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Google and Comcast may be following this tiny company into the world of Wi-Fi-first phones

At long last, Republic Wireless is adding more devices and a second carrier network.

Republic Wireless

For years, upstart mobile carrier Republic Wireless has offered cheaper cellphone service to those willing to do a majority of their calling and data use over Wi-Fi.

But even for those who have heard of the tiny company, there have been two big complaints: Few devices and a weak, Sprint-powered cellular option.

Republic hopes to address both concerns with new moves announced Wednesday. The company plans to introduce seven new devices, including top models from Samsung and Google Nexus devices made by LG and Huawei. It is also adding a GSM network, which it didn't name but sources say is T-Mobile.

With the addition of the new network, customers will be able to bring their own approved, unlocked phones as well, though Republic still can't work with the iPhone due to the locked-down nature of iOS.

Republic also plans to simplify its pricing with the new devices, doing away with a model that refunded customers for unused data. It moved away from an unlimited data model last year.

Full details on the new rate plans will come closer to the July launch of the new devices, Republic said.

Republic's business is still small (it has fewer than one million customers), but Republic operating chief Chris Chuang said that the company managed to have its first profitable month this quarter, even with an average customer bill of around $15.

"At this low, low price point you can still make a profitable business work with Wi-Fi first," Chuang said.

Republic's moves come as Google has introduced its own twist on the idea, Google Fi, while Comcast* has also said it plans to test a phone offering that combines cellular service with its Wi-Fi network. Smaller cable firm Cablevision offers Freewheel, a Wi-Fi-only phone service.

* Comcast owns NBCU, an investor in Recode parent company Vox Media.

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