One of the biggest drawbacks to Google Voice is the lack of full VOIP support on Android/iOS, and a new virtual operator aims to bridge that gap in Republic Wireless. The virtual provider will be launched by Bandwidth.com on November 8th with Sprint confirmed to be one of the first cell networks to support the new service provider.
Republic Wireless aims to leverage the increasing prevalence of Wi-Fi networks to offload voice calls and messaging to them with the goal of cutting monthly costs to half or more than half of current rates with key differences such as:
- Wi-Fi will be the primary connection Â with a fall back to cell networks when Wi-Fi isn’t available.
- The phone will figure out Wi-Fi/cellular switching automatically with no user intervention required, similar to T-Mobile’s former GAN-based @Home calling service
- The service does require a new phone and new phones are required because the Hybrid Calling functionality relies on both built-in hardware and software to work together.
- The first cellular network available will be Sprint, with more carriers to be added in the future
- The phone will have one phone number for VoIP, regular calls and messaging , with the capability toÂ make calls and send messages via Wi-Fi
- No contract will be required and no overages will be levied for cellular minutes