A WiFi Question
This is just what a subsidiary of Bandwidth.com; Republic Wireless asked a group of beta testers a few months ago. Yes, I be one of them. This is not a plug for Republic Wireless but just some ramblings and observations of an Geezer Geek.
One of my first observations is that there has been a few companies following in RW footsteps, not copies of their business plan but alternatives to the more traditional plans that you can get with the big cellular companies (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint). Its worth to note that most of these start-ups are purchasing their bandwidth from Sprint. So kudos to Sprint for this.
These new start-ups are called: A Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). MVNO is a mobile operator that does not own its own spectrum and usually does not have its own network infrastructure. Instead, MVNO’s have business arrangements with traditional mobile operators to buy minutes of use (MOU) for sale to their own customers.
Headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, republic wireless is an innovative new carrier spearheading a wireless freedom movement to return value and control of the smartphone experience to our members. Leveraging the power of the Internet and an engaged community of users, republic wireless offers unlimited voice, text, and data service for only $19 per month, with no contract.
republic wireless is a division of Bandwidth.com, whose network and solutions also power other innovative communication services such as Google, Pinger, Skype, Groupme, RingCentral, Phonebooth, and many others.
Ting’s premise is that it offers customers more choice with their plans, an even reimburses them for unused minutes – something no other wireless provider can claim.
Ting’s services run on Sprint’s 3G CDMA and 4G WiMAX networks, though Ting is not owned by Sprint. Customers can choose from plans that start at a mere $3 per month for 100 voice minutes, and can add text and data packages that also start at $3 per month. If you go over your allotted minutes, Ting will just bump you up into the next tier instead of charging overages.
Newcomer (and MVNO on Sprint’s network) Voyager Mobile is teasing a “frequent talker program” that will give all kinds of perks for the more talkative among us: call your Aunt Ruth a lot and you’ll get phone upgrades, free months of service and smaller nice-to-haves like air mileage and gift cards. That’s helped by Voyager starting off at $19 a month for unlimited voice, although picking a smartphone in the early catalog will hike that to a still rather thrifty $39 for all-unlimited voice, text and WiMAX data.
Fon is the world’s first global WiFi network built by people like you. We think of it as crowdsourced WiFi. As a member of the Fon community, you agree to share a little bit of your WiFi at home, and get free roaming at Fon Spots worldwide in return. Sharing WiFi with Fon is safe and secure, and you won’t even notice when others are connected because Fon only uses a tiny portion of your bandwidth.
If you are looking for an alternative to a traditional mobile carrier, you may want to keep your eye on the above ventures as well as new ones as they come along as I’m sure they will. For one I hope that the days of being held hostage by the Big-4 are coming to a close.