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The Moto E may be targeted at consumers outside the U.S. looking to buy their first smartphone, but virtual operator Republic Wireless thinks there is plenty of demand for such a device right here in the U.S. Starting next month, Republic will offer the Moto E to its customers for $99, pairing the Android phone with its equally cheap mobile plans, ranging from $5 to $25 in cost.
Republic is a mobile virtual network operator that’s trying to wean its customers off of the mobile network by leaning heavily on Wi-Fi. While it sells the same CDMA phones as Sprint, it loads its own software into those devices that seeks out and uses Wi-Fi for calls, texts and data sessions, relying on the cellular network as a last resort. Consequently Republic charges some pretty rock-bottom rates, starting with a $5-a-month plan that only taps Wi-Fi. It’s most expensive tier is a $25 plan that offers unlimited SMS, voice and data over both Wi-Fi and Sprint’s 3G networks.
Granted the hard-core mobile user probably isn’t going take a liking to Republic because of its mobile networking restrictions, but then again the hard-core mobile user isn’t going to buy a Moto E.