When we first started talking about Republic Wireless a year ago, the service was in beta. When we last talked about it a few days ago, it was still in beta. Now, the moment some of you may have been waiting for is at hand: Republic Wireless is officially open to everyone.
In a post on the Republic Wireless blog today, EVP and GM, Jim Mulcany announced that after a lengthy beta period, Republic Wireless is now open for business. The Motorola Defy XT, currently the only handset usable with the service, can be pre-ordered starting today for $249, and will begin to ship in December.
Republic Wireless uses something they call Hybrid Calling, which will connect to Wi-Fi networks and use them for calling when available, or use the Sprint network when no Wi-Fi is available. Obviously this may not work for everyone, but we haven’t even gotten to the main selling point for Republic Wireless yet.
Aside from a $10 start-up fee, Republic Wireless will only cost its users $19 a month. If that fee only covered a limited amount of voice, data and text, it wouldn’t be impressive, but that isn’t the case. Your $19/month fee will get you unlimited voice, text and data.
Whether Republic Wireless will turn out to be a success remains to be seen, but it is certainly a big step toward hopefully shrinking smartphone bills.