LG Optimus isn’t that bad of a phone. $20 a month? That is well worth it

  • Jorge Eslava

    Can’t wait until they start accepting more customers, as soon as they do I’m switching to them.

  • Thomas Biard

    I have something for others to consider. They are able to do this because they route calls and SMS over Wifi when available…which means at EVERY available Wifi. So therefore Wifi on the phone will be on permanently (made possible by their custom software on the phones). With Wifi permanently on with 3G on to compensate when the Wifi is not available, I would be willing to wager a bet that battery life suffers a good bit on these phones compared to other non-wifi-planned phones.

    • Nicholas Turner

      WiFi really doesn’t drain any battery when its not being used, and much less than 3G when it is.

      Keeping WiFi on 24/7 on my nexus one actually increases battery life since it doesn’t need power hungry mobile data as much

      • RRR

        You are exactly right. WiFi transmitter is much less powerful and hence power hungry. So you will lose your pants in the bets like that.

        • RRR

          sorry for too quick post – and this site has no edit of posted messages – i meant of course Thomas will lose his bet

  • psipher

    I can see this being great for students who are on a campus with WiFi.

  • nivekkev

    I wonder how much of that $20 a month goes to Sprint? I also wonder what kind of limitations, if any, Sprint has put on the fone traffic? Sounds like Sprint is renting out there network and if it takes off, have another source of income to expand their network. But again, it all depends on what Sprint is charging and controlling…

  • TheMowski

    Hopefully they allow their technology to be used on other devices in the near future, if so I can see this really taking off.

  • jaydeeIL

    Sounds promising for someone that just wants a phone to make calls and send texts.

  • rutgers2k

    would be great if it were data only.

  • DroidPower

    just signed up on their email notification list! hope this company pulls through!

  • myandroid99

    the only problem its that they don’t have good phones

  • Samar

    I hope they were in Canada too.

  • eliander mendoza

    WOW great move by them jejeje now they need to make an app that can allow spring users to run their high end phones on their network…. i mean they need to make a fake acc in xda and throw that app there so we can spread the word :)

  • oddball

    Honestly at $20 a month as long as the service works get it for the kids and don’t worry about their going over. It’s easier than a prepaid service and ensures that they won’t need the phone and be out of minutes. Heck it might even tempt me based on the savings over what I have now

  • Slith

    If they grow to fast and start congesing the Sprint network, I’m afraid Sprint will jack the contract price on them, and the price will go up significantly.

    Wow, now that’s a sentence!

  • nawatsgirl

    sounds almost too good, but I think lots of people will be willing to part with an amazing phone for $20. but now we have to be wary of coverage maps and support for the network. but people will start to move to this and when they do the new phones will come with them.

  • mr 1338

    i am always suprised, how much americans have to pay for their mobile plans and don´t even get full flatrates.
    The one and only thing EU citicens are cheaper off ;-)

  • lxgeorge

    This is going to be a godsend when I go to college

  • Adryan maldonado

    It sounds really nice. On the one hand I could save tons of money and just by a phone unlocked to get my high end fix. But on the other hand I love 4g and I’m not sure how wide spread their coverage. Also I love my high end phone to be my primary device. I would hate to have to carry 2 devices to fill my super phone needs. Yeah I don’t think I could do it but ya never know.

  • Abu_Noah

    I would go in a minute if I could take my own Phone or at least have the option to buy something better than the Optimus. I hate LG Phones.

  • jamal adam

    Oh Snap!! They just took off the gloves lol. Go Republic Wireless.

  • Jill

    > becomes first truly unlimited service provide

    Wow! Really? No other company has ever had any “unlimited plans” before today?

  • dansoccer

    If i can take my galaxy nexus (well my future galaxy nexus since i have to wait 2 more weeks to receive it) over i would not think about it twice!

  • ramenchef

    I hope this takes off. The US really needs more competition. Europe has a much better ecosystem.

  • alee

    On their site, they said that they’re still in beta, and if at the end of the beta they decide that they can’t run a viable business, they’ll shut down and their customers will be able to ask for a refund for the handsets.

  • McLovin

    I tried to sign up from the beginning but they were full. And it looks like you still can’t get in even now.

    From their website:

    “Our beta is currently full but we would love to connect with you when more seats become available.”

  • kungpaodragon

    They are exactly the kind of new service we as consumers need in the landscape of few telecom giants. Set aside questions like if their network is good, blah blah blah. Bottom line is are they offering consumers an alternative and a good bang for a buck. If they don’t, they’re disappear. If they do, the market will embrace them. That’s capitalism at work. Good for consumers.

  • donger

    this really needs to take off.

  • frmorrison

    Sounds great I hope they don’t lose their shirt.

  • GeauxLSU

    Look forward to them releasing more beta spots and more phones

  • Hall Lo

    :O thats amazing! next: better phones!

  • staryoshi

    This is great news! While they are not a provider I would use at this time, this move is great for their current consumers and the market in general. We need small (and eventually larger) companies to really shake up the mobile marketplace.

  • Kit Quiton

    It’s just that people don’t know already what is the difference between appropriation and theft. When do we draw the line on this?

  • jum Bo

    If you’re ordering Republic Wireless service, use the link

    to get $19 off. Enjoy folks!

  • Sam Milton

    Hey, you can get a brand new Moto X from Republic Wireless for $10 a month and get $19 free with this referral: