The folks over at Republic Wireless are planning to offer something amazing: using its mobile VoIP technology, the company will be able to offer unlimited voice, text and data for about $19 a month starting Nov. 9. It sounds like it’s too good to be true, so I’m going to continue to believe that it’s not going to work until I actually get a chance to play with it.
Over at GigaOm, Republic Wireless is explained – it will use WiFi calling whenever there is a wireless network and it will use Sprint’s network when it’s not within WiFi range (bulk minutes are being purchased by Bandwidth.com. GigaOM said that you’ll have to buy new special phones to access the service and that:
The company, however, says it has built its own soup-to-nuts solution to offer the hybrid calling functionality. The company is going to buy wholesale minutes from third-party carriers such as Sprint. Bandwidth.com could easily use other wireless carriers as its wholesale partners. The company says the monthly plan would include unlimited 3G data without any bandwidth caps. Typically, phone companies call 5 gigabytes download as “unlimited.”
The reason why I’m skeptical is because I’ve heard this story before from Zer01 Mobile, which was offering unlimited voice, text and data via mobile VoIP for about $60 a month. It turned out to be vaporware from the very beginning.
GigaOm unearthed more details and in the comments, it’s suggested that the need for special software may be because the $19 a month is for that unlimited data only but you’ll still likely have to buy some minutes from Sprint. If you consider that you’re essentially paying $20 for just data service, that’s more of a realistic option, I suppose.
Oh well, Nov. 8 is just around the corner, so we’ll see what the deal is shortly.