Last week we got wind of a new wireless operator, technically virtual operator, that’s due to launch in the United States called “Republic Wireless”. Their claim to fame is that they’ll offer an unlimited everything plan (voice, texts, data) for just $19 per month, but you have have to use their specially customized devices. Well today Republic Wireless has formally launched, and we have all the fine details that expose the truth behind their seductive price tag. In order to maintain an account with these guys you need to use less than 550 minutes, 150 text messages, and 300 megabytes of data per month while not attached to WiFi, otherwise you get kicked off their network. You’re also stuck with an LG Optimus, the only device they currently offer, though there are plans to make the Samsung Galaxy S II available. Since this is a prepaid operator you’re also going to have to cough up a lot of money to buy what’s essentially an unsubsidized device. Oh and as for the cellular network that Republic Wireless uses, it’s Sprint.
So how does that $19 per month sound now? Not so attractive for those who are frequently on the go. That and being told what devices you can use, which don’t even work overseas by the way, is incredibly lame. For just a little bit more money you can get a SIM card from either Simple Mobile or H2O Wireless, the former being a T-Mobile MVNO while the latter uses AT&T’s network. Simple charges $40 per month for unlimited everything, you can use whatever device you want, and when you’re in Europe you can just pop in a local SIM card. Perfect for devices like the Nexus S or upcoming Galaxy Nexus that use T-Mobile’s 3G bands. H2O charges more, $60 per month, for unlimited voice, SMS, and 2 GB of data. That should be enough for most folks, plus you get high speed data if you’re going to use an Apple iPhone.
Now that you know the facts, choose wisely.