Wi-Fi First has been poised to disrupt big carrier mobile services for at least a couple of years – and if there ever was a no-brainer value prop here it is: When you’re inside free Wi-Fi coverage some 90% of the time, why spend money on cellular calls or data? Republic Wireless is the original Wi-Fi First service provider, and they’re now taking another bold step to bring Wi-Fi First services to the mass market in the USA.
Republic is launching a new & much improved selection of smartphones for their Wi-Fi First service but not only that: They’re also teaming up with a new (thus far unnamed) nationwide GSM carrier to offer Republic Wireless customers the best in cellular coverage to complement Republic’s own unlimited and free Wi-Fi calling service.
That should be an pretty good fix to the two most pressing competitive requirements for taking on the big US mobile carriers. Republic also credits subscribers for any cellular data that they’ve not used on a per-month basis. The basic service is $10 a month plus $15 per GB of pay-as-you-go cellular data. The idea of course is that you won’t need much cellular data when you’ve got access to free Wi-Fi nearly everywhere.
And there’s more. Republic been relentlessly committed to fixing the persistent issue of getting Wi-Fi and cellular calls to hand off seamlessly and they’ve probably done more to fix this than anyone else. ‘Bonded Calling’ (trademarked) is the company’s new way of filling in voice signal gaps in Wi-Fi Calling with telephony signals from cellular. This is essentially a packet-level ‘network of networks’ approach. It’s unique for Republic and for the market. Republic’s has named their entire cellular-to-Wi-Fi call handoff & bonding solution Adaptive Coverage (trademarked).
So what’s the outlook for Republic? According to CEO David Morken, the company is already a $100 million business. They may still be tiny compared to AT&T, Verizon, & T-Mo but with a big boost in available devices – and the right technology to boot – we’re betting on a bright future for David Morken and team. As Victor Hugo famously said: “Nothing is as strong as an idea whose time has come.”