Once I had my daughter, and realized how much she was going to cost me, I started taking a serious look at where my money was going. One thing I realized was that I was paying way too much money on my cell phone plan - especially now that I would be using it way less.
I was spending close to $75 a month on my plan through AT&T! I knew this was too much and there had to be a better option. This is when I read one of my fellow blogger's posts about Republic Wireless. Though I will go over the company's offerings more in-depth below, in short, they offer decent phones and coverage at a much cheaper price.
If you are looking for an alternative to those high-priced cellphone plans, you should definitely check out Republic Wireless!
Republic Wireless: Background
Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Republic Wireless was founded in early 2010 and originally served as a subsidiary of Bandwidth, another hybrid calling system. Beta service was launched late the following year. It concluded in 2013, when Republic Wireless launched four new service plans.
In the last few years, the company has become increasingly recognized for cutting through what can often be the complex world of cellphone pricing by providing flat-rate plans. Those plans can be particularly beneficial for consumers who do not use a lot of data. When Republic Wireless was first launched, its phone selection was somewhat limited, although the selection has since been expanded.
Republic Wireless was founded based on the desire to take advantage of high-speed internet to reduce cellular data usage, thus driving down the cost for consumers. Among the elements that set Republic Wireless apart from other cellular service providers is the fact that it utilizes Wi-Fi for talk as well as text. With this approach, Republic Wireless is able to provide consumers with less expensive service along with additional coverage in areas where cell service isn’t always possible. This even includes when traveling abroad. When Wi-Fi is available, users can rely on the internet for talking and texting. When Wi-Fi is not available, Republic Wireless switches automatically back to cellular. Although the switching process is imperceptible to users, it is how Republic Wireless is able to keep its pricing so low.
How Republic Wireless Works
Basically, Republic Wireless developed a custom firmware for the Android operating system. That firmware is capable of integrating broadband internet with cell coverage. So, when a user connects to Wi-Fi, calls are made automatically and messages are sent through the internet. Republic Wireless phones will switch automatically to cell towers, in the same way a regular cellphone does, when a user is not within Wi-Fi range.
If a user begins a call using Wi-Fi and then loses that connection because he or she has passed out of range, the phone call will make the switch to cellular automatically. Republic Wireless is extremely reliable when making the switch, although there might be a slight delay. The call will remain connected; however, there may be an extremely short delay in audio as the mobile connection is made.
Most recently, Republic Wireless has announced a number of significant changes. Among those changes is the fact that users will now be able to take advantage of the T-Mobile network. Additionally, Republic Wireless is making it possible for users to bring their own phones, although those phones must be T-Mobile compatible and on an approved list. All a new user needs to do is obtain a Republic Wireless SIM card at a cost of $5. Users who either do not have a phone they want to bring with them or choose not to do so for some reason can also opt to purchase a phone directly from Republic Wireless.
Republic Wireless' Pricing Plans
Among the benefits of Republic Wireless is the fact that it offers simple, inexpensive pricing plans. The plans can be even more affordable for low data users. All plans have a $15 monthly base price that allows for unlimited calls and texts. Each data gigabyte is $7.50, with the exception of the first gigabyte, which is $5. Users who run out of data have the choice of upgrading their plan using the company’s app. The difference will then be charged on the next month’s bill.
Republic Wireless offers six plan options:
· Unlimited talk and text with no data: $15
· 1 GB: $20
· 2 GB: $30
· 4 GB: $45
· 6 GB: $60
· 10 GB: $90
While at one time, Republic Wireless would refund users for any used data, this is no longer the company’s policy.
Consumers who are not sure whether Republic Wireless is the right option for them can also take advantage of the 30-day trial, which allows them to give it a try first to find out whether it will fit their needs.
Republic Wireless will also allow users to add data for just a part of the month and have the cost pro-rated. This could be a good option for users who need to travel and only need data for just part of the month. With this option, you can pay for what you need when you need it without worrying about overpaying for what you don’t need.
In the event you exceed your data allowance for the month, you have the option of going into the app to upgrade, if you wish. If you do not add additional data, the data will simply stop and you will not be charged automatically for going over the data amount. This is a great feature that many consumers love, especially those who purchase plans for their teens and college students.
The Republic Wireless app will also allow you to change your phone number, change your plan, or even cancel your service altogether. If you would like to change to a lower wireless plan, you can also do that directly from your app for the next billing cycle.
Keep in mind that every phone does require its own plan with Republic Wireless. For example, even if you purchase one of the larger data plans, you will not be able to share that plan among multiple phones. You must buy a separate plan for every phone.
Republic Wireless' Network
Among the goals of this company is to keep costs low for consumers by routing usage through Wi-Fi whenever possible and falling back on T-Mobile’s network when Wi-Fi is not available. When Republic Wireless was first launched, only two phones were available due to the technology required to accomplish switching between broadband internet and cell tower coverage. Fortunately, Republic Wireless has upgraded its technology and now offers far more phone selections. For the moment, legacy customers, or those who have older plans as well as phones, will need to continue using the old Sprint network.
For consumers who travel internationally, the fact that Republic Wireless can be used whenever there is Wi-Fi available is a tremendous boon. For instance, suppose you travel abroad. Typically, if you were to make a call on your cellphone while traveling internationally, you would be subject to roaming charges. That is not the case with Republic Wireless when you rely on Wi-Fi coverage. You can call friends and family back home just as you normally would with no roaming fees charged.
Purchasing Republic Wireless Phones
Phones that can be used with Republic Wireless include the following:
· Samsung Galaxy S7
· Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
· Samsung Galaxy S6
· Samsung Galaxy J3
· LG Nexus 5X
· Huawei Nexus 6P
· Moto X
· Moto X Pure Edition
· Moto G4
· Moto G4 Plus
New users have the option of purchasing a phone directly through Republic Wireless. When purchased directly through Republic Wireless, phones come with everything already installed. Another option is to purchase a phone elsewhere and install a Republic Wireless SIM card. Users are allowed to purchase phone elsewhere, but they must be compatible with the T-Mobile network and must be unlocked.
Recently, Republic Wireless announced it would be supporting Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL phones. This is rather exciting, as the phones are the first to support Google’s Assistant search feature. Currently, the only carrier to sell the phones is Verizon Wireless; however, Google also sells the phones unlocked. As such, the phones are completely compatible with Republic Wireless’ Bring Your Own Phone program.
So, what can you expect to pay if you plan to buy a phone through Republic? Like most phones, it really depends on which model you purchase. Some models have more features than others do, and you can expect to pay accordingly. Below is a breakdown of the cost per phone:
· Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – $799
· Samsung Galaxy S7 – $699
· Samsung Galaxy S6 – $549
· Nexus 6P by Huawei – $499
· Nexus 5X by LG – $349
· Moto X Pure Edition – $349
· Moto G4 Plus – $299
· Moto G4 – $199
· Samsung Galaxy J3 – $179
If you’re looking to keep to a tight budget, the Moto G4, at $199, could be a great option. This phone comes with a host of features, including a 5.5-inch HD screen, 13-megapixel camera, fairly good processor and speed, and excellent battery life. This phone is more than sufficient for most users. Consumers who are looking for something a bit faster may wish to consider the Nexus 6P, which has a price tag of $499. This phone has a slightly larger screen at 5.7 inches and comes with Snapdragon 810 processors, a dual-focus HD rear camera, 3 GB RAM, and an extremely fast charging battery.
Looking for something in between? The Moto X Pure Edition, which comes it about $350, is a good choice. It has plenty of great features without the steeper price tag of the Nexus 6P.
For some consumers, the prices of phones can be a bit steep, which is why Republic Wireless also now offers payment plans, allowing consumers making the change to Republic Wireless to purchase a phone and pay out the cost over time.
In most instances, if you already have a number through another carrier or even a landline number that you would like to keep, you can port it to Republic Wireless when you make the switch at no extra cost.
Features of Republic Wireless
Compared to some other wireless carriers, Republic Wireless does not provide as many features. Mobile hotspot capability is available. Unlimited video streaming and music streaming are not available. However, one of the reasons that many people are so attracted to this carrier is the fact that it provides unlimited talk and text at incredibly low prices, so that tradeoff is well worth it.
Quality of Service
One of the most common questions that many consumers have about hybrid carriers is whether they should be concerned about dropped calls. This is naturally a valid concern, as no one wants to have to deal with a dropped call. In the past, some consumers did report dropped calls being an issue; however, this problem has cleared up and is certainly no more of an issue than one would expect with any type of cell service.
Republic Wireless also provides excellent customer service if you should ever experience a problem with your phone. You can simply open a service ticket, and a representative will communicate with you via email until the problem is resolved.
Is Republic Wireless the Right Choice for Your Needs?
If you do not use data a lot and you don’t mind being limited in terms of the phone you can use, Republic Wireless could be a great option if you are looking for a cheap, simple plan. It is a good idea to make sure your area is covered by T-Mobile before you sign up for a Republic Wireless plan. Since Republic Wireless does offer a 30-day trial, you have the opportunity to try it out. If it doesn’t meet your needs, you can always cancel and request a refund of the amount you paid for the plan you signed up for.
Overall, Republic Wireless is a good option for consumers in a number of different situations, including college students and senior citizens who may be on a fixed income. Republic Wireless is also a popular choice among consumers who live in rural areas and may not have access to reliable cell tower coverage but who do have regular access to Wi-Fi. In such cases, Republic Wireless is a reliable as well as an inexpensive option.
Given that it offers trustworthy yet affordable service, Republic Wireless is a win-win for many consumers. The fact that it is a hybrid service means consumers can still use their phones over broadband even when they are in an area where cell service would typically be unreachable.
I highly recommend switching to Republic Wireless if you are looking for some ways to save money. I have been happy with the service so far and my bank account is even happier!