Republic Wireless is going to debut its new cell phone / Wi-Fi / VoIP hybrid plan on November 8, 2011, and it is speculated that the plan will cost only $19 a month. What is even more intriguing is that the service plan that is going to be offered by Republic Wireless will not require any long term contracts nor termination fees. So how will the service plan from Republic Wireless be different from other cell phone services?
The plan will work like this:
Whenever a user is near a Wi-Fi connection at work, at home, or at any other hotspot where their cell phone will function using the Internet, this plan will then give them the ability to make phone calls, send text, or search for data. However, when there is no Wi-Fi available, the plan will switch over to the traditional cell towers in order to function properly, making the cell phone hardware function as a sort of hybrid.
In addition, according to the folks at GigaOM, this plan is not limited to the traditional 5 GB of data that some ‘unlimited’ plans offer. Republic’s new plan includes phones that will be powered by Android with hardware that will support this hybrid approach, thus making it possible to make phone calls, text, and data via both Wi-Fi and cell tower. In theory this will make smart phones more available to those who are on a tight budget and who cannot afford the traditional smart phone plans from other carriers.
However, there are still some unknowns that may not be revealed until the official notifications are made next week. I would be interested in two things. The first: What carrier will Republic Wireless be using for its cell phone coverage? The second: How much are these new Android-powered smart phones going to cost?
Until we have the answer to these two questions, I will hold off any judgment on this new entry into the cell service marketplace.