On August 3, I traded in my $75/month no-data Verizon plan for the unlimited everything plan offered by Republic Wireless, a one-year-old subsidiary of Bandwidth.com headquartered in Cary, NC. Their current business model is one plan, one phone, one price. $19/month. No contract.
Yes, the phone (a Motorola Defy XT) is running Android V2.3, not 4.0. Yes, Republic’s service is still in beta testing and, according to the technophiles, somewhat buggy. But the bugs I read about in the forums are too subtle to bother me, smartphone newbie that I am. And I’m way too dazzled by the phone’s hybrid calling capabilities, eerily accurate GPS, dead-on voice recognition software and Starbucks app that lets me to pay for my espresso by displaying a QR code to care that its operating system has been around for slightly longer than the startup that sold it to me.