- February 20, 2013 12:32pm EST
Republic Wireless, which has made a name for itself by offering unlimited cell phone service for $19 per month, is now offering a slightly more expensive plan but lowering the price of the Motorola handset that runs on its network.
Republic Wireless customers can now get a Motorola Defy XT smartphone for $99, provided they opt for the $29 per month service plan. The $19 per month plan will still be available, but the smartphone will set you back $249.
“Consumers spoke, and we listened. It’s that simple,” David Morken, co-founder and president of Republic Wireless parent company, Bandwidth said in a statement. “People love Republic and the tremendous savings we offer consumers, but the upfront $249 price point for the Motorola Defy XT was cost-prohibitive for some. Today’s announcement provides the option for shoppers to save now with a lower price for the phone, or save over time with a lower monthly cost for service.”
Those who purchase a Motorola Defy XT between now and March 18 will receive a $50 Google Play store credit.
Republic Wireless is an MVNO of Sprint, but it’s based around Wi-Fi instead of cellular networks. So rather than using cellular as the base network, with wireless hotspots as a fallback, Republic Wireless takes the opposite approach. So you’ll only be paying $19 for unlimited talk, text, and data, but most of that will happen over Wi-Fi.
The Defy XT uses Republic Wireless’s Hybrid Calling technology to leverage Wi-Fi as the primary network, and uses the cellular network as a backup only when needed.
As a result, Republic Wireless hopes that most of your cell phone activity will happen on Wi-Fi. Republic Wireless has a deal with DeviceScape to make its phones automatically attach to Wi-Fi hotspots around the world. But if there’s no Wi-Fi, the phones will run on Sprint’s 3G network.
For more, see PCMag’s review of the Motorola Defy XT, as well as our November interview with Republic Wireless’s Morken.
Alex Colon contributed to this report.
For more from Chloe, follow her on Twitter @ChloeAlbanesius.
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