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  1. #1
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    Republic Wireless to launch $19 unlimited VoIP and data service - FierceWireless

    SOURCE:
    FierceWireless




    Republic Wireless, a division Cary, N.C.-based VoIP and bandwidth service provider Bandwidth.com, will launch a $19 per month hybrid VoIP/cellular service, providing unlimited calling, texting and data for customers with specialized Android hardware, a Bandwidth.com spokesman confirmed.

    According to Bandwidth spokesman Kevin LaHaise, the $19 fee includes unlimited voice, texting and data without a bandwidth cap. The service is similar in some ways to Unlicensed Mobile Acces (UMA) service provided by the likes of Kineto Wireless, which works with T-Mobile USA and others. The Republic Service will allow customers to make VoIP calls via Wi-Fi and will switch to cellular networks when Wi-Fi access is unavailable. Text messages can also be sent via either network type.
    The new service, which was first reported by TechCrunch, will launch Nov. 8. LaHaise confirmed TechCrunch's report that the service will require new, specialized hardware running on Google's (
    NASDAQ:GOOG


    ) Android platform, and initially the cellular service will fall back to Sprint Nextel's (
    NYSE:S


    ) 3G CDMA EV-DO network. Additionally, the service will not come with a contract or any early termination fees.

    "For the first device we have a deal in place with Sprint for cellular coverage," LaHaise told FierceWireless. "It is reasonable to expect we'll negotiate on the wholesale market for devices we'll come out with in the future."
    It's unclear which company will make the Android hardware for the service, and how much it will cost. though Republic's teaser site includes a picture of a device being assembled. LaHaise declined to comment on the hardware.
    "You are OS-SIS--Set in Stone. You're 21st century technology married to a 20th century business model. But we've moved on," declares a teaser on Republic's website. "We don't just want wireless. We want stringless. As a matter of fact, we want it DIY. We're responsible adults. We drive cars. We vote. We can definitely join together to make a new kind of wireless network. One for us. One, in fact, that is us. In other words, we have our own Operating System. It's called Freedom, and it works."
    The Republic service could potentially undercut flat-rate carriers MetroPCS (
    NASDAQ:PCS


    ) and Cricket provider Leap Wireless (
    NASDAQ:LEAP


    ), which have focused on adding Android users to drive growth and revenues. However, Republic's reported need to buy specialized hardware could hinder adoption.
    Other companies have dabbled in VoIP services for Android. In August, wholesale VoIP services provider VoX Communications launched a mobile app for use on all Android phones, moving out of the shadow of companies like fring and Nimbuzz, which it previously relied upon to deliver its mobile VoIP application to an Android device. And in October T-Mobile extended its Bobsled free VoIP calling solution with the introduction of applications optimized for devices running Apple's (
    NASDAQ:AAPL


    ) iOS and Android.




















    Last edited by knewsom32; 11-01-2011 at 11:47 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Do you think something like this would work?

    Do you think this could possibly hurt Cricket?

    $19 sounds a little too cheap to me. It didn't even say there was a limit to the amount of minutes or data used on the WiFi network. Maybe there is a catch and 90% of the usage needs to be on WiFi or something.

  4. #3
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    Here is another article:

    Imagine getting unlimited talk, text, and data for $19 a month. Too good to be true? Perhaps, but that's the claim of
    Republic Wireless


    , a new cell phone operator from enterprise VoIP provider Bandwidth.com, which is launching on November 8.
    Republic Wireless promises a "hybrid calling" service of VoIP and 3G that automatically switches between Wi-Fi and cellular. In other words, when you're near a Wi-Fi connection, your phone will automatically place VoIP calls, and when you're out of range, your phone will fall back on a 3G network.
    In slides obtained by
    TechCrunch


    and shown to beta testers (which a Republic spokesman confirmed was real), Republic says it has acquired minutes from Sprint and is working on similar deals with other carriers.
    Which brings us to red light number 1: why would Sprint sell part of its network to a virtual rival at prices that dramatically undercut Sprint's? Currently there is no technology that lets you roam between Wi-Fi and CDMA; a similar standard called "Unlicensed Mobile Access" (UMA) does allow roaming between GSM and Wi-Fi, but so far only T-Mobile offers this through phones like the BlackBerry Curve 9360.
    Republic told GigaOm that it has built its own "soup-to-nuts solution to offer the hybrid calling functionality." But we understand Sprint has been working on building this technology as well, so it's really not clear why the carrier would enable a rival, one that sells itself as an alternative to the Big Four carriers, to do so first.
    Red light number 2: You'll have to buy a special Android-based hybrid phone from Republic because, as its slides show, "Hybrid calling relies on both hardware and software." My colleague, lead mobile analyst Sascha Segan, points out that special hardware may be required to do soft handoffs between Wi-Fi and 3G - in other words - being able to maintain a call across two networks without it dropping and reconnecting.
    When someone who commented at both TechCrunch's and GigaOm's stories asked why "special hardware" was needed, Brian Dally, senior vice president and general manager for Mobile at Bandwidth.com, responded with a frustrating non-answer: "There are certain aspects of our architecture that I can't make public, but that if I did, would clarify why special hardware is required. There are good reasons having nothing to do with a desire on our part, or Sprint's, to enforce control over people and what they can or can't do with their smartphones. Sprint's wholesale division is actually an uncommonly good partner. And republic? Hey, we're on your side in this...stay tuned!"
    Walter Fowler, a media relations manager at Sprint, later confirmed that Bandwidth.com was indeed a wholesale partner of Sprint. "We will be supporting the CDMA portion of their hybrid network."
    Remember Zer01?
    In 2009, we
    saw a strikingly similar claim


    from a company called Zer01, which sold hybrid mobile phones with unlimited voice and data for only $70 a month, without a contract. It also offered $10 a month for each person to whom you sell the same service. But several
    reporters discovered


    that Zer01 was actually vaporware and tied to a multi-level marketing company called Global Verge. Oops.
    Editor's note: This story was updated with a comment from Sprint.

    Source:
    Unlimited Talk, Text, Data for /Month: Too Good To Be True? | News & Opinion | PCMag.com




    We will see what happens..










  5. #4
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    Well, their website is now up and running:
    republic wireless - The Mobile Network that Runs on Freedom





 

 

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