The unlimited-mobile-wireless-everything-for-$19-a-month dream is a step closer to reality. Republic Wireless
announced in a blog post
that a new, large-scale round of beta testing will launch this summer, and if you were one of the thousands who signed up for the Republic Wireless email list, you’ll have the chance to participate.
In about a week, the company will organize everyone on the list in a “beta waves” according to letters of the alphabet, and over the course of the summer, each group in turn will be given the chance to jump in on the beta. Those who signed up the earliest will be in the first waves.
Here are the details, via the blog post:
1) We’re going to send you an email in about a week telling you how to access our online reservation system. We’ve already allocated you a spot in one of our beta waves (If you had an unsuccessful order, you’ll be first. If you signed up for email notifications, you’ll be next).
2) You’ll have a week to come and claim your place in your wave. If you don’t claim it, we’ll assume that you don’t want it and we will drop you from your wave.
3) The online reservation system will gather a bit of info from you (to learn about your preferences) and will then confirm your assignment to your beta wave. Your letter (starting with B) will be revealed online and emailed to you as a confirmation as well.
4) You can check online for the latest on when your beta wave can place orders and when you can expect to receive your phone.
5) When it’s time for your wave to purchase, you’ll be notified by email a week or more in advance.
6) At that point, you’ll have a limited amount of time to place your order, pay your startup fee and start using your new republic phone. Your order will be processed and shipped based on when you paid.
We have a healthy amount of skepticism for anything that sounds too good to be true, but Republic Wireless’ approach--relying heavily on WiFi handoff to offload traffic from 3G and 4G networks--is one being taken by plenty of other companies these days, so it’s reasonable to assume that the company has a shot. Looking at the prospect of paying $19 a month for unlimited phone service, messaging, and mobile Internet, we’re rooting for them.