Back at the beginning of November, we heard about a very intriguing idea for a new wireless carrier. Republic Wireless promised unlimited voice, data, and texts for an unheard-of $19 a month. While that was enough to grab our interest, details of the service emerged a little while later that showed some pretty serious restrictions on that “unlimited” plan. Well, Republic’s been thinking things over since then, and rather than modify its claim of unlimited service, it’s decided to eliminate its fair use policy, removing any and all usage thresholds.
The idea behind Republic’s wireless offering was to have the majority of traffic routed over WiFi instead of traditional cellular networks. That part was never a problem, but Republic switches over to using Sprint’s network when there’s no WiFi connection available. Here’s where the issues with claims of unlimited service arose, as Republic said that it would stop offering service to subscribers who overused this Sprint connection, but refused to provide hard numbers for an acceptable usage ceiling.
Republic detailed its decision in a blog post yesterday afternoon, and while it doesn’t seem convinced that this new move will prove to be a viable business decision, it’s willing to give things a chance. If, in the future, it ever decides that it just can’t afford to offer unlimited service under these terms, subscribers will have the option to cancel. Even better, since you’ll need to buy one of the carrier’s specially-configured LG Optimus One Androids to use the carrier in the first place, if Republic stops offering unlimited service and you decide to quit, it will buy the smartphone back from you. All things considered, Republic’s wireless offering just got a whole lot more interesting.