Yup, That Unbelievable $19 Unlimited Data/Voice/Text Plan Is Mostly Real and You Should Sign Up

Remember Republic Wireless? The brand new carrier set to launch the unbelievable $19/month plan that would give users unlimited data, voice and text? Yeah! Well, they actually did it. Like for real. Like you can sign up right now for 19 bucks and never look back.

Republic Wireless can be so damn cheap because it routes its users to Wi-Fi for the majority of tasks and only jumps to 3G when necessary (aka when not next to a Wi-Fi network). In order to do that, Republic Wireless requires that all of their users use a special phone with special hardware. The first phone that'll work with Republic Wireless is the LG Optimus, a solid but unspectacular Android phone, which will cost $199 without a contract ($99 with special coupon code of 'welcome19') and include a free month of service. Pretty cheap for a phone that runs Android 2.3.

Every month thereafter is $19. Seriously, 19 bucks. If you're around Wi-Fi networks for most of the day, you should get this phone. If you don't really want a phone, get this phone. If you're buying a phone for your kid, get this phone.

What's the catch? Well, Republic Wireless will kick you off their network if you use too much data over 3G. Republic will calculate your Cellular Usage Index (CUI) and determine what your data usage is like compared to other people—skew too high and you'll get the boot. It's not an unreasonable system though, you'll be warned plenty before you get kicked out. Plus, it looks like you could use 550 minutes, 150 texts, and 300 MB of data over 3G (Wi-Fi use is unlimited) without even getting in trouble. That's not a lot but it seems incredibly fair for $19/month plus all the usage you can get on Wi-Fi too.

Republic Wireless isn't the be all, end all carrier—lack of phone options for one—but it certainly seems like a step in that direction. [Republic Wireless via TechCrunch]