UPDATED: MVNO Republic Wireless picks Devicescape for Wi-Fi offload

Republic Wireless, a Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) MVNO, selected Devicescape to manage its Wi-Fi data offloading. The MVNO, which is about to begin the second beta test of its service before it commercially launches, plans to leverage Devicescape's network of 8 million curated Wi-Fi hotspots as its primary wireless network technology to deliver unlimited voice, text and data for $19 per month.

According to Dave Fraser, CEO of Devicescape, the company has assembled a network of public Wi-Fi hotspots that it will manage. The company's software will make it easy for Republic Wireless customers to connect to this curated network. "It is all completely automatic," Fraser said. "Our technology is on the handset and is always looking for an available Wi-Fi hotspot to connect to it."

Republic is a division Cary, N.C.-based VoIP and bandwidth service provider Bandwidth.com. Earlier this month, Republic said that its second phone is certified on the Sprint network and will be available soon.  The company's first device, the LG Optimus, was made available to beta customers in November.  Republic will start the second beta test of its service soon.

Republic launched the first beta test of its hybrid VoIP/cellular service in November. However, the service was met with several negative reviews, including one from Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart, who noted the service was unable to switch between Wi-Fi networks and Sprint's cellular service.

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This article was updated to reflect that the LG Optimus was available in November and the second device will be available soon.