Republic Wireless, a popular MVNO that runs off of Sprint and T-Mobile, offers, among other things, some pretty comprehensive Wi-Fi calling features that caught the eye of Walt Mossberg last year.
So now the company is doing something a little differently for its first hardware product, a smart speakerphone called Anywhere HQ. According to Republic’s website, Anywhere HQ syncs with your regular phone number and allows you to make and receive calls.
There isn’t a ton of information on the device out yet, but it seems that the Anywhere HQ consists of a cordless phone that lives on a dock that can also function as a speakerphone using a speaker on the back. The page also says that the speaker will include some kind of smart assistant with voice controls, although Republic isn’t offering any details on that beyond the fact that you’ll be able to start calls through voice commands.
Anywhere HQ is designed to be an extension of the existing Republic Anywhere service, which allows users to text and call from iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows PC applications in addition to their phones.
It’s still pretty early days for the Anywhere HQ; Republic is opening the speaker up to its Republic Wireless Labs test program for users to help improve the device, and there’s no price or release date announced. But in a world where companies like Google and Amazon are struggling to figure out how to make cellphone integration work with Alexa and Assistant, Republic leveraging its existing cellular knowledge could be an interesting edge.