Researchers from UCSB and Intel’s labs in Oregon have been trying out ceiling-mounted reflecting plates to bounce GHz WiFi signals from one side of a data center to another. The result has been an average of a 30% increase in data transmission speeds, an extra 500 GHz per second, approximately.
During it’s entire beta run, Republic Wireless is offering a $19/month cell phone plan that is completely unlimited… unlimited data, minutes, etc. No catch (http://www.republicwireless.com/blog/unlimited). The beta is said to last until they achieve “economic sustainability” or simply fail to continue operations.
So tempting… I think I’m going to have to try it. There is a start up fee of $199, which includes their phone, but it is fully refundable if you cancel the plan and return the phone within 30 days.
Free roaming is included as well as free international calls via WiFi. Though it appears they might try and hit you with a stick if you end up using too many cellular minutes on their WiFi / Sprint network “hybrid” cell plan.
The reviews of the phone aren’t so hot though and unearth some of the limitations of the Republic Wireless system (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2397398,00.asp?tab=Reviews):
Republic Wireless gives you an LG Optimus S Android phone for under $20 per month, but the Wi-Fi portion isn’t reliable enough to use as a main phone.