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Is Republic Wireless's $19 "Unlimited Everything" Plan a Scam or the Real Deal?

Authored by: Steven Blum — Nov 8, 2011

The Android blogs are abuzz today with news of Republic Wireless's new unlimited everything plan which is being offered for the low, low price of $19 a month. For that price you get unlimited texting, calling and data.

I know what you're thinking: there's gotta be a catch.

Well, there is. The service only works so long as you use a Wi-Fi network for the majority of your calling, texting and data desires. Republic's mantra is this: since Wi Fi can accomplish everything better, faster and cheaper than cellular, let's try and cut the cellular network out of the picture as best we can. So when a WiFi connection is not available, you can use cellular for your internet and calling needs, but only up to a certain limit. Specifically, you can can consume 550 minutes, send 150 texts and download 300 megabytes. After that, Republic will "contact you" about lowering your usage. 

So, essentially, Republic wireless isn't offering an unlimited plan. Rather, it is a fancy-worded 550 minute plan with 300 megabytes of available data. The bonus, however, is this: you can finally receive calls over Wi-Fi without the hassle of a seperate account and payment system. No more loading up dollar after dollar on your Skype account to make phone calls over Skype. No more worrying about whether or not your friend has Fring and can make calls to you. Your phone automatically switches to WiFi when in the vicinity of a WiFi signal and then you can continue talking as much as you'd like.

Tech Crunch practically called the service revolutionary, but I wouldn't go that far. For one, it won't make economic sense for anyone who travels a lot, unless every hotel you're staying in happens to have free WiFi. It also won't work with folks who have DSL (unless they decide to upgrade tp WiFi). The only phone offered at the moment is the LG Optimus, so if you want to use your Samsung Galaxy S2 over this network, you're SOL. 

However, I will say this service has promise. Certainly it makes more sense to make calls over WiFi if your work and home environment features the service. Many casual internet users will probably be fine with the 300 megabyte cut-off. And you really can't beat $19 a month.  

What do you think? Does Republic Wireless's $19 unlimited service sound like a scam or the real deal?

Steven Blum has written more than 2,000 blog posts as a founding member of AndroidPIT's English editorial team. A graduate of the University of Washington, Steven Blum also studied Journalism at George Washington University in Washington D.C. for two years. Since then, his writing has appeared in The Stranger, The Seattle P-I, Blackbook Magazine and Venture Villlage. He loves the HTC One and hopes the company behind it still exists in a few years.


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  • Mike Nov 10, 2011 Link to comment

    john so what is the plan ? unlimited everything ?

  • Mike Nov 10, 2011 Link to comment

    which phone are they supporting lg optimus what ?

  • Bea Nov 9, 2011 Link to comment

    Man jump through hoops with google just to use my own email address! We are a mixed device home, android, archos, idevice, we don't judge each other by our devices LOL But i think from what I see of all 4 of our mixed breed phones is that this is what everyone can do using your own wifi, they even recommend it. AT&T said do it or you have to pay monthly for a tethered hot spot, are you finding this too? Nokia, Motorola, my Samsung caught on fire, NOT cool I am on oxygen so I am trying to find what I want hext that won't blow me up LOL There is ALWAYS a gimic and I'm so tired of all of the companies fighting over who is best I think we all pick which we like and use. Have to upgrade my husbands Nokia? I think android, and so that will be 2 new one's and there are SO MANY options!

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    John Doe Nov 8, 2011 Link to comment

    The 300MB/550 minute figure is an EXAMPLE. You should check your source again, it seems a lot of people are making this mistake (perhaps because some people are actually including this incorrect information in blog posts).

  • Mike Nov 8, 2011 Link to comment

    thanks Steven an what will happen if I use more then 300mb ? I wont be able to use the data eny more ?

  • Steven Blum Nov 8, 2011 Link to comment

    Mike, that's a very good question and I wasn't able to find out the answer from any of my sources..

  • Mike Nov 8, 2011 Link to comment

    will it switch between wifi an wireless network during a call without the call getting lost ?

  • Mike Nov 8, 2011 Link to comment

    to me it sound's like a cordless phone not a cellphone

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