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The service will require a special Android-based phone. Calls and SMSs will be routed via VOIP when on wifi and via cell towers otherwise.

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A reward for being first:
Join now, and pay $99. Thats $100 less than the normal $199 cost. You read that right. For $99 you get a new smartphone, and a whole new kind of mobile phone network.

Freedom isnt free. Its $19.
Almost immediately you notice whats missing. The hefty monthly bills, the endless nickel-and-diming, the big red contracts...yes, we can hear you now. Do you hear us? With republic wireless, you pay a flat $19 a month for everything. Period.

Next stop: republicwireless.com
Theres so much more we have to show you. So visit, look around. Oh, that $99 offer we told you about? To get it, use the code welcome19 to join before November 27, 2011 at 11:59 pm ET.

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Read more at Techcrunch:
http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/31/republic-wireless-an-android-po...

Read more at Gigaom:
http://gigaom.com/2011/10/31/republic-wireless-to-launch-19-voic...

Company website:
http://republicwireless.com/preview/

Member Summary

phone
Thanks Funnyman1026
Disclaimer

LG Optimus V
Thanks oleykin
Disclaimer
Most Recent Posts
All filled up?

phogstenjr (Apr. 26, 2012 @ 12:56a) |

When I read here that Republic's beta testing comes to about $25 a month with taxes, I immediately signed up with Metro ... (more)

Sondra (Apr. 26, 2012 @ 1:03a) |

I am on wave J, not sure if I should get this service after reading the posts

asar (May. 01, 2012 @ 3:51p) |

Update: Beta spots are currently full and no longer accepting new members at this time. Check back periodically for updates! Sign-up here to receive an update for when they are accepting new Beta users.

Please see the Order FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

"People of the republic, we'd just like to clarify that 550 minutes, 150 texts, and 300 MB of data over 3G is just an example, not a limit. The more you offload to Wi-Fi, the more you can use. It's truly unlimited. We do have fair use guidelines and we encourage you to use Wi-Fi whenever possible."

How do I make Wi-Fi calls?
Dial as you would any other call. There's no app to open up or second number to manage. You don't have to click a special button or take any special action. Instead, once you're setup for a Wi-Fi network, your republic smartphone connects and routes calls over Wi-Fi automatically.

How can I make sure that I am connected to Wi-Fi all the time?
First, make sure you set up your phone to access the Wi-Fi networks you frequent. Your phone will remember those networks and connect to them automatically. Want to login to public hotspots? Download one of several apps available from the Android Market to automate that for you.

Can I bring my own phone?
No. The ultimate in smartphone freedom would be using the phone you want, on the network you want, whenever you want. We agree... and are working toward that ideal. For now, Big Cell makes the rules. Android phones, Wi-Fi and the Web fuel our optimism that the future could look very different.

Can't I just download this to my current phone?
No. There are, however, many apps you can download to make VoIP calls over Wi-Fi using any Android or Apple smartphone. Some of them require you to manage a second number, pay for minutes or take special steps to use them. All of them require you continue overpaying for a cellular plan. Only republic wireless provides Hybrid Calling that's not only built into the phone, but also into the price.

Only one phone? What's that all about?
The LG Optimus is our first phone, and there will be more to follow. Affordable and well reviewed, we assure you this first phone is very well endowed with our Hybrid Calling technology and 'Gingerbread,� Google's code name for Android version 2.3. What phone should be next? Tell us with an email to yourvoice@republicwireless.com.

I have DSL at home. Will it work on that or will I have to upgrade to something faster?
You need about 80kbps both ways to hold a call. The more bandwidth the better for improved call quality. Don't forget that streaming video or downloading large files all use bandwidth, so your mileage may vary if you are trying to make or receive calls and watch Netflix at the same time.

What am I buying?
Freedom from calling plans, overages, caps, tiers and termination fees. Members of the republic wireless community get an Android-powered smartphone and unlimited use of it for calls, texts and data. Your phone comes with built-in Hybrid Calling technology that leverages the Web whenever Wi-Fi is available, and uses cellular as a fallback when needed.

How much are the taxes in addition to the $19? What are they?
There are no hidden fees with republic wireless. State and local taxes vary by location. You pay $19 plus applicable taxes.

How much do I pay for my phone?
Your phone is included in your $199 start-up fee. Should you need a replacement because you lost or damaged yours, we offer refurbished units for sale at prices ranging from $49 to $99, or new for $149.

Do I need to buy minutes from Sprint or anyone else?
No. We're the first-ever wireless provider to bundle Wi-Fi calling with access to cellular whenever you need it. Your republic wireless membership includes unlimited calling, texting and data over Wi-Fi and Sprint's cellular network.

How much does domestic roaming cost? International?
Domestic roaming is free. Although we don't offer cellular service internationally at this time, your republic wireless phone can place calls over Wi-Fi from anywhere in the world to the U.S.

Do you offer cheap calling to international numbers like some other VoIP services?
No, not yet. International calling is a good feature just waiting to happen.

What is the 30 day, money-back satisfaction guarantee?
If you are not completely satisfied with republic wireless or the LG Optimus with Hybrid Calling, you can return it for a full refund.

I can get my money back? How?
We figure a month is long enough to know whether the phone and our service are for you. Simply email us at support@republicwireless.com within 30 days of joining and we'll cancel your service, provide instructions for returning your phone, and process your refund upon receiving it.

Wait. Really? There must be a catch. What is it?
Other than you, there's no catch. The Hybrid Calling technology embedded within republic's LG Optimus phone automatically routes calls over ubiquitious and cheap Wi-Fi rather than expensive cellular networks. That's why membership is only $19 per month. You no longer pay big cellular bills. Neither do we. Cool, right?

Do I need Wi-Fi at home to join?
Yes. Our service is designed for users with access to Wi-Fi. Everyone can become a Wi-Fi person. And that's a good thing, because nobody likes a cell-hog.

What is the Cellular Usage Index (CUI)?
It's our geeky way to quantify your cellular footprint. We employ an index to normalize things in a world where texts use up a lot less cellular capacity than minutes. Your CUI is calculated using your last seven days of activity.

How much cellular usage is too much?
It depends. Even assuming 0% wifi usage, for example, you could consume 550 minutes, send 150 texts, and download 300 megabytes of data without crossing the community's fair use threshold. Everyone's usage patterns will be different, but we're confident you'll be amazed at how little cellular you actually use when you have a phone that makes it easy to leverage the power of your Wi-Fi networks.

So this isn't really an unlimited plan?
It is in fact an unlimited plan. We'll never charge you overages, limit your download speeds, or restrict you to calling circles. Hybrid Calling makes it easy to stay within the community's fair use guidelines.

What happens if I use more than the suggested guideline?
First, you'll be reminded of the guidelines and to what extent you've crossed the fair use threshold. We'll provide you with tips for reducing your cellular footprint and plenty of opportunity to get back on track. When we contact you about your usage, we'll let you know how much time you have to correct your problem.
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Sounds interesting.. but things to note:
1) Will need a new Handset (Android)
2) The network (when not at a wifi location) is from Sprint... (this might turn off some people)

But I am excited about this, just in time for me.. hopefully the price of the handset won't kill the initial enthusiasm.

Regardless of if it will be the best service, it's innovative competition. Paying $100/mo for data and phone service is highway robbery.

Interesting. Thanks OP. I'll keep an eye on this.

uhmmm..........

If it will be connected through Sprint network it will be a CDMA phone. I hope I can use my LG Optimus V somehow. I agree with ever1talk2me about his statement about the price of the handset won't kill the initial enthusiasm.
If any one from Republic Wireless reading this , I'll request them to introduce some kind of phone flashing online or in store like Metro PCS's MetroFlash so that people can bring their Android CDMA phones to this service.

flyhighutah said:   If it will be connected through Sprint network it will be a CDMA phone. I hope I can use my LG Optimus V somehow. I agree with ever1talk2me about his statement about the price of the handset won't kill the initial enthusiasm.
If any one from Republic Wireless reading this , I'll request them to introduce some kind of phone flashing online or in store like Metro PCS's MetroFlash so that people can bring their Android CDMA phones to this service.

Republic Wireless works on both wifi and cellular network, and I belive UMA would require special hardware which all phones do not have. I might be wrong though. I guess we'll find out in less than a week.

In for 1 for sure. I wonder if its going to be restricted to certain locations only. If we can flash sprints android phone on this network I'll be all in.

Actually its weird that they need special hardware for these phones (or maybe its about trying to lock in customers) because T-Mobile already has "Wifi calling" feature in some of their phones (LG Optimus T etc), so is this not just an extension of the same? Am still not sure as to what other special hardware is needed that is not available in existing handsets.
So I'd be interested (just as flyhighutah) as to if flashing is possible on existing CDMA phones

ever1talk2me said:   Actually its weird that they need special hardware for these phones (or maybe its about trying to lock in customers) because T-Mobile already has "Wifi calling" feature in some of their phones (LG Optimus T etc), so is this not just an extension of the same? Am still not sure as to what other special hardware is needed that is not available in existing handsets.
So I'd be interested (just as flyhighutah) as to if flashing is possible on existing CDMA phones

I'm not an expert but know at least a little about... If I'm wrong, someone correct me? Thanks!

UMA can hand off calls between Wifi and Cell seamlessly. The older Tmobile phones had UMA and did this.

A lot of current T-Mobile phones that do "wifi calling" don't do this, you have to stay on wifi for the call or it will drop. The G2 does this and calls drop once you're off wifi. This kind of wifi calling depends on whether or not the Android kernel is up to date enough to have this capability (software).

I wonder though - it says that it relies heavily on wifi for calling and then uses cell service as a fallback? does that mean that it will require frequent "check ins" for wifi? what if you're somewhere that has wifi and it's locked down? how does the phone handle it then? (or are they building (or using) an entirely new infrastructure of wifi antennas spread around cities or something?)

seems like a good idea in theory, but isn't it heavily dependent on the users willingness to actually connect to a wifi hotspot?
i am intrigued, but if this is truly the case, i don't see this business model lasting very long - which might make the buy in for YET ANOTHER new phone a bad investment - BUT I'M KEEPING POSITIVE ON THIS ONE!

lemonhead said:   I wonder though - it says that it relies heavily on wifi for calling and then uses cell service as a fallback? does that mean that it will require frequent "check ins" for wifi? what if you're somewhere that has wifi and it's locked down? how does the phone handle it then? (or are they building (or using) an entirely new infrastructure of wifi antennas spread around cities or something?)

seems like a good idea in theory, but isn't it heavily dependent on the users willingness to actually connect to a wifi hotspot?
i am intrigued, but if this is truly the case, i don't see this business model lasting very long - which might make the buy in for YET ANOTHER new phone a bad investment - BUT I'M KEEPING POSITIVE ON THIS ONE!

Good point. If I'm at an airport that has WiFi for a fee (such as my local airport which uses Boingo for $7.95 a pop) will the phone still connect to the cell network if I choose not to pay the WiFi charge?

Sign up at fon.com and get access to hundreds of hot spots world wide

Again I am also not an expert but if it is mostly dependent upon WiFi why should I pay them for the service, my Android phone is very much capable of making free WiFi calls through Sipdroid and GrooveIP. I think UMA is something different and my question will be answered on Nov 8, I hope someone from Republic Wireless can come and clarify the situation their website is not saying anything about it. But I really appreciate the positive discussion here.

anyone check out the howardforums ?

flyhighutah said:   Again I am also not an expert but if it is mostly dependent upon WiFi why should I pay them for the service, <snip>
I don't get why people take the constant stance of "I'm using my bandwidth, why isn't it free?!"

Interconnection to the PSTN and paying for the transport doesn't come out of thin air -- regardless of the air interface.

No no no, of course, no...

UMA is a scheme that carriers used in the past to allow users with specially-equiped phones to make calls over their own personal wifi networks when they were out of range of a base station. The scheme also required that the users PAY for those calls just like they were making them via a mobile network (Although arguably this is better than buying a femto-cell to do essentially the same thing).

If it's using UMA then you will require authenticated access to the wireless router you are connecting through (There is no way they could negotiate a deal to allow their devices to connect to hotspots since they use various authentication measures and are almost all independently owned with only a very small number of hotspots being owned by a large consortium.

Realistically, they are probably banking on actual use (over the entire subscriber base) to work out to 60% over wifi and paying for a minority of use over the Sprint network. That's a good business model in theory, but, I imagine their 'unlimited' plan will have some very real limits (like data throttling, no tethering). It will be very interesting to see what develops from this.

HotSalami said:   flyhighutah said:   Again I am also not an expert but if it is mostly dependent upon WiFi why should I pay them for the service, <snip>
I don't get why people take the constant stance of "I'm using my bandwidth, why isn't it free?!"

Interconnection to the PSTN and paying for the transport doesn't come out of thin air -- regardless of the air interface.

Yes it is FREE through Google Voice and GrooveIP

Given this business model, I guarantee that it won't be possible to independently turn off WiFi on this phone, nor turn off the mechanism to ask you to connect to WiFi every time every time you come near a new WiFi network. That's not necessarily a bad thing (and would arguably be a good idea for more cellular carriers to implement to move more data usage off their networks, to speed up the cellular data for those who aren't near a WiFi connection).

Sprint kills the deal. Their coverage is stuck circa 1989. Same reason Virgin Mobile and the other Sprint resellers suck.

$19 sounds great but once you get beyond the reality distortion field you realize it sucks.

flyhighutah said:   HotSalami said:   flyhighutah said:   Again I am also not an expert but if it is mostly dependent upon WiFi why should I pay them for the service, <snip>
I don't get why people take the constant stance of "I'm using my bandwidth, why isn't it free?!"

Interconnection to the PSTN and paying for the transport doesn't come out of thin air -- regardless of the air interface.

Yes it is FREE through Google Voice and GrooveIP

No... Google is eating the interconnection costs at the moment. It may be free to you (the end user), but by no means is it free.

cpabster said:   Sprint kills the deal. Their coverage is stuck circa 1989. Same reason Virgin Mobile and the other Sprint resellers suck.

$19 sounds great but once you get beyond the reality distortion field you realize it sucks.


Many people have excellent coverage and service from Sprint. Regardless, even if you don't have perfect coverage, by definition this deal extends voice coverage to anywhere you have WiFi anyway.

esoterica said:   cpabster said:   Sprint kills the deal. Their coverage is stuck circa 1989. Same reason Virgin Mobile and the other Sprint resellers suck.

$19 sounds great but once you get beyond the reality distortion field you realize it sucks.


Many people have excellent coverage and service from Sprint. Regardless, even if you don't have perfect coverage, by definition this deal extends voice coverage to anywhere you have WiFi anyway.


I have perfect Sprint coverage in Los Angeles except in two places: the top of Bell Canyon, and Burbank Blvd. between Sepulveda and Van Nuys. That's a freaking dead zone.

HotSalami said:   flyhighutah said:   HotSalami said:   flyhighutah said:   Again I am also not an expert but if it is mostly dependent upon WiFi why should I pay them for the service, <snip>
I don't get why people take the constant stance of "I'm using my bandwidth, why isn't it free?!"

Interconnection to the PSTN and paying for the transport doesn't come out of thin air -- regardless of the air interface.

Yes it is FREE through Google Voice and GrooveIP

No... Google is eating the interconnection costs at the moment. It may be free to you (the end user), but by no means is it free.

No....... I swear its FREE for you as well LOL

cpabster said:   Sprint kills the deal. Their coverage is stuck circa 1989. Same reason Virgin Mobile and the other Sprint resellers suck.

$19 sounds great but once you get beyond the reality distortion field you realize it sucks.


Have had Sprint for years in and have no complaints about their coverage.

Everyone I know says their coverage sucks with AT&T, Tmobile, Sprint, Verizon, etc...

I guess depends on where you live.

flyhighutah said:   No....... I swear its FREE for you as well LOL
Are you deliberately misinterpreting?

esoterica said:   flyhighutah said:   No....... I swear its FREE for you as well LOL
Are you deliberately misinterpreting?

Do I have to answer to a "Self Proclaimed Moderator"?

cpabster said:   Sprint kills the deal. Their coverage is stuck circa 1989. Same reason Virgin Mobile and the other Sprint resellers suck.

$19 sounds great but once you get beyond the reality distortion field you realize it sucks.


Perfectly happy Sprit customer for 10 years: never had any problem as a lived in IA, NY, NC, CA. On the otherhand, my company verizon connection does not get signal on company parking lot. So, compaining about coverage of a carrier shows you do not understand the basic theory of cell coverage: it is location, location, location

Sprint service has been BETTER than Verizon in the 3 places my wife and I have lived in the last 5 years. It all depends on where you live, but Sprint service has a bad rap that it often does not deserve. My service is stellar.

Why is everyone giving this deal green when nobody really knows what the deal is?

^ Smarty Pants

oleykin said:   The service will require a special Android-based phone. Calls and SMSs will be routed via VOIP when on wifi and via cell towers otherwise.

Read more at Techcrunch:
http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/31/republic-wireless-an-android-po...

Read more at Gigaom:
http://gigaom.com/2011/10/31/republic-wireless-to-launch-19-voic...

Company website:
http://republicwireless.com/preview/


Looks like very interesting. I'll have to try it. Thanks OP.

It's a shame this is CDMA, because otherwise you could pick up any unlocked phone you want and go for it, but I guess the costs of running an MVNO on Sprint must be quite low.

(Plus, there's special software that does the seamless switching between modes.)

leo037 said:   ^ Smarty Pants

Not being smart, just real.

rbraden said:   Sprint service has been BETTER than Verizon in the 3 places my wife and I have lived in the last 5 years. It all depends on where you live, but Sprint service has a bad rap that it often does not deserve. My service is stellar.

Opposite in my area, Verizon is >>>>> Sprint but I still have Virgin Mobile since its soo cheap...

Really good deal, and smart.

I'll be all over it if the phones aren't $300-500 but I suspect that's exactly what will happen
At $19 a month there is no way they will be able to subsidize the cost of any handset.
And since the hardware is specialized to their system bringing your own device can't happen.

KYBOSH said:   I'll be all over it if the phones aren't $300-500 but I suspect that's exactly what will happen
At $19 a month there is no way they will be able to subsidize the cost of any handset.
And since the hardware is specialized to their system bringing your own device can't happen.

No one will get service from them if the devices cost that much. I suspect the max device price to be $300.. with phones as low as $100 also available during launch.

How will they enforce the "calls handled MOSTLY by wifi"?

Why not just turn off wifi and use the phone like a regular cell phone using Sprint network (especially if Sprint is good in your area)?

Skipping 596 Messages...
I am on wave J, not sure if I should get this service after reading the posts



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