Since last week, I've been trying to work off all that turkey I ate by going for some walks around the building. Here's what's hitting the pavement this week:


Open Beta: As a reminder we opened our Beta program to everyone on 11/19/2012. This means anyone, including existing members, can pre-order the Motorola DEFY XT. You can purchase up to four phones and orders will ship within the next few weeks. Have questions before you pre-order? Check out our Order FAQ for more details. Upgrading or trading in your phone (Waves A-E)? We've got a different program for you coming soon. Check out the details for you here.

 

New members: For those of you that are new here we'd first like to welcome you to republic and make sure you're aware of all the things you can do while waiting for your order to ship. We're big on community here and a lot of our existing members participate in discussions on a regular basis so if you have a burning question or just want to chat, our Open Mic section is a great place to start. Another great place to start is to get familiar with the My Account portal. For info on how to navigate the My Account portal, check out our My Account FAQ.

 

Ambassador program: As some of you may know, we currently have a group (formerly known as The Founders), that have been with us from the very beginning. They have been a huge asset in helping to shape the very community that exists today. We wanted to extend this opportunity to our existing members. We're changing the name to the Ambassadors and will be accepting new members into the program soon. For the who, what, where, when and how about the Ambassador program, please check out this document and let us know if you're interested.

 

Product team: According to The Product Guy, all things are still a go for entry of the OTA into the lab on Monday, December 3. Earlier this week, he posted his own version of David Letterman's Top 10 list in the form of what will be included in the OTA. You can check it out here.

 

"If I had $1,000 right now..." contest: Don't forget you still have a chance to win $1,000. We've already had several winners of a $50 Google Play™ gift card and one contestant even won $1,000 towards a brand new bicycle. You could be a winner too! All you have to do is submit a photo on Facebook of what you would do with $1,000. For more info, check out the contest rules here.

 

Movember: Today is the last day to submit photos for the moustache contest. We have some, but I know you guys can give us more! You have until 11:59 ET tonight, so hurry and show us your best 'stache. Just an FYI, Bandwidth raised over $5,000 for male cancer research and had some pretty gnarly, albeit creepy moustaches walking around the office. Between you and me, I'm a little relieved that today is the last day .

 

That's all we have for this week. Again, welcome to our new members and we hope you enjoy your stay here at republic!

 

As always, please leave your comments and questions here.

We're going David Letterman style today, and giving you the news about the OTA in the form of a Top 10 list. Although the skit is pretend, the fixes are not.

 

Dave: Top 10 reasons the DEFY XT will be improved after the OTA. And here to introduce the Top 10 for today is the Product Guy… really, that's his name?

Product Guy: Thanks Dave, it’s good to be here.

Dave: Glad you could make it. Nice shirt…  Ok, Top 10 reasons the DEFY XT will be improved after the OTA …

 

Here we go:

 

Number 10

Echo on Calls: We’ve done a significant amount of work on call quality and have improved the echo cancellation algorithms in the device. This is software-based echo cancellation so you’ll still hear echo for the first 10 seconds or so, but the phone will clamp it down after that and your experience will be much better.

 

Number 9

Cell call dialing: There’s a lot of post-dial delay when making a cell call. We’ve completely revamped the approach and it is significantly different. Much less delay and more successful connections.

 

Number 8

International calling: Inbound and outbound calling while overseas and connected to Wi-Fi to US numbers will be fully enabled and included as part of the republic experience meaning you can receive and dial US numbers while connected to Wi-Fi while overseas.

 

Number 7

911 on Wi-Fi: This is a major piece of functionality. Now, if you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, and your phone can’t access a cellular network at all, republic will route 911 service over Wi-Fi.

 

Number 6

Space on the phone: We worked with Motorola to remove apps from the device. Some of them we’re not able to remove, but we took away as many as we were able to. Every little bit helps… The Google apps had to remain, and after that there were very few that we could remove. The Dashboard and Facebook apps are gone (you’ll need to download the Facebook app after the OTA update if you want to use it). The others were so small that it would have made no discernable difference to the phone. The largest one remaining is QuickOffice. This is a $5 app that we felt gave you access to viewing Office documents on your device.

 

Number 5

Voicemail: That password is annoying, isn’t it? So we’re removing it. You’ll be able to access your voicemail directly by pressing the 1 key and if you’re on Wi-Fi, it connects FAST.

 

Number 4

Wi-Fi Connection: We’re adding additional checks to see how well the network will handle a voice call, so the green arc will be a better indicator of connectivity significant enough for calling when you’re on Wi-Fi.

 

Number 3

Swype: There was a bug with the Swype license on the device. That will also be fixed, giving you full access to the Swype functionality.

 

Number 2

Dialing star codes and X11 numbers: We’ll be relaxing these dialer restrictions and making more codes available. Currently, only *28 and *38 are enabled and 911.

 

and finally, the top reason why your DEFY XT will be better after the OTA update...

 

Number 1

SMS: We’re adding SMS over IP. We’ll be gradually rolling it out across the customer base to ensure that our infrastructure can handle the volumes, but every phone will be enabled for it. When you’re connected to Wi-Fi, your SMS messages will be sent over Wi-Fi. SMS is also transported over data when your phone is connected to cellular data and will only be sent as a true SMS when your phone doesn’t have a data connection. These changes will significantly improve delivery of SMS, and republic to republic SMS will be virtually instantaneous.

 

Dave: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Product Guy… (applause or crickets) What do you think about that, Paul? $19 for unlimited cellular coverage. That's pretty amazing. Paul? Paul?

 

P.S. The OTA update is scheduled to go into the lab the second week of December.

 

Please leave your comments and questions here.

This may be a short week for some, but that doesn't stop us from making waves throughout the wireless industry. Check out what kind of impacts we made this week:

 

Open Beta: "Freedom has arrived. republic wireless is now open to everyone. Welcoming pre-orders now." is the title of Jim M.'s blog posted on November 19 announcing that republic is now in an Open Beta status. This means there's no waiting list and no waves to be placed in. Everyone is welcome to Join and place a pre-order for the Motorola DEFY XT.

 

Upgrades and Trade Ins: If you're a Wave A upgrade member or in Waves B-E looking for when you can get the dual-band DEFY XT, please pay close attention to the next sentence. We have special programs for you coming in early December and we're asking that you NOT order from the store. For more info, please check out this blog addressed especially to you.

 

Dual-band and OTA update: It's official, the dual-band Motorola DEFY XT is out of the lab and fully certified! We were notified late on Friday, November 16, that the dual-band version was successfully certified and available to be offered to our members. In other news, be sure to lookout for a blog post from theproductguy coming up this Monday. He'll be sharing detailed info about the next OTA update (I gave him some more candy and offered him a homemade pumpkin pie ).

 

"If I had $1,000 right now..." contest: What would you do with an extra $1,000? Now's your chance to find out. We're running a photo submission contest on Facebook where you could win $1,000 or a $50 Google Play™ gift card. All you have to do is submit a photo of what you would do with the money if you won. Check out the contest details to find out how to enter. I wonder how many republic phones I could buy with $1,000?

 

Movember: Don't forget we're still running the Movember photo submission contest as well. It may not be for $1,000, but it's to raise awareness for a good cause. In case you're new here, send us a photo of your best moustache and you'll have a chance to win some republic swag. Check out the Movember Challenge page for all the "hairy" details.

 

I know most of you are ready to get home and start your holiday, but first I wanted to leave you with a little poem:

 

May your stuffing be tasty,

May your turkey plump.

May your potatoes and gravy,

Have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious,

And your pies take the prize,

And may your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs!

 

~Author Unknown

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

As always, feel free to leave your comments and questions here.

Today is a big day -- not only for republic, but any current cell phone user looking for a better way to talk, text, or use data. Today, we're proud to announce that our store is OPEN for pre-order for the dual-band Motorola DEFY XT. This means that now anyone can join the republic. And that’s why we’re here in the first place – so more people can have smartphone service at an amazingly low cost.

 

We’ve come a long way over the past year and we couldn’t have done it without the support and great feedback from our community full of people like you. Together, we’ve set a new bar for mobile and we’re thrilled that you’re part of this journey with us. We’ll continue to improve the republic experience, so please keep your feedback coming.

 

Okay, now onto the good stuff.... The DEFY XT pre-order is now open to everyone - no more waves, no waiting in line - we’re talking “open” open. You can pre-order up to four phones today, and they’ll begin shipping in mid-December.

 

The dual-band DEFY XT features our Hybrid Calling(TM) technology that uses Wi-Fi where it's available and cell where it’s not. Unlimited talk, text and data, all for just $19 a month. No overages, contracts, or hidden charges in small fine print. Just great phone service at the lowest monthly rate in America.

 

You can pre-order your dual-band DEFY XT today for $249 plus a $10 start-up fee and applicable taxes. Your start-up fee includes shipping and handling. Your first $19 monthly membership will be charged when your phone ships. Don't forget, we'll continue to offer a 30-day money back guarantee so you can join republic with no risk.

 

It’s that easy.  So, welcome everyone…to the new republic.

 

Click here to join today!

 

Yours,

 

Jim Mulcahy

EVP & GM, republic wireless

 

As always, please feel free to leave your questions and comments here.

If you saw our blog post about the republic store opening today for pre-orders, we wanted to make sure you had all the details. If you’re in Wave A and waiting for an upgrade or if you’re in Waves B-E and waiting to trade in your single-band for a dual-band DEFY XT, keep reading...

 

If you’re in one of these two groups, we plan to open special programs for you in early December. It’s important that you wait for this process rather than using the store to get a dual-band DEFY XT. We’ll offer priority shipping for upgrade and trade orders so that your order will be shipped out first before other new orders. So don’t go to the store or you won’t get priority shipping.

 

You can find specific instructions here about the upgrade and trade-in processes. We’ll also send further instructions via email to let you know exactly what you need to do to upgrade or trade-in once the steps are ready in early December.

 

One more time...what should you do if you want to upgrade or trade in? That’s right. Just kick back and wait. And thanks for being patient. The dual-band DEFY XT is worth the wait.

 

Welcome to the new republic.

 

As always, please feel free to leave your questions and comments here.

We're keeping things pretty short, sweet and simple this week so let's get right to it:

 

Waves: Both Waves O and P closed November 15 at midnight ET. With all of the waves now closed, we're working toward the next phase of republic. We're just as excited as you are about what lies ahead.

 

Product team: The dual-band DEFY XT is still in the lab and we're anxiously waiting. I will say things are still on track though. We're also one step further with the OTA update. We've now entered the QA phase and we'll give updates on that as soon as we can.

 

New Support page: You may have noticed already that we've revamped the Support page. We realize that the channels we initially set up for support weren't the easiest to navigate. We've now made it more clear cut (and all in one place) with several options to contact us for help, whether you have a phone or not. Let us know what you think and if it's easier to get in touch with us or not.

 

Movember: We've hit the mid-point of the contest and I can imagine that your moustaches are coming in pretty good now. We're still receiving entries, but I expect most of them to come in toward the end of the month. I can't wait to see what you guys have come up with. Just want to remind those participating in the contest that all entries must be sent by November 30 at 11:59 ET. For more info, please visit the Movember Challenge page.

 

Local Community: With Thanksgiving a little under a week away, we celebrated a little early here in the office. Today we all brought in food for a Thanksgiving pot luck feast! All we had to do was pay $5, which will go to families in need in the Raleigh, NC, area. Makes me feel pretty good knowing that I can enjoy a nice satisfying meal and at the same time help other families enjoy the same.

 

That's all we have on our list this week. We hope you have a lovely weekend and we'll talk to you again real soon.

 

As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions here.

Can you believe it's November already? In just a couple of weeks we'll be chowing down on some turkey with all the fixings and before you know it, it'll be Christmas. Before we switch gears into holiday mode, here's what we've been working on this week:


Happy Anniversary!: Yesterday marked one year since we first started on the road to wireless freedom. We've come a long way from packing and shipping phones out of our Cary office to completing all Waves. We want to give a HUGE shout out to all of you for keeping us going and believing in our industry changing idea. Thanks for all your help and cheers to the next year of wireless freedom!

 

Waves: The checkered flag has been waved and all waves have now crossed the finished line! Waves O and P are now open for purchase for the single-band version of the DEFY XT. We'll shorten the invitation time for Waves O and P for some system changes, with both waves closing on 11/15/2012 at 11:59 p.m. ET. For a full list of what waves are currently open, please visit the Beta Waves Status page.

 

Dual-band DEFY XT update: We're excited to let you know that the dual-band version of the DEFY XT has entered the lab! Our product team will continue to work closely with Motorola to assure the certification process is going smoothly. We'll share any new info with you as we have it.

 

Movember: In case you missed last week's update, we're running a photo submission contest to benefit mens' cancers research. For a full description of the contest, check out the Movember Challenge page. We've received some submissions already and they're looking great; keep 'em coming! Don't forget ladies, you can participate as well. Don't be afraid to head over to the craft store and make your own. We've got some pretty groovy looking 'staches here at the office as well. So far Bandwidth (and all its divisions) have raised almost $1700 for male cancer research!

 

Local community: We're proud to mention that Bandwidth won the 2012 NCTA 21 Awards for private company of the year. On November 7 and 8, Bandwidth attended an Internet Summit at the Raleigh Convention Center. People interested in learning or working for Bandwidth had the opportunity to speak with some of our employees and learn how to apply for open positions. If you live in the Raleigh, NC area and are interested in working for Bandwidth, or any of its divisions, please go to our job listings page.

 

That's all we have for you this week. We'll now return to your regularly scheduled program.

 

As always, feel free to leave your comments and questions here.

It's almost time to vote and in the spirit of the upcoming presidential elections, we've got some fun voting you can participate in as well as some updates for you:

 

Waves: Waves O and P will open for purchase for the single-band version of the DEFY XT next week. If you're waiting for the dual-band version, do nothing. Simply wait for further communication from us regarding the dual-band. For a complete list and status of all the waves, go to the Beta Waves Status page.


LG Optimus S: It's been a long time coming, but we have an update for you regarding the life of the Optimus. It's been a great Beta phone for us, but we've decided to phase it out. Don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to upgrade your phone. Starting 90 days after the dual-band DEFY XT becomes available, we'll stop supporting the Optimus. This means you'll be able to use the Optimus free of charge, however you won't be able to open a ticket regarding support issues. 180 days after the dual-band DEFY XT becomes available, we'll stop providing service on the Optimus at all (you won't be able to use it anymore). For further details, please go here. Now, we'd like to take this moment to bow our heads in silence for the phone that started it all.


Dual-band DEFY XT update: We're still on track to make the dual-band DEFY XT available by the end of the year and our preparations for lab entry are going smoothly. Many of you have asked about pricing for the dual-band (million dollar question, but definitely not a million dollar price tag!). While we don't have any official pricing info to provide just yet, we anticipate the pricing to be comparable to that of the single-band. Stay tuned for more updates on that soon.


Next OTA update: I was able to corner The Product Guy this morning to see if he would be willing to offer up any info about the OTA update. It took a little bribing, (Halloween candy) but he finally agreed while on a sugar rush. Just kidding, but he was quite happy to tell me that they are now ready for QA testing of the OTA update. We don't have a date for you just yet, but as soon as I get some more candy I'll see what I can do .


Movember Challenge photo submission contest: Ever wondered what you'd look like with a Fu Manchu moustache? Now's your chance! Starting today, and running through the end of November, we're running a photo submission contest. Send us pictures of yourself with any kind of moustache you'd like (they can be real or fake so don't feel left out ladies) and we'll pick a total of eight finalists. The finalist's pictures will then be posted here in community where everyone will have the chance to vote for their favorites. The person with the most votes from each of the four categories will be the winner and receive republic swag! For full contest details, rules and terms, please click here.


Local community: Is Halloween one of your favorite holidays? It's definitely one of ours. Wednesday we celebrated in style with a costume contest and a little event we called Imprison a Team Member. Bandwidth and republic employees had the chance to send a co-worker or team to the stockades for five minutes. Each request required a donation with all proceeds going towards families in need of a Thanksgiving meal. The meals will be sponsored and delivered personally by Bandwidth and republic employees (with the help of Wake County Social Services in Raleigh, NC).


This concludes this week's updates. We hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween and that those of you affected by Hurricane Sandy are safe as well.


Please feel free to leave your comments and questions here.

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