I just ended a great 500 bike ride through the northern boreal forests and lakes today. During much of this time I was off the grid. The experience of not being able to watch TV, use a phone, or the internet was fantastic. In the true sense, I was really off the grid. For a few days, the only way to phone home was via a satellite phone. (learn more ... my trip report).
However, today it is back to civilaztion and reality. Over the past year I've been increasingly disatisfied with my HTC Droid and Verizon. While my phone is great as a computer, using the cellular grid for voice calls is horrible. Through work I use VOIP, and have often wished a similar experience was available in my private life.
Thus, today I took the plunge. Even though I have three months left on my Verizon contract, I just joined Republic Wireless. Their service will use my local wifi when I am at home, and the 3G network when I am "out and about". Their advertising information talks about a 30 day guarantee.
Before making this decision, I Googled "reviews" for Republic Wireless. I really could not find many reviews created by just normal "techie bloggers" (as opposed to the big services like C|Net and PCMag). While I like the big guys web sites and reviews, I need to see what real folk think of a new technology.
Today, I start my review, and I will blog about the process. My order was submitted about 15 minutes ago. The process was easy, and I received my confirmation within a few minutes. My phone should arrive later this week.
Please note that no vendor has ever paid me for any reviews I post on NorthStarNerd.org. In addition, since this blog began in 2006 I've never accepted a single cent in advertisements. I hope you will find my review useful. I want a phone where I can hear people speak again. Prior to getting my smartphone at Christmas 2010, my dumb phone may not have had all the extra services, but the voice quality was great.