How Republic Wireless Can Save You $10,976.76

(Editor Rating)



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.

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Plan Costs


Coverage Map


Data Limits


Customer Service


Additional Options




  • No long-term contracts
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Easily change month to month options

Editor's note - You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone, and this content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser.

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.

Republic Wireless Plans

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

Moto X
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 Data3G + 4G LTE Data3G Data3G Data
16 GB Internal Memory16 GB Internal Memory8GB or 16 GB Internal Memory4GB Internal Memory - Up to 32GB of expandable memory with micro SD card
Android KitKat 4.4.4Android KitKat 4.4.2Android KitKat 4.4.2Android KitKat 4.4.4
13 MP Tap-to-Focus Camera10 MP Tap-to-Focus Camera5 MP Tap-to-Focus Camera5 MP Fixed-Focus Camera
5.2" AMOLED Full HD Display4.7" AMOLED HD 720p Display4.5" LCD HD Display4.3" Edge-to-Edge HD Display
Black or Design Your OwnBlack or WhiteBlack with optional colored shells Black with optional colored shells
16GB Capacity16GB Capacity8GB Capacity4GB Capacity
Price: $399Price: $299Price: $149Price: $99

Available accessories for these phones include:

  • Cases and shells
  • Car chargers
  • Ear buds and headphones
  • SD cards
  • Wireless speakers
  • Skips

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 + CellUnlimited Data over WiFiUnlimited Data over WiFi + On-Network 3GUnlimited Data over WiFi + On-Network 4G Price Per Month
WiFi Only X $5.00
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.

Pros and Cons


  • No long-term contracts
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Easily change month to month options


  • Limited plan options
  • Average - below average western US coverage

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.

Visit Republic Wireless

Article comments


I’ve heard great things about Republic Wireless. Currently I do not have a cell phone bill as my work pays for my fancy iPhone 6 and Verizon plan. But definitely something to look into once I leave this job. Thanks!

Chris says:

As a republic wireless customer, I’d like to let you know that the service is identical to sprint, at one nineth the price. My girlfriend has sprint so we can compare all the time. No difference. Only limitation is the phone choices. I’d recommend it to anyone.

Kenneth Richner says:

RW is the best company I have found I have been with them about 3 years now but as with any company they have flaws there customer service when it comes to warranty on the phones is subpar they make you jump through flaming rings of fire to get your device replaced! Forcing people to wipe their phone repeatedly even if you tell them you did it already! 3 times I had to wipe my phone just prior to a replacement unit would ship making the moto migrate us less to transfer data from the old to the new unit forcing me too really download everything through my ISP and going over my data cap overage fees! Other than refusing to replace the phone until a unnecessary factory reset/wipe is done RW is a good deal they just love to torture there customers when asking for warranty service if another company like RW emerges I will drop them like a bad habit just on principal! Until then they got Me! And I will have to deal with Motorola directly paying their hold on my credit card since they don’t require wiping your device to cross ship a replacement phone! Also RW sent me a B Stock phone on a 45 day old Moto X and basically told me to deal with it! Not cool!! MotoRola sends out NEW units when the defective device is less than 90 days old not a unit someone was using as a test unit like RW. So I have mixed feelings about them since they tend to find ways to hide these situations from the public by discrediting and censorship depending on were it’s posted.

Matt says:

A little misleading. The savings is over a ten year return with 8 interest compounding. What’s your next article, how you can save $1,098 by not ordering cheese on your krystals for the next 10 months. Cheese $0.30 per slice, 20 krystals a month, 8% compounding.

Rob Berger says:

Matt, the numbers don’t lie.

Kenneth says:

Matt, that’s exactly right! Every spend is less money paid against debt or invested long term is the way I look at it. Using Mr. Money Mustache’s rule of 752, a $25/week Starbucks habit would cost you 25*752 or $18,800 lost over 10 years, versus investing $25/week in a mutual fund with an average total return of 7% (that’s what MMM used).

Selene says:

I’ve been a customer of Republic Wireless for just over 2 years now and I love the savings. I’m on the older $19/month plan (which they don’t offer anymore) and have the old Moto E phone. Sometimes the call quality isn’t that great but that’s usually due to the wifi in the area. At home, with a 25Gbs interent speed, it works just fine. The call quality over Sprint’s network is better than I had with AT&T previously. And, it *usually* works when I’m using the Navigator app to get me to a new place I haven’t been before. I’m in tech (software engineer) so the phone used to be critical for me. However, I realized all I really needed it for was calling, texting, and email. All of which I can get on this phone and plan for a fraction of the $110 I was paying to AT&T. Sure, I had to rethink how I used my phone but, for me, the savings are well worth it.

And Rob, the numbers don’t lie!

David Brewer says:

My bill is a flat $13.48 with tax. That’s it. I only use data in WiFi environments, so picked that plan. I tested my need for cell data by turning off my Verizon data for six months prior to switching (even though I was was forced to pay for it). The only reason I ever found myself really wanting to use data outside of WiFi was when I needed directions via mapping. Then I discovered “Here” by Nokia and all was well. I was in Puerto Rico with friends and downloaded the “Here” PR map (for free) beforehand. One of my friends was using Google Maps on his data plan, which kept cutting out. “Here” worked flawlessly since it relies on regularly updated offline maps and GPS. Anyway my wife and I are saving a boatload. And…I’m not feeling the compromises. Others may need the data plan, not us — so why pay for something I don’t need? I prefer to save. So we were paying about $130 per month for the most basic data plan, for the two of us. How we are less than $30 per month. So that is a savings of more than $1,200 per month. Multiply that by 10 and you have $12,000 before the 8% indicated in this article.

Rob Berger says:

David, great idea of turning off data to see how that would work for you. Thanks for sharing.

Lynda says:

8% interest?

Rob Berger says:

Yes. And by that I mean return on investment, so it would include interest, dividends and capital gains.

Roscoe says:

Have been using Republic for a year+, and so far so good. I bought the Moto G 16g (150.00), and use the 25.00 plan which comes out <28.00 per month with tax. Basically, I'm spending the 15.00 extra per month over the 10.00 a month plan for the convenience of very occasional web data, and I'm happy with that. No complaints for my usage, but I am not a teenager, i.e. staring at my phone 97% (approx.) of my waking hours, and 37% (approx.) of my sleeping hours. Your results may vary. I've had no issues that I haven't been able to resolve with the use of the Google. Really, can't imagine spending 600.00 for an Iphone and 80.00+ a month, but then I'm able to withstand the condescending stares, pointing,and hyena-like laughter of those who would mock my inexpensive phone. Again, your results may differ.

Rob Berger says:

Roscoe, thanks for sharing your experience with RW.

Louis K says:

I’ve been a long time reader and appreciate your good efforts and work.
I would just like to share that I have been a Republic Wireless customer for over 30 months and could not be happier with the rates and service provided. My monthly plan is $13.01 w/tax- sent to my credit card, no additional paperwork or contracts either. The savings are for real and the service is good.
Keep up the good work Rob.

Rob Berger says:

Louis, thanks for the comment and sharing your experience with Republic Wireless.

paul says:

With RW, does this mean if the phone is always looking for Wi-Fi, would the user have to open up a new browser page to “agree to terms” (e.g. Target, Starbucks, home depot, etc) before connecting, every time?

Dave says:

The Republic Wireless software that is pre-loaded on their phone will save (for future use) locations, usernames, passwords that require log-ins to access wifi, such as some coffee shops. If the password changes, then you would need to re-enter the password (of course). For me, this usually happens at hotels.

Mark Zoril says:

Just switched to Republic Wireless from Verizon. I was happy with service, but just too much. So far, I am quite pleased with how it is going with RW. It is a tremendous savings. Also, one of the issues that I have always struggled with as far as cell service, cable service, ISP providers, etc… are all of the various options and programs and contracts. I found their overall approach in their relationship with the consumer to be refreshing. So far so good!

Lyrrad Skoorb says:

Occasionally I read someone’s very unhappy rant about how poorly they were treated by RW’s customer service. IA couple of days ago I had the occasion to deal with customer service. I would like to respond with the story of my recent experience.

I had ordered and set up a Moto E to use with the $5 plan and ported my “house” phone number to it. All went well for several days, when suddenly the phone would not boot at all. I tried everything I could after looking the problem up on youtube, etc. Not having any luck with that, one morning at about 10:30 a.m. I logged in a help ticket on the RW site, explained the problem and what I had done. They almost immediately responded with a few additional questions, things to try, etc. When I wrote back and said I had tried all that, the very next thing they did was say they needed to send me a replacement unit. I’m not kidding, that replacement unit came to my mailbox location by early the next morning! I picked it up later in the day and set it up. The replacement unit is, admittedly, a B-stock phone, but in absolute mint condition. I suppose it carries the same warranty as if new. As with all the phones I’ve bought from RW so far, it was easy to setup and activate. Now everything’s working fine again.

As much as I thought I’d want RW to have a real person to CALL when there is trouble, I think I’ve changed my mind. Having had the super experience working through a repair ticket and having been treated so well, so fast, I think that’s better than calling a phone number and having to hold and then work with someone with a heavy non-English accent. The experience of working through the problem via the repair ticket was like dealing with a friend!

I’ve got three phones from RW going now, happy with all. So far so very good.