There are a lot of reasons to like Republic Wireless, the forward-looking unlimited hybrid 3G/WiFi mobile virtual network operator that started an invite-only beta earlier this year. The invite-only part is not one of them. If you've been waiting for your chance to try out Republic's super-cheap plans, then you won't have to wait much longer: the company announced on its blog that it will soon be open to all applicants.
Republic Wireless, the wireless carrier that prefers WiFi for most of its connections, and utilizes Sprint 3G in the interim, has announced that it's ready to take on new customers. The company reported that "Wave A", which consists of an unspecified number of users, has been a resounding success and that they believe they've found a model on which a $19/month unlimited everything plan is sustainable.
Update: In response to the rather vocal outcries of many of its subscribers on the web, Verizon has clarified what will happen to 3G/4G data plans explicitly. The takeaway is this: anyone purchasing a smartphone from this summer forward on subsidy pricing will be pushed into tiered/shared data. If you choose not to buy a smartphone on subsidy, you can keep your unlimited plan if you choose to.
This means if you renew your 2-year agreement, from this summer forward, on any line by buying a "discounted" phone, you lose unlimited.
Three UK, the mobile network provider in Britain popular for its unlimited data plans without fair usage policies, has rolled out two new plans for their smartphone customers today which promise fear-free mobile internet.
The first plan, Essential, starts at £15 and provides customers with a choice of 100, 300 or 500 minutes per month as well as a 250MB data allowance. The idea behind this tariff is to stop bill shock, as your data will be cut off automatically when you reach your monthly data quota.
We all love LTE. We also all love not being broke, if we can avoid it. Sometimes our two great loves conflict with each other. MetroPCS wants to try and make this love triangle work with $40 unlimited plans for all LTE devices in its portfolio. There's a catch, though: you're only allowed 100 MB of "multimedia streaming access."
According to MetroPCS, "multimedia streaming access" is defined as "content that is programmed as streaming within a web site." Suffice to say, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, and any number of other services that you might want to use would fall into this category.
T-Mobile UK just announced the plan to kill all plans for our brothers and sisters across the pond. It's called The Full Monty and it's everything that you could possibly want in a mobile plan - unlimited calls, texts, data, and tethering all for one price.
The plan has four different variants, each of which is mostly differentiated by applicable devices. Here's a quick overview of what it looks like:
If you notice, the most affordable plan is also the one available on the widest variety of devices, but it also has one hindrance compared to the other choices: it only offers 2,000 talk-time minutes to networks other than T-Mo.
Update: Dow Jones Newswires apparently left out a key piece of information from Hesse's statement on throttling, in an example of truly stellar journalism and attention to detail (unfortunately, we have no audio or video record to verify Hesse's statements). Hesse was discussing throttling of those who are on networks that Sprint has roaming agreements with (which, admittedly, Sprint has a lot of - including with Verizon). While this still makes Sprint's ads technically misleading, the throttling really only applies to those who live in areas where Sprint's data network relies chiefly on roaming - not to those using primarily Sprint towers.
When we first heard about Republic Wireless, it sounded too good to be true. $19 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data? No way. Then we got into the fine print and realized that unlimited had a different meaning in this scenario (much like with other carriers), as RW actually intended on you using your cell more over Wi-Fi and reserved the right to eject you from its network (which runs on Sprint's 3G backbone) if you used too much 3G data.
When Sprint confirmed that the iPhone 4S was headed to the US's Alamo of unlimited data, current Sprint subscribers feared that a tidal wave of iDevices could finally force the company to surrender to tiered data pricing.
Speaking to Forbes, CEO Dan Hesse said the iPhone was actually having the opposite effect, and that Apple's smartphone would actually reduce the rate of growth of smartphone data consumption because it uses Sprint's network more efficiently.