In this review of Republic Wireless, we cover the phones, plans, coverage area and cost. We also look at how this low cost provider can save you $10,976.76.
It’s amazing how many people have never heard of Republic Wireless. I’ve often found myself in a conversation with a friend about saving money. It goes like this–
Friend: I really need to cut back and save some money.
Me: Why don’t you switch to Republic Wireless to save money on your cell phone expense?
Friend: Republic what?
Me: R-e-p-u-b-l-i-c W-i-r-e-l-e-s-s (as if saying the name slowly will cause a light bulb to turn on).
If you’re tired of paying sky high charges for cell phone service, and you’d like a less expensive alternative, Republic Wireless is a great option. In this review, we’ll walk through what RW has to offer. And as promised in the headline to this article, I’ll show you how you can pocket $ using Republic Wireless over a major cell phone carrier.
About Republic Wireless
Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Republic Wireless was launched in November of 2012. The company is a mobile virtual network operator that sells mobile phone service in a unique way. Its system alternates back and forth between Wi-Fi and a cellular network provided by Sprint. It refers to this service as Hybrid Calling, and it represents the foundation of their plans.
The key to Hybrid Calling is WiFi. Cellular service alone is expensive, particularly data. But WiFi is cheap, and now that it is available just about everywhere, it could be a game changer for the entire cell phone industry. And in that regard, Republic Wireless is leading the way. Because of the WiFi piece of the Republic Wireless system, they are able to pass deep savings on to the consumer.
Republic Wireless Features
What makes Republic Wireless unique?
Contract-Free Service. The entire cell phone industry runs on extended contracts that typically lock you into their plans for two years. Should you decide along the way that you’re unhappy with the service, the only way out is to pay a hefty exit fee. But there are no contracts when you use Republic Wireless.
Pricing. You can get a monthly subscription for as little as $5. Not only can this save you a considerable amount of money, but it might be the perfect alternative to those who are looking to eliminate services completely in order to save money for other financial goals. Plans increase in price based on features, but the most expensive plan is just $40.
Smart Coverage with WiFi + Cell. This is the Hybrid Calling technology that we’ll dive a bit deeper into in a little bit.
Change Plans 2x/Billing Cycle. This is another feature that you are unlikely to see anywhere in the cell phone universe. Republic Wireless allows you to switch plans up to twice each month, in response to changing needs. So if you will be taking a vacation this month, and you know that you will need to use more data, you can switch the plan to one with faster data, and then switch it back when you return. This feature makes it possible to opt for a less expensive plan most of the time.
30 Day Money-Back Guarantee. If you are unhappy with either your cell phone or with Hybrid Calling within the first 30 days of using the service, you can contact the company and obtain a full refund. You will then be given instructions for returning the phone, as well as the process for obtaining the refund.
Republic’s Hybrid Calling Technology
Hybrid Calling is at the heart of Republic Wireless. It’s based on the notion that you can do anything on the Internet that you can do on a data plan, only you can do it for a lot less money.
Republic Wireless’s phones make use of WiFi whenever and wherever possible. They default to data only when WiFi is unavailable. WiFi can be used for everything that data provides, including calling and texting, in addition to surfing and sharing. Smart phones already make use of WiFi, but Republic Wireless changes the game by making it the primary connection.
Now that Wi-Fi is available virtually anywhere – homes, offices, schools, shopping centers, hotels, and airports – it’s not hard to see the primary reliance on WiFi rather than on data. Since cell data is expensive, the more a phone can rely on WiFi, the less expensive the cell phone plan needs to be.
Republic Wireless’s phones work on both cellular and WiFi. The amount of cell data you have will depend upon how much you will pay for your plan. Except on the cheapest phone plan, your phone can switch back and forth between cellular and WiFi.
This also means that you will have to use phones provided by Republic Wireless. These phones are customized to work with both systems – and optimized to work with WiFi – so it will not be possible for you to use your current phone, or one from an outside provider, in conjunction with Republic Wireless service. No special apps are required.
You will need to set your phone to access WiFi in places that you are at on a regular basis. When you do, your phone will automatically connect upon arrival. In many places the WiFi hotspots are public to you won’t need to do anything. However you will need to set up passwords for those places that require them. You can do that once, and it never have to do it again.
Republic Wireless claims to be the first wireless provider to combine cellular and WiFi. All Republic Wireless plans come with unlimited talk and text on WiFi, but only certain plans offer unlimited data access, as well as talk and text on the cellular network, as well as on WiFi.
Domestic roaming is free, however the company does not offer international service at this time.
Republic Wireless Phones
Republic Wireless offers four different phones, all provided by Motorola.
|Moto X (2nd Generation)||Moto X (1st Generation)||Moto G (1st Generation)||Moto E (1st Generation)|
|3G + 4G LTE Data||3G + 4G LTE Data||3G Data||3G Data|
|16 GB Internal Memory||16 GB Internal Memory||8GB or 16 GB Internal Memory||4GB Internal Memory - Up to 32GB of expandable memory with micro SD card|
|Android KitKat 4.4.4||Android KitKat 4.4.2||Android KitKat 4.4.2||Android KitKat 4.4.4|
|13 MP Tap-to-Focus Camera||10 MP Tap-to-Focus Camera||5 MP Tap-to-Focus Camera||5 MP Fixed-Focus Camera|
|5.2" AMOLED Full HD Display||4.7" AMOLED HD 720p Display||4.5" LCD HD Display||4.3" Edge-to-Edge HD Display|
|Black or Design Your Own||Black or White||Black with optional colored shells||Black with optional colored shells|
|16GB Capacity||16GB Capacity||8GB Capacity||4GB Capacity|
|Price: $399||Price: $299||Price: $149||Price: $99|
Available accessories for these phones include:
- Cases and shells
- Car chargers
- Ear buds and headphones
- SD cards
- Wireless speakers
Republic Wireless Pricing
At this time, Republic Wireless offers four different plans, each with different features and levels of access. Monthly prices range between $5 and $40.
Talk/Text/Data over WiFi
|Unlimited Talk/Tex/Data over WiFi + Cell||Unlimited Data over WiFi||Unlimited Data over WiFi + On-Network 3G||Unlimited Data over WiFi + On-Network 4G||Price Per Month|
|The Republic Plan||X||X||$10.00|
|Republic + 3G||X||X||$25.00|
|Republic + 4G||X||X||$40.00|
Republic Wireless “Fine Print”
Under the terms of service Republic Wireless can reduce your on-network (non-roaming) speed for a billing period if you exceed 5GB of data in the cellular network (non-roaming) during the billing period. However, they will forgive the first time that you exceed your data limit.
In addition, you can earn one forgiven month for every six consecutive billing cycles that you go without exceeding your data limit.
Any off-network (roaming) cell data will be at a reduced throughput speed and will not exceed more than 25MB in any one month billing cycle. Once you reach the 25MB limit, you will not have off-network (roaming) cell data for the remainder of the billing cycle.
How Republic Wireless Can Save You $10,976.76
As promised, here’s how you save almost $11,000 with Republic Wireless. A typical 2-year contract with a big carrier can cost $100 or more. Even then, you won’t have unlimited data with many of them like you will with Republic Wireless. Assuming the most expensive RW plan of $40, you’ll save at least $60 a month.
Invest the difference at an 8% return over ten years will net you $10,976.76. In 20 years the savings rises to $35,341.22. Over a lifetime of cell phone use (50 years), your savings grows to $475,903.65. The number almost looks silly, but it shows just how powerful a $60 monthly savings is.
Is Republic Wireless Worth Having?
You never really know how effective a cell phone service is until you’re actually using it, and finding out what it can and can’t do. But if you are over it with your current provider, and looking for something new, Republic Wireless is worth trying out.
You can get plans for as little as $5 per month, and if you’re really looking to cut your expenses to the bone, this can be an excellent service to help you do it.
Since there is no contract – and you can cancel the service within the first 30 days for a full refund – you’ll have an opportunity to test drive the service before deciding to make it more permanent.
And even if you choose the least expensive plan, in an effort to keep the cost to an absolute minimum, you have the option – every month – to change your plans twice. That’s the kind of flexibility that exists nowhere else.
I’m not a Republic Wireless customer myself, but I’d love to hear feedback from any of you who are. And I’d especially love to hear from people who will check out the service as a result of reading this blog post.