Republic Wireless’ $19 Unlimited plan is now actually unlimited. The carrier officially launched in November, and offered an “unlimited” plan, however, the plan wasn’t exactly unlimited.
Unlike traditional phone networks, Republic Wireless routes calls/data etc. over Wi-Fi whenever possible, and falls back to Sprint’s network when a Wi-Fi network isn’t available. At launch its unlimited plan would give you unlimited fallback onto that network, however, it added a caveat that if you used the network too much it could decide to discontinue your service.
Some judged our marketing to be “deceptive.” Others felt our concepts were just too complicated, and unnecessary to expose to end users. There has been much debate about how to quantify an apparent “cap”… and whether it was accurate to characterize our policy as one. Many sought further clarification from us about details, corrections, tools and further illustrations.
Some of you advised that we just step back from being “unlimited.” The incumbents, for their part, have by and large given up on the idea. Confronted with the economics and physics of expensive, scarce cellular, and seeing profit potential in the burgeoning market for smart phones, Big Cell has employed usage caps, price increases and controls. Now republic wireless is no incumbent, and this is not the direction we are going.
Rather than revising our fair use policy, we’ve decided not to have one at all. There will simply be no thresholds, and no risk of losing service. We’re doing away with all of that to keep all of the focus instead on where it really belongs: Creating a new wireless future together. A future that is simple to understand, unfettered to use, and an amazing value for all. That’s what we started down this path to do. That’s where the power of this vibrant community, dynamic Wi-Fi ecosystem and revolutionary technology should be invested. We’re all-in.
The idea of a wifi-based carrier is certainly an interesting one. It will be interesting to see whether the carrier can keep up with traffic with no caps on use and still be able to offer the plan for $19 a month.
The service will still keep its beta name under the new rules, with the company reserving the right to change its policy in the future.
What do you think? Would you consider signing up for Republic Wireless? Do you think the carrier will be able to survive?