What is next for Extend Home

We have had an extremely successful Alpha and Beta and are ready, in the coming weeks, to offer Extend Home as an Open Beta. An Open Beta means we will make a limited quantity of Home Telephone Adapters available to order so that we can refine our setup process and understand support needs as we scale.

Our goal is to make this fully available to all our My Choice subscribers before the end of the year as we learn what additional feature needs there are and understand scale requirements.

As of 8/15/2019, Extend Home has moved to Open Beta. Please read the announcement here.

While you wait, here are some things to know about this exciting My Choice feature:

What is the Extend Home feature?

Extend Home is a feature that extends your My Choice line to any standard residential phone. All while utilizing the same phone number.

What features does it have?

  • Unlimited Calling to the US and Canada
  • Standard phone features:
    • Caller ID Name (CNAM) - See the caller’s name on inbound calls.
    • Call Waiting - Don’t miss incoming calls even if you are on another call.
    • 3-way Calling - Talk to more than one person at a time.
    • TDD & Emergency Calling - (711 & 911)
  • Extend Home features:
    • Shared voicemail - Since your cell phone and home phone share the same phone number, voicemails will be accessible from either device.
    • Spam Protection - SPAM blocking settings in your Republic app protect both the cell phone and the home phone.
    • Independent Calling - Cell phone and home phone can make calls at the same time, independently, and can even call each other. The home phone continues to work even if the cell phone is broken, misplaced or stolen.

Feedback from our Beta testers

We asked our Beta testers and over 70% of them said they would pay for this feature. Our plan has always been to offer this as a value add to our My Choice subscribers. Our goal is to make our service more and more valuable.
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How much does this cost?

There will be no additional monthly charges, fees, or taxes to use this feature. You will need to purchase a specially programmed Home Phone Adapter, available only from Republic Wireless. The adapter will cost $49.00 plus taxes and shipping. Our 14-day money-back guarantee applies.

Why do we refer to this as a feature?

This is not a standalone product since it works in conjunction with a My Choice service line and extends it, through the Home Phone Adapter, to any standard residential phone.

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Does the beta testers just keep the Adapter they are sent to continue using the service when it is out of Beta, or do they have to return it and buy the final version?

The Open Beta will require the purchase of the adapter.

If we gave someone an adapter in the closed beta or if they bought one in the open beta, they can keep them and use them after the feature exits beta.

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Great! Otherwise you would have to pry this out of my cold dead hands.

A buddy of mine, not presently a subscriber, is thinking about signing up for service and the beta simultaneously.

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O. I see. I misunderstood then. I do not think of any forum of Beta product test to be as such that one would have to pay for the products being tested. Ubiquiti does this as part of what they call “Early Access” and it drives me and many other folks nuts.

But since this product already had what you call a “closed Beta test” that was free to testers, then I guess it is logical if that went well, to do a small “Early Release” type thing.

Is there any thought into making this device also be able to act as a separate line with its own number?
I am sure many folks also could have a good use case for this.

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I just read back through the announcement posts on this device.
So this Home Extend has to be connected to your home network via Ethernet then.
For some reason, I had thought this device was using Wifi/LTE signal like a RW phone would be doing.
Or at least, has LTE fall back in case wired network goes down.
Good idea, but I would surmise that would cost significant more to produce and support.

Perhaps, however, given over half of U.S. households are already mobile only a separate “landline” number would seem to be an ever shrinking market. The demographic trend away from residential “landlines” isn’t likely to reverse itself.

Another potential challenge is offering such a service would put Republic in competition with already existing services. I tend to doubt there would be a large enough market or enough margin to make it worth Republic’s while.

I never say never but am of the opinion offering a value add leveraging something one is already paying for is probably the best way for Republic to dip its toe into the water.

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This is exactly what we would like to do. Transfer our “landline” from Cable TV company to the ATA device…with no cell phone association required. This would be especially attractive if there is no recurring monthly charge, just a one time cost of ATA. (No cost for us since we were early beta testers :grin: ).

Yes, we would be putting all of our telco service in one RW basket, and we would need to put router on UPS (modem already has battery backup). We would then simply hook the base to the ATA and all the wireless extensions throughout the hose would be good to go.

@rolandh makes some valid arguments but not sure we agree 100 percent about market assumptions and competition. RW has been pretty smart in their business planning so we’ll just see where it goes. Love the idea of leveraging the existing service!

Especially attractive to the customer certainly. Especially attractive to the service provider I doubt it. The closest existing things to what you propose are Google Voice paired with an Obihai ATA or Ooma.

Ooma charges a one-time fee for its ATA but charges “taxes and fees” and optional premium features on a recurring basis. And, Republic is no Google in terms of being able to essentially give away service without some form of recurring revenue.

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We’re still considering buying a cheap cell phone and putting it on the $15/mo unlimited talk and text plan for use with ATA. This would let us use our existing wireless phone system throughout the house. Depending on the cell phone cost, we could break even and starting saving over the existing “landline” cost in 6 months. Especially if RW markets this as @seanr said above - “There will be no additional monthly charges, fees, or taxes to use this feature.” Also helps that we would not face the one time cost of ATA since we we were early beta testers :grin:

Down side - no easy way to call Mexico with this approach.
Upside - we would have RW SPAM blocking and a “backup” cell phone!

Everything has a plus and minus. Love the discussions in the community to help in decisions and to better understand the technology and what it offers :+1:

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When you do the cost comparison, you’ll want to pay attention to two things:

  1. Do you have a central alarm system that uses the landline to call in? If so, figure in the cost of whatever your alarm company uses to replace that capability.

  2. If you are getting your phone service through a cable company or Verizon/AT&T, will the cost of the service go up if you discontinue the phone part of it? I know that sounds stupid, but that’s the way both Verizon and Charter price it for me.

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Since the open beta questionnaire is still working, could you acknowledge my submission?

Hi @joes.b2efly,

What exactly are you expecting? How can we help?

I do see that you’ve filled out the form twice, @joes.b2efly. We’ll be in touch once the open Beta launches.

Thank you, I’m looking forward to it.

Very cool, thank you!

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Extend Home is now in Open Beta

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