The mobile carrier with one of the enviable unlimited plans in America is finally getting a smartphone that's worthy of envy.
Republic Wireless, the upstart service provider that combines traditional cell coverage with Wi-Fi calling and texting, has announced plans to carry Motorola’s newest smartphone, the Moto X, for $299, with plans that will run anywhere from $5 to $40 per month.
This combination of quality hardware and affordable phone bills has several tech blogs excited: popular technology site Gizmodo, for example, published a piece about the announcement with the headline "The Cheapest Unlimited Plan Finally Got a Truly Great Phone." Republic will offer the Moto X, which received largely positive reviews upon its release last month, for a non-contract price that’s $350 cheaper than Motorola’s unlocked developer edition.
Of course, all the major carriers are selling the Moto X with a two-year service agreement, the least expensive being Sprint for $99. But if you’re a no-strings-attached type -- and if you're factoring the more costly prices at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile -- the $299 price tag may appeal to you.
As part of its Wi-Fi first plans, Republic Wireless doesn’t provide true mobile connectivity, only virtual service through Wi-Fi; when no Wi-Fi is available, the network defaults to Sprint. Price plans with Republic start at just $5 a month, which gets you voice and data over Wi-Fi only, and ramp all the way up to $40 a month, which packages VoIP with Sprint’s 3G and 4G services.
Plans like these have been increasingly embraced by those who mainly stay at home and at work, in locations with reliable wireless networks. Republic Wireless, and carriers like it, are comparatively tiny in the United States: Verizon, AT&T and Sprint still dwarf all hybrid carriers in terms of mobile market share. With aggressive monthly pricing, and the acquisition of more premium smartphones like the Moto X, however, Republic Wireless is clearly looking to convince shoppers to ditch the big boys for a more wallet-friendly plan.
The Moto X will launch on Republic Wireless in November. You can read more about the offer on the Republic Wireless website.