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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012

Republic Wireless: $19 unlimited smartphone



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Connected home technology photo
AT& T Mobility has a smart phone app that can access and control digital systems in a home. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

By Clark Howard


Republic Wireless  is now open to the public with its $19 a month unlimited smartphone service.

With this innovative service, you get unlimited calling, texting, email, and web on a Motorola DEFY XT -- all with no contract. That means you pay the full retail price of $249 for the phone, plus a $29 activation fee.

The big idea behind Republic Wireless is that most of the time we're using our phones, we are near or in a place with wifi. So with this service, all of your activity is routed over wifi.

It’s an automatic and  seamless process that’s done entirely by your handset; you aren’t required to manually do anything to get on wifi.

And when you’re not around a wifi signal, the smart phone automatically switches to a standard cell network.

With junk fees, this offer works out to be about $21 a month and is the absolute cheapest unlimited smart phone plan in America.

Meanwhile, Dish Network now has secured approval from the feds to launch their own cellular network using satellite technology. That will make it possible for Dish to do a number of things with high-speed Internet, cellular calling, TV on the go and more.

This is yet another sign that the chokehold Big 4 wireless carrriers like AT&T and Verizon have on the cell phone market will one day be the case.