Thursday, November 10, 2011

Markets in Everything: $19 Unlimited Phone Plan

YAHOO NEWS -- "When it comes to mobile carriers, consumers may have four major choices, but they're all starting to look the same — and that isn't a good thing. But a new provider, Republic Wireless, headquartered in North Carolina, is shaking things up with a rather unbelievable $19 a month no-contract plan. That's $19 not just for unlimited calling and texting, but mobile data too."

MP: Gotta love the cutthroat competition, often the best form of "regulation" and market discipline, and the consumers' best friend.   


At 11/10/2011 9:48 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The goal of successful firms is not to create jobs, but to create value.

In the free and competitive market, firms that win produce the highest quality good at the lowest price (i.e. the greatest value), while at least maintaining an "accounting profit."

Society benefits when it takes less effort, time, costs, etc. to produce more and better output.

At 11/10/2011 10:13 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

this sounds fishy to me.

how can republic possibly make money on such an offer?

what is their infrastructure?

cell towers are not free.

i'll bet that at the bottom of this is either a business plan that will go BK in short order or a some kind of sweetheart federal deal that lets them use the infrastructure of others and not pay for it.

if i am allowed to use a lane on your bridge which i did not pay for, of course i can charge a low toll. but that's hardly a replicable business model in and kind of long run.

my bet is that they have a handful of towers and are somehow getting free peering due to political patronage, allowing them to sell the assets of others at zero cost.

At 11/10/2011 10:21 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

There seems to be a fee for the $19 a month:

"Your phone is included in your $199 start-up fee."

At 11/10/2011 10:32 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

More choices benefit consumers.

I've had the same phone for two years.

My girlfriend goes through three or four phones a year, including when there's a sale.

At 11/10/2011 11:30 AM, Blogger russell said...

they preferentially use wi-fi instead of cellular...from their website:

"Newsflash: anything a cell network can do, the Internet can do better and cheaper.

So we think a truly smart smartphone should make a habit of using Wi-Fi for everything. Surfing. Texting. Sharing. And, yes, even talking."

At 11/10/2011 11:42 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Well try this plan out and see if its can work for you...

Cable Companies Offer $10 Broadband For Poor Households

All major cable companies are standing behind the $9.95 offer, which will be valid for two years. The price doesn't include taxes, but the companies are pledging to charge nothing for installation or modem rental...

Anyone want to guess who's cost to access the internet will go up?

At 11/10/2011 12:10 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


that statement about wifi has some serious issues with it.

1. IP has no space in the packet header for prioritization. this makes it terrible for real time aps like voice once a networks gets close to full.

2. while a number of people are working on it, the wifi network they describe does not really exist yet outside 1-2 major MSA's, so it's not going to be a big part of the plan early on.

3. there is, as yet, very little in the way of wifi technology to do the basic things a cell system has to do like track phones not in use and hand them off from cell to cell when they move.

if wifi is their immediate business plan, they are cooked.

also, you wanna see your battery drain like it has a hole in it?

walk around manhattan with your wifi enabled.

At 11/10/2011 4:56 PM, Blogger Eric H said...

This is right up Benjamin's alley. Urban subsidized phone service. Time to drop his Boost plan and try this out for the collectivist good of the blog.

"if wifi is their immediate business plan, they are cooked"

Well, that depends. I could see it eventually working a lot like the funding behind Craigslist (another of Benjamin's hated rural freeloaders living on the rent-controlled urban centers).

At 11/10/2011 8:13 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...


If you look at The Tax Foundation, you will see that rural America is heavily subsidized by urban America.

Speaking of just telephone service, we now shovel $8 billion annually to pay for rural phone service, sometime at the expense of ten of thousands of dollars per line.

The most mollycoddled, knock-kneed, subsidized pinko-economic weaklings in the world are rural Americans.

Usually voting GOP, btw.

Love that ethanol. How about $32 billion for cotton farmers since 1995?

Solyndra made a big mistake(they were rank amateurs). They should have said they were "harvesting" sunlight, and located in rural districts. We would subsidize them annually thereafter.

Ever notice how the GOP talks a ton about cutting programs where the money comes back to you (Social Security) but never agency programs in which your money is sucked into a parasitic dung pit, never to be seen again (USDA, Defense, Interior)?

At 11/10/2011 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so we're clear on how this works, they're renting long-range cellular towers from Sprint and supplementing that with short-range wifi everywhere they can, which they don't have to pay for. While I think they're on the right track, as a wireless future dominated by wifi is inevitable, it's probably too early to pull this off. But if you don't use much data on the go, already have a home wifi setup that you're happy with, and just want a dirt-cheap plan, this plan does make sense for those people now.


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