Republic Wireless offers 6 months of free service

The Wi-Fi first wireless operator is celebrating its spinoff from its parent company by offering six months of free service to customers buying a Moto Z Play or Huawei Ascend 5W .

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Photo by Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless is offering customers a deal that's almost too good to be true.

The low-cost Wi-Fi first wireless operator is offering six months of service for free, which includes unlimited talk, text messaging and 1GB of data, to new and existing customers.

The catch? The deal is only available for customers buying one of these two phones: Moto Z Play and Huawei Ascend 5W. The company is also offering a special deal on the phones. The Moto Z Play will cost $349 between December 7 and 12, and the Huawei Ascend 5W will go for $129 between December 13 and 19.

The promotions are to celebrate Republic's spinoff from parent company Bandwidth, which sells telecom service to businesses. The Raleigh, NC-based company has gotten a capital investment of $30 million as it goes independent.

The small wireless operator uses both Wi-Fi hotspots and traditional cell phone networks to deliver voice and data service for phones at a much lower price compared with plans from larger rivals. The service uses Wi-Fi networks where they're available and roams onto a cellular network when not in Wi-Fi range. When it launched five years ago, it used Sprint's network. Now customers can choose to roam on either Sprint or T-Mobile. Pricing for the service starts at $15 a month.

Republic is one of a handful of companies, including Google, that uses the Wi-Fi first model to offer lower cost service. But the company will face more competition next year when cable giant Comcast is expected to launch its wireless service, which will use a combination of its own Wi-Fi service and cellular service from Verizon.

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