Having an unlimited smartphone plan for $19 per month sounds too good to be true, but one North Carolina carrier, Republic Wireless, is providing just that.
The reason why the company is able to provide such low pricing is the technology called hybrid calling, which allows users to use WiFi to text, make calls, and surf the web. You'll still have access to a cellular network (Sprint) for free, in case you don't have access to wireless Internet in certain places, but the default network would be wireless.
Currently, the only phone the firm is offering with its plans is an Android smartphone, the Motorola Defy XT. There are also only two plans being offered right now: one in which you pay $249 for the phone, then $19 per month, and another which you pay $99 for the phone, then $29 per month. You apparently get unlimited data, voice, and texts, all with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not happy with it.
AllThingsD recently took the phone out for a test drive and here's what they found.
- The low, low price: You simple can't beat the low price of the unlimited data Republic Wireless plans. Many carriers charge you around $70 to over a $100 for unlimited data usage plans.
- There's a backup: If there's no WiFi network around, you can rely on the Sprint cellular network without extra charges.
- Does its job: Texts worked normally, according to the tester, and the call quality, web browsing, and app service were adequate.