Attention smartphone users tired of expensive plans and data caps: there is an alternative. Engadget reports that Republic Wireless has now reopened its beta program that offers users unlimited voice and data services for just $19 per month. How does Republic get away with charging so little? Well, the company has developed a technology called Hybrid Calling that relies heavily on Wi-Fi for primary voice service, with cellular spectrum used as backup.

The celebrate the relaunch of its beta program, Republic Wireless is also offering its users the Motorola DEFY XT smartphone that costs $249 and features Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 3.7-inch display, a 1GHz processor and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera. While the price tag may seem high for a comparatively low-end Android phone, keep in mind that it doesn’t require a two-year contract and money saved with the $19 monthly use charges will more than make up for the initial device investment.


Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.