The next big thing in smartphones and VoIP technology is emerging out of the East Coast. Republic Wireless, an up-and-coming North Carolina wireless firm, has launched the latest evolution of the smartphone: a smartphone that is the first true hybrid of VoIP and traditional cellular service.
Now, most smartphones do incorporate some forms of VoIP technology, but a smartphone that works purely off of WiFi without a VoIP app has been elusive on the market until now. The Republic Wireless’s smartphone defaults to WiFi but will place a call over Sprint if the phone determines that the WiFi connection isn't strong enough. This switch over to a traditional carrier comes at no charge to the user, so the price remains a flat $29/month per line for unlimited talk, data, and text.
VoIP users have reason to celebrate. The number one benefit of VoIP phone service is cheaper phone bills, and this new hybrid smartphone maintains that cheap service even with the bells and whistles of smartphone capabilities.
This is the future of smartphones. This new innovation is encouraging to other phone manufacturers thinking of getting into the VoIP smartphone business, and it creates the precedent of cheap VoIP calling plans even with a smartphone. A $30 data plan with talk, text, and apps is unheard of in today's market, but the success of this new hybrid smartphone may soon make that the norm.
This new smartphone is also a huge work-around of the contract monopolies that traditional phone providers have over smartphones. Customers are currently locked into phone service with whatever phone providers sells them the phone. VoIP users are able to avoid this somewhat by using a VoIP app as their main method of phone service, but they still have to buy traditional phone service along with it. This new smartphone doesn’t rely on VoIP apps at all, and its platform runs off of VoIP as a default.
This is still a huge step in the right direction for smartphone companies recognizing the power and popularity of VoIP. VoIP users have been waiting for years for a smartphone that offers unlimited service, unlimited features, and cheap service to suit their needs, and this new mobile VoIP smartphone may be the first in the next wave of smartphones that caters to them.
Mobile VoIP isn’t just a thing of the future anymore. It’s here and it’s only getting better.
Rachel Greenberg is site editor of My VoIP Provider.