Republic Wireless Wants To Give You Unlimited Talk, Text and Data for $20 – Will You Bite?


When it comes to your smartphone, some people may find it worthwhile to sacrifice specs/features for a lower monthly bill on a cheaper carrier. If you’re sick of paying upwards to $100 to keep your Android powered device connected then you may want to take a look at Republic Wireless. These guys are looking to start a revolution in the “cell phone world” come November 8th when they offer unlimited talk, text and data — contract-free — for only $20 a month. Sounds crazy, right?

The way it works is the Republic Wireless (who’s a part of Bandwidth.com) will use Android powered smartphones equipped with a  technology similar to UMA which allows for a user to make calls over WiFi networks. You may have seen something like this on certain T-Mobile devices. Once you go outside, you will use traditional cell towers from Sprint with minutes RW buys in bulk.

Don’t expect to see 4G speeds but with unlimited, uncapped data and a smaller than imaginable cell phone bill — will it really matter? While a specific device wasn’t mentioned, judging by the above image, I’m going to assume it’s some type of entry-level LG Optimus One.

What do you guys think? Would you be willing to sacrifice all your GSII’s, RAZR’s and even the SGN for a $20 monthly bill?

[Republic Wireless via TechCrunch]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. seeing as i have the LG Vortex (verizion branded optimus one), no way in hell. 
    i’m not paying the bill, if i were i’d go sprint. maybe something prepaid where i can import phones. but i have to have a decent device. soon as my upgrade comes i’m getting a REAL phone, not this POS. show me a decent starting lineup, and i might consider it. 

  2. If I could use my own device, hell yes.

  3. This is very interesting and tempting. I need to see what the initial costs are and such. My 2-year contract with Sprint is ending this month and I’ve gotten used to my HTC Hero and the way it works, so if it’s an LG Optimus, I don’t think the data speeds and overall experience may be different, save for Sense.

  4. I don’t know the price seems tempting but using wifi to route calls and text. Security is a big issue to me. Lets see what they have to say on the 8th. 

  5. Maybe not for me but I have 2 kids under 10 that this would be great for.
    20 bucks a month is feature phone pricing so this sounds great.

    1. under 10 should not have cell phones. let them be kids

      1. what he does with his kids is none of your business.

      2. yeah, until they get in trouble or hurt and need to contact you . . .

        1. What exactly would an 10-(grade school, not even middle school) be doing w/o adult supervision that would require a cell phone to get in contact with you?

          1. seriously? kids . . . are kids. they will find a way – parents aren’t omniscient overseers. unless you plan on hovering over your ten-year-old child constantly. i guess maybe it depends on where you live, but ten-year olds in my parents’ neighborhood are always roaming around having fun.

          2. I suppose I can agree on it depends on where you live. I also think we’re arguing over two different things, you mention a 10 year old(which is typically middle school) which I agree is fine and that is when they typically get more rebelious. Elementary school kids though? No, never really going to roam far away enough to require the use of a cell phone. Not that I’d expect them to be able to keep track of a phone(which I say from experience from working at a day care).

          3. i see your point. again, though – with an Android phone, if anything does happen, no matter their age, you could track them via GPS. 

            i’m also drawing from my experience, we would roam around at 7-8 years old all over the neighborhood. the times, they are a-changin . . .

    2. Surprise everyone. Having parents who are both obsessed with technology transfers over to the kids. My kids are average kids who run and ride the swing in the park. They have their friends and play tag. They also like to show their friends the latest episode of My Little Pony, Monster High or Yogscast.
      Like it or not but in this day and age a phone is a must.
      My kids have been around technology forever and are extremely responsible around it.

  6. We need a GSM carrier to do this, so we can bring our own phones. 

  7. I doubt only 1 phone would be available under this

  8. No many with a high end smartphone such as my HTC Amaze 4g(t mobile) or Evo 3d (sprint) Nexus Prime (verizon) or galaxy s II (AT&T version) are gonna wanna downgrade to a lowsy optimus, I don’t care if the phone bill was free. So smartphone variety plays a major role here otherwise you will get a bunch of boost mobile,cricket,metro pcs,etc users who had inferior phones to begin with.

  9. You always get what you pay and that’s not much for $20

  10. Only if I can bring my own phone.

  11. For me, it would come down to the reliability (& speed) of their network. Right now with 2 Droid Charges & 2 basic phones, my VZW bill is around $250/month… BUT I have the best coverage, no dropped calls, 4G LTE, etc. I would gladly pay just $80/month to have unlimited everything for the whole family, as long as the coverage is decent (even if its not the best) and the data speeds are at least 3G. BUT if we’re talking dropped calls left and right and 1X data connection… forget it! I’ll stick with my huge VZW phone bill! You get what you pay for! Lol!

  12. Never! Overpriced unnecessary gadgets FTW!!!

  13. Personally I’m waiting for the Galaxy Nexus.  However, most of my family would be perfectly happy with a device like the Optimus.
    It might even be nice to have as a separate business phone.

    If their setup of using sprint’s cell towers along with wifi works well in my area I suspect I know quite a few people that will be switching carriers….if nothing else than to save themselves about $60/month

  14. If the phone is rootable and able to be used as a hotspot then definitely..

  15. i think ppl should think about sacrificing their device for this.. this is exactly how the carriers had ppl locked in before, with those exclusive phones and shit… hopefully the galaxy nexus will run on this carrier anyways

    1. Brian, where can I get some of that shit yer smokin!

  16. I don’t get it, I get unlimited data when I am on WiFi, so why would I pay them $19 when I can use Google voice and get unlimited calling + Text for free? 

  17. I was interested until I saw the word “Sprint”. I then lost all interest.

  18. I already left Sprint for Verizon because of lackluster coverage.  Yeah, I’m losing my unlimited data and gonna be paying a little more but I guess that’s the price I gotta pay to be able to get signal at my job.

  19. Either way, $20 a month does sound very tempting.  We’ll see how this plays out.

  20. If the offer a hotspot or you can enable tethering this would be good for any tablet that you dont want locked to a carrier

  21. I left T-Mobile with my myTouch 4G and its $93 a month bill for Virgin and the Triumph with a $42 bill. Should I leave that for a $20 per month bill? Perhaps! I will look into it, definitely!!!

    1. How have you been liking your Triumph and Virgin’s call quality? Because I did the same thing and I think it’s complete crap.  The Triumph is buggy and unstable and reboots spontaneously at the worst possible times, and is very inconsistent about its power usage and so on, and the call quality is HORRIBLE.  I am probably going to switch back to T-Mobile soon.

  22. What’s disassembled LG Optimus doing in this picture? RW requires a hardware hack?

  23. This is going to be a no brainer for many folks if they can deliver…. I have said for years that as soon as some company comes into the marketplace with this mindset and pricing the game is over, the others are going to have to somewhat follow suit with their pricing model or loose a very large % of business…. If tethering is also part of this package there’s no question in what direction I’ll be going…. I’m also sure that 4g will most likely take place in a reasonable time…. go get em guys!!! 

  24. The motorola triumph isn’t that bad, especially with cm7 on it and i only pay $25 a month with this pretty badass device its a great deal

  25. I wouldn’t trade my high-end device for an entry-level one. I simply don’t want to deal with the head aches inevitable with a crappy phone…been there, done that. But I will be watching closely for when they DO sport better phones.

  26. I am really happy that there are people out there looking at new ideas.  This may not be for everyone, but its nice that there will be another choice on the market.  I went ahead and ordered my phone and I will update as I test it.  I figured there are alot of use cases that this could be a workable situation for.  As far as the phone goes, I have had an LG Vortex (Verizon’s Version) and the phone would’nt be a bad entry level phone if wasn’t filled up with all of the bloatware.

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