Republic Wireless has built the costs of their service on the fact that Wi-Fi service is less expensive than cellular service. As a result, they have based their plan on you using more Wi-Fi than cellular when using their phone.
Most people are known to use smartphones at home more than any other location; also, most people have a home Wi-Fi network for home internet. This combination is what Republic wireless is banking on to provide a less expensive alternative for smartphone usage.
The cost for monthly service is only $19 per month with no contract required. This monthly plan includes unlimited mobile, data and internet usage on their LG Optimus S. The smartphone must be purchased through republic wireless, and initial startup price of $199 includes the price of the phone and the first month’s service cost as a startup fee. Republic Wireless offers a one month money back guarantee to try the service out. The phone is built especially for Republic Wireless with a hybrid technology that automatically seeks out a suitable Wi-Fi connection when you attempt to use the smartphone. If one is found, it records and uses it. If one is not found, it switches over to the cellular network (Sprint’s backbone).
Cellular usage vs. Wi-Fi usage is rated using what Republic Wireless calls a CUI index. If you are using more cellular usage than what is considered normal, you will be notified and you can be capped at around 550 minutes of cellular usage with 150 texts or 300MB of data per month. When you are connected to Wi-Fi, you receive a message that says “online wifi calling enabled.” In this case, when you place a call, it will go through like a VOIP service and all services are promoted as “Unlimited”.
Startup cost = $199 which includes the cost of the phone and $19 for the first month of wireless service. A cost of 19 per month is required going forward.
LG Optimus S with hybrid technology and “Gingerbread” Android 2.3. 3.2 inch capacitive touchscreen with virtual QWERTY. 2.3MP camera/camcorder with built in mp3 player. Apps are available through the Android Market just as any other Android device.
*A CUI (Cellular Usage Index) metric is tracked determining how much you are using on a cellular network as opposed to a Wi-fi network. The lower the CUI metric the better. If too much cellular is used they will attempt to notify and work with you to help change your habits before imposing monthly limits on cellular usage.
No international calling unless calling a US number while connected to Wi-Fi or, using an Android app such as Google Voice.
You pay a startup fee of $199 for the cost of the phone and the first month of service.
30 day money back guarantee with no risk
Republic Wireless is designed to use Wi-Fi for your calls, texts and data as much as possible. They only revert to the cellular network when a suitable Wi-Fi signal is not available. Every time a Wi-Fi connection is used, the phone stores the information. The more Wi-Fi connections made, the larger your phone’s Wi-Fi network. Cellular service is currently known to go though Sprint’s backbone.
*As of the time of this post, Republic Wireless has now issued a statement that usage is completely unlimited indifferent to how much usage takes place on the cellular network. No news on how long or if this will continue.