Discussion in 'News in Nigeria' started by Dmedal!on, Dec 30, 2011.
[img width=450 height=300]http://www.mobiledia.com/news/images/115767-1.jpg[/img]
Upstart carrier Republic eliminated usage thresholds from its $20-per-month plan, creating a truly "unlimited" option to compete against larger providers and attract price-minded subscribers.
Republic launched its low-cost unlimited plan last month with the caveat that users who exceeded 550 voice minutes, 150 texts or 300MB of data would be booted from the plan after fair warning.
The carrier's blog revealed this week it is no longer limiting usage. The usage indicator on the carrier's single available phone, the LG Optimus S, will remain active, mainly to encourage users to connect via Wi-Fi when possible. However, Republic's subscribers are now free to call, text and surf as much as they like for $20 a month.
The North Carolina-based carrier's pricing structure and unlimited use offering is nearly unheard of in today's competitive wireless marketplace. Among the top four U.S. carriers, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile all jettisoned unlimited plans in favor of tiered pricing structures within the past 18 months, and Sprint is likely phasing out its unlimited plan option.
AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile also throttle heavy users, slowing data speeds after a certain threshold is crossed in an effort to reduce spectrum strain.
Republic's decision to offer a truly unlimited angles to attract subscribers tired of tracking usage and paying high overage charges, especially those who care more about saving money and unfettered data streaming than they do about having a top-of-the-line smartphone.
Republic's subscribers connect via Wi-Fi through a public Hotspot or use their own home network when possible, and only fall back to a cellular network, provided by Sprint, when Wi-Fi isn't available.
This hybrid network structure makes spectrum crunch less of a concern for Republic, lessening the need for data use limits.
Republic reportedly decided to remove restrictions from its unlimited plan after customers claimed its policies were unclear and confusing. As a recent entry to the wireless carrier field, Republic is looking for ways to differentiate itself from established companies, and is likely counting on its low price, unlimited use policy and transparent policies to set itself apart.
Republic is offering one caveat to its new, no-limits plan, saying it will offer unlimited data until "we either achieve economic sustainability or become convinced that doing so is impossible." If the carrier can get enough users to defect from high-cost cellular plans in favor of its cheap, unlimited, hybrid option, Republic could potentially make a go of it.