Today, wholesale mobile operator Republic Wireless announced that their dual-band Motorola DEFY XT is available for pre-order. It lets you take advantage of Republic’s unlimited data service for $19.95/month.
Their $259 dual-band Motorola DEFY XT relies on Wi-Fi networks for calling and data, with Sprint’s 3G service available whenever you’re not near a Wi-Fi signal. Wherever possible, Republic phones switch over to Wi-Fi to connect phone calls and offload Internet traffic to offset its network costs.
Republic offers unlimited talk, text and data for just $19 a month. They claim no overages, contracts, or hidden charges.
Republic Wireless relies on a proprietary Android VoIP application that seamlessly switches between CDMA mobile networks and WiFi. T-Mobile@Home discontinued its Unlicensed Mobile Access in 2010. It automatically handed over to WiFi but required a special access point and subscription.
You can pre-order a dual-band DEFY XT today for $249 plus a $10 start-up fee and applicable taxes. Republic says it will begin shipping in mid-December. The start-up fee includes shipping and handling. Your first $19 monthly membership will be charged when your phone ships. That’s about $280 upfront.
Republic is betting that users will stay on Wi-Fi networks for a majority of their usage. The company has spent the last year testing out that thesis, and CEO David Morken told CNET he is confident his beliefs hold up.
“The most important thing we got out of the last year of learning was this Wi-Fi-first wireless approach is a strategy that will work and work well,” Morken said.
Republic has been working in with virtual hotspot provider Devicescape, explains GigaOm. Republic loads Devicescape’s consumer app into its Android smartphones. Devicescape calls its network “virtual” because it doesn’t actually own or manage any of the hotspots it connects to. Instead it relies on its freely available smartphone and PC software to crowdsource information on more than hundred million open access points globally.
Could you download a Devicescape App and use your own Android phone? Apparently not. But, since Devicescape helps you connect to free WiFi hotspots, you might utilize Microsoft’s Skype, Apple’s Facetime or Google’s Google+.
Sprint was after the spectrum in Chicago; South Bend, Indiana; the city of Champaign, Illinois, where Sprint will acquire 20MHz of spectrum around 1900Mhz; and St Louis, where 10MHz will change hands, assuming regulatory approval is forthcoming, reports The Register.
Ting, a Sprint Nextel prepaid MVNO, launched a beta test of its bring-your-own-Sprint-device program this week.
The company will not charge users an activation fee for porting a Sprint device to the Ting service. Ting lets users share pooled minutes, messages and megabytes of data at the Ting rate of $6 per month per device.
Or you could just wait for Google Wireless.