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Republic Wireless set to expand unlimited Wi-Fi-calling beta

The scrappy startup announced plans to roll out its all-you-can-eat mobile network this summer.

Republic Wireless

It may have sounded too good to be true but Republic Wireless is pushing ahead to make its big idea, offering unlimited voice, text, and data to mobile subscribers for just $19 per month, a reality. The company said today that it will expand the beta of its service, called Wi-Fi Waves, to intrepid users who have already signed on.

That's great news, since a truly integrated plan that covers text, voice, and data access for such a low monthly price doesn't exist. Sure, you can opt for lower-cost post-paid cellular providers such as MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile, or Boost Mobile, or even try your luck with smaller regional carriers like U.S. Cellular. Typically, though, these providers operate networks that lack the reach and speed of the national carriers.

In addition, because Republic Wireless envisions Wi-Fi Waves to let users connect to both a traditional 3G cellular network and any Wi-Fi signal that's nearby, it should in theory be more convenient than relying on mainly Wi-Fi-centric solutions like Skype or OoVoo.

Of course I'm not overjoyed by the LG Optimus S handset, which will be the Republic Wireless launch device. Still, the company's announcement does promise that more phone choices are in the works.