Republic Wireless, a new provider of voice and data services that utilizes Wi-Fi and wireless networks for a flat fee of under $20, has re-opened its beta trial for users and also is offering a new phone.

Operated by, which is based in Cary, Republic Wireless drew considerable media attention and a big following of users when it began offering service on a trial basis last year.

In December, Republic added a global phone number capability.

The price remains $19 a month.

The new phone is the Motorola Defy XT model, which is Android powered and includes Corning Gorilla Glass for a virtually scratch proof display on its 3.7-inch screen.Republic is offering the phone for $249.

Current Republic customers using the LG Optimus can upgrade to the new phone for $149.

Features include what is called “Hybrid Calling” technology in which Republic customers access Wi-Fi networks and only uses cellular networks when Wi-Fi is not available.

“Since launching last year, republic has disrupted the wireless industry in a way few could have ever imagined,” said David Morken, founder and chief executive officer of Bandwidth. “Consumers are flocking to republic because they’re fed up with the status quo. We’ve liberated them from a world of so-called “unlimited” plans that have caps on data usage, hidden fees, long-term contracts and other restrictions. We’ve set a new bar and we’re ushering in a new era of Wi-Fi-first wireless for millions more people.”

The beta trial begins accepted new customers again Tuesday.

“Today marks a major milestone of our resolute effort to build an engine that can scale to handle millions of members,” said Brian Dally, general manager of Republic. “Your republic is still an unmatched $19 a month for unlimited service that keeps getting better. ”

Republic plan highlights include:

■ $19 per month for unlimited text, talk and data over Wi-Fi and cellular (plus taxes)
■ No contracts, no overages and no hidden fees
■ New members get a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee
■ There is no early-termination fee if members wish to cancel their service

Motorola DEFY XT features, as cited by Republic, include:

■ Dust-proof and water resistant, with a Corning Gorilla Glass display that resists scuffs and scratches
■ Quick access to your favorite activities and the friends and family you contact most
■ See and be seen with the front-facing VGA webcam for video chats, plus a 5 MP camera with auto-focus, LED flash and 4x digital zoom
■ Access more than 600,000 apps and games available on Google Play™ as well as millions of books and songs and thousands of movies and TV shows.
■ Customizable activity dashboards provide additional functionality with access to an integrated compass, pedometer, music player, and weather
■ 1650 mAh battery, for optimized performance and longer life-proof fun

In December, the company recently secured its own country code, thus enabling its customers to place and receive calls from around the globe. “Numbers associated with the republic wireless Country Code make it easier and cheaper for your friends and family outside the US to get in touch with you,” Republic posted at its web site.

As a result, Republic is offering customers the chance to secure their own global phone number.