Republic Wireless Review – Cell Service Starting at $10 Per Month
Republic Wireless is what I like to call a “disputer!” They came in a stagnant industry and decided to change the way we call each other. Instead of diving into contracts, getting subsidized phones, and paying well over $100 per line, we know can enjoy hybrid wireless calling for a maximum of $40 per month. You pay thousands per year just for the the luxury of owning and using a cell phone with the main carriers. The high price of wireless has changed and Republic Wireless is bringing their innovative approach along for the ride. Here is my Republic Wireless review and what I love about this company.
*This is an update from my original Republic Wireless review as they have changed their plans and their phone selection.
Republic Wireless Basics
Bandwidth.com is the innovator behind Republic Wireless. They are a IP telephony company that works with creating the ability to call over the internet. Bandwidth.com noticed a need of something different in the wireless industry, so they set out to create their product. Out of their minds came Republic Wireless. Their service has changed the game considerably. Right now, you can start out for just $10 per month with no contract. Try that on the big carriers. It won’t happen!
Below I describe how their system functions. It’s not what you might expect from other carriers. You don’t just sign up, get a phone, and enjoy your high priced service. This uses sweet technology to save you money on a regular basis. Take that wireless industry!
Republic uses what they call hybrid calling. It seems simple to understand and it really is. They outfitted two great smartphones with the ability to make calls when on WiFi. When you are around WiFi, no matter if it is your network or an open one, the phone will attempt to connect. It searches for WiFi as you are traveling. If it cannot find WiFi, then the phone switches to cell service from Sprint. So, your phone has the ability to make calls on WiFi and on Sprint.
As a note, your call quality will only be as good as the WiFi signal that it’s using to conduct the call. If it’s a weak signal, then your call quality could be diminished. In order to get around this, you can turn off WiFi and the phone will resort back to the Sprint network.
When Republic Wireless first came out, they had some issues with how calls where handled. Since their service is based on using WiFi when it is available, people would come across dropped calls. Why?
If a person was making a phone call when in their house and on their WiFi, the call would be good. If they decided to leave the house to get into the car, then their WiFi would drop off. When this happened, the call they were on would drop. Republic Wireless knew about this issue before they released their service, so they created a “fix”. When you left WiFi or came back near WiFi, a call you were on would drop. Once the drop occurred, you phone would automatically redial the other phone to resume the call. This was a problem for many.
Republic Wireless took notice of these issues and have come a long way from those days. They have some of the clearest calling on WiFi, sometimes better than when on the Sprint Network. Their call handling hand off is also seamless and that’s what it needs to be to have a successful service.
Their seamless call switching is why they require you to buy their phones. They have modified them heavily in order to do this switching. You can’t bring your own phone to Republic Wireless. It won’t work. Sorry friends. If you want to bring your own phone, then check out these discount cell carriers.
I review quite a few cell service providers here on this blog. Many people always rail against the companies when they can’t get on the phone with them immediately or get an answer. Before I describe the customer service of Republic Wireless, understand they keep their costs low due to a different service model. If you want instant customer service access, then this might not be for you. The reason I say this is because service is done via a public forum on republicwireless.com along with some detailed guides and troubleshooting on their site.
While checking out the service, I noticed there was a lot of information on this forum. The reason is it’s a community. Loyal Republic Wireless users are helping those who have issues and it’s great to see. It’s like social customer service. Trust me, I would rather pop a question up and have dedicated loyalists help me than someone over the phone. That’s just me though.
Republic has also added ways for it’s users to submit tickets to their help desk. This is just another way for people to get answers to problems. I would encourage people to look through the forums first as there is a treasure trove of information there. I actually find forums more helpful than phone calls most of the time.
On top of it all, Republic also has a way for you to just check the status of their system. We all want to know if the system is operational when we have a problem, right? Just think of when your cable goes out or internet goes down. It’s nice to know if it’s a widespread problem or just isolated to you. This is one thing that Google does well with their services. Republic does the same. You can check their system status when on the help pages.
Republic Wireless does the phone thing a little differently than many of the other carriers out there. You can’t bring you own phone to Republic. For those people, like me, who own an unlocked phone, you will have to pay for a new phone from Republic. It’s how the cookie crumbles. The reason they do this is because they have customized the phones to work with their hybrid calling model. Other phones don’t do this and don’t do it well even with apps. This is why it’s necessary for a new phone.
Republic Wireless offers three phones, both Android based. They are also Motorola phones developed with the latest version of Android. Let’s take a look at the three phones to choose from.
As you can see from the graphic above, they have three phones, the Moto E, Moto G and Moto X. Two of these phones are second generation and come with 4G LTE capability (Moto E and Moto X). These are great phones for anyone. Just based on the pricing alone, these are a steal. The Mot
They just released the Moto E with 4G LTE coverage. You can get this phone for only $129 with no contract. It’s a pretty powerful budget phone, one step down from the Moto G. If you have a budget and don’t need the Moto X, try out the Moto E.
The Moto G (3rd Generation) is just coming out on Republic Wireless. It does have 4G LTE coverage and is even water resistant up to 3 feet for 30 minutes. It has more power than the Moto E, but lags behind the more powerful Moto X. For $199 (8GB version), it’s a great price for a phone.
The Moto X (2nd Generation) is a powerhouse phone and awesome for most people. It is $299, but comes with 3G and 4G LTE coverage options depending on where you are. I know many who have this phone and love it. Once my Moto G dies, I will be moving up to the Moto X because I like it so much. Either way, these two phones work and work well.
Take some time to learn more about these three phones and see if there is one that will work for you.
Republic Wireless Coverage
Everyone always asks about the cell phone coverage for any carrier. Now, as I stated previously, Republic Wireless has their hybrid approach. They expect you to use WiFi and when you are doing that, then you don’t have to worry about coverage. You will always be able to make and receive calls when you are on WiFi. When you are not on WiFi, Republic Wireless pushes you to the Sprint network. Yes, their network is not as good as others, but when you have the ability to make and receive calls via WiFi, it doesn’t matter as much. You can check out the Sprint Coverage Map to see if you will have service.
Republic Wireless Plans
Ok, I am sure this is the information that you are looking for. How much does Republic Wireless cost? Well, now I am going to go over their plans or plan for that matter.
They did just roll out sweeping changes to their plans. They are on what they call Republic Wireless 2.0. The 1.0 plans are below and you can only get them if you’re already a Republic Wireless customer. Sorry to those who aren’t yet, but you can no longer get the $5 plan. They start at $10 for just cell and text and free Wifi data.
Now, with Republic Wireless 2.0, they have a base plan ($10), which gives you calling and text capability. If you want to add wireless data onto the plan (you don’t pay for Wifi access), then it will depend on what you use. Head over to their plans section to see how much you would pay based on the cell data you use.
Their customers now get refunded for whatever cell data they didn’t use each month. If you pay for 1GB of data, but don’t use it, then you get refunded the portion you don’t use. They indicate that the average refund is $14.78.
They also changed it so you add on cell-data for your plan. With the base plan, you can add on 0.5mb for $7.50, 1GB for $15, 2GB for $30, 3GB for $45. Again, if you don’t use all of your data, they refund you. You can see an idea on how much you will pay by going here.
Republic Wireless also provides you with a “Plan Advisor” which can help you choose a plan that will work best for you. It asks for some data in order to come up with the right plan. It is a cool tool. See what plans will work for you. Republic also allows their customers to switch plans twice a month. Yes, you read that correctly. If you wanted to travel and know you might not be near WiFi, then you can upgrade your plan for the time you are gone. Once you come back, you can go back to your original plan. Who else has that?
Republic Wireless Overall
You can see that Republic is offering a new solution to a tired wireless game. I was sick of paying so much money each month that I switched to a lower cost carrier. There are many of them out there, but no one offers what Republic Wireless does. You can get talk, text, and data for cheap prices. One of the big issues with Republic is their connection with Sprint. Since Sprint doesn’t have the greatest network, this could be their weak point. It’s probably the only weak point. Republic has worked hard to make up for it with great customer service and awesome hybrid calling features. They can keep your costs low because of their hybrid calling. As wireless access becomes more standard throughout the US, the reliance on Sprint might not be an issue. If you can get wireless in most places, then why care? Heck, even many cars are coming with WiFi now.
If you’re looking to reduce your monthly cell phone service costs, then please check out Republic Wireless. They are one of my recommended resources because they provide something awesome and they really do save you money. Couple those savings with a nice 30-day money back guarantee, what do you have to lose?