Republic Wireless launches its $19 month unlimited hybrid calling network
Remember that new “hybrid calling” carrier we told you about recently, named Republic Wireless? You know — the one with a $19 a month, unlimited voice, data, and messaging plan. Well, just as we reported, their service is now live and ready for new subscribers. At the moment, they’re only offering one phone — the LG Optimus, but more are expected to follow.
What is hybrid calling? In essence, the service will place calls, send texts, and send data over a WiFi network when one is available. When there’s no connection available, all calls will be placed using a standard cell network. Hit the break for more info, or head on over to the Republic Wireless page to sign up for service.
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 email@example.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 do you think, folks? Is this a service you would consider signing up for? Of course, I’d like to see more devices, but hey — at nineteen bucks a month, owning an LG Optimus does sound a bit more enticing, right?