Republic Wireless is an innovative mobile virtual network operator based in Raleigh, North Carolina. They distinguish themselves from the competition with their Wi-Fi-centric business model. The company dates back to 2010, when they announced their unlimited plan for just $19 per month.
The company’s founders realized that modern users are spending more time online than they do on calling and sending SMS messages. Furthermore, most of these users spend most of their days connected to the Internet via high-speed Wi-Fi connections. It would make perfect sense to use the Wi-Fi access to reduce the usage of cellular data, thus lowering the cost.
This model proved to be extremely successful, with many new iterations and upgrades released over time. In our review, we’re going to take a deeper look at what exactly can Republic Wireless offer to customers in 2016 and beyond. Our goal is to give you a concise overview of this alternative operator and help you decide whether they would be the right fit for your particular needs.
The Technology Behind Republic Wireless
Unlike other cellular operators, Republic Wireless uses Wi-Fi networks as the primary source of connectivity. This technology is called Hybrid Calling and it’s possible thanks to their proprietary VoIP application that works in conjunction with a customized version of the Android OS. When no Wi-Fi network is available, the system seamlessly switches to Sprint’s or Verizon’s mobile network. All of this technical complexity is completely hidden from the end-user, who never has to worry about any unexpected call drops or lack of signal.
What It’s like to Use Republic Wireless
We can say that our experience with Republic Wireless was much better than we thought it would be. We were initially worried about potential problems with signal strength and call drops, but the opposite proved to be true.
The main reason why Republic Wireless can be so cheap is that they leverage widely available Wi-Fi connection to its full potential. If you work in a large building made out of steel and concrete, you know how troublesome it can be to get a good reception. In fact, it can be downright impossible for people who work in basements or underground. Despite this, all of these places have great Wi-Fi coverage that can be used to facilitate phone calls. That’s where Republic Wireless shines the most.
During our testing in various office buildings, there was not a single dropped call and our signal always remained strong and reliable. This is something that wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the use of Wi-Fi network. When we ventured outside the city, our phone automatically switched to the Sprint network and allowed us to continue functioning as if nothing happened. If you have any doubts, just check out Sprint’s coverage map and see for yourself.
One of the best things about Republic Wireless is that you never have to worry about unexpected costs as a result of hidden fees. No matter how much data you use, you always pay the same price. In fact, if you don’t use all of your data Republic Wireless will pay you (more on that later). Their smartphone application gives you a convenient overview of your data use and provides a simple way how to control many important parameters.
The only thing that you have to keep in mind that your local taxes still apply. Republic Wireless say that their customers pay approximately 17% of their monthly rate in taxes.
Republic Wireless uses a slightly different approach to support than most regular carriers do. A lot of emphasis is placed on community and a strong knowledge base, which users can use to answer their own questions. Their Knowledge Center features detailed articles covering billing, their plans and services, various features and tools, and even individual smartphones that they carry. Users are encouraged to actively participate in the Community, where they can get help from staff and other users but also make suggestions and learn useful tips. If it still isn’t enough, there’s always the option to submit a support ticket and quickly receive answer any day of the year.
As a part of their overall effort to make their services as appealing as possible, Republic Wireless has implemented their exclusive refund policy called Republic Refund. Basically, they will give money ($1.50 to be more specific) back to customers for every 100 MB of unused data.
This service starts with their $10 base plan and applies to additional cellular data that customers can add to it. Since the base plan already includes unlimited talk and text, this service is perfect for those who spend most of their time on Wi-Fi and only rarely venture beyond its reach.
Prices start at $7.50 per month for 500MB of data and end with $45 for 3GB. This means that if you order 2GB for $30 but use just 1GB, you’ll get $15 refund.
All of this information is conveniently displayed on your smartphone through the Republic Wireless app.
A Closer Look at the Republic Wireless Phones
A very important aspect of Republic Wireless service is the range of their no-contract phones. They are fitted with a custom version of Android operating system, which enables seamless transition between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Customers can currently choose between three different phones: Moto X, Moto G, and Moto E.
Moto X (2nd generation) was originally released in 2014, and it features high-resolution display and powerful quad-core processor. Its frame is made out of aluminum to provide with exceptional durability and build quality. The 13 MP rear camera is capable of recording 4K videos and produces pictures of remarkable quality.
Moto G (3rd generation) is the latest iteration of Motorola’s popular G line of mid-range smartphones. It comes with HD display protected with Gorilla Glass 3 and the same high-quality camera that can be found on the Nexus 6. In addition to being 4G LTE ready, the smartphone is resistant to water splashes and rain drops.
Moto E (2nd generation) is a 2015 successor to the original Moto E. It has a 4.5-inch qHD screen, which is perfect for a single hand operation. As a budget smartphone, the Moto E is perfect for people for people who can’t get by without heavy multitasking or playing the latest games.
Plenty of Plans to Choose from
Republic Wireless offers their customers several different plans to choose from:
- XSS ($10/mo.) –Unlimited usage on Wi-Fi. Buy call data as needed.
- XS ($17.50/mo.) – Unlimited talk and text. 0.5GB data.
- S ($25/mo.) – Unlimited talk and text. 1GB data.
- M ($40/mo.) – Unlimited talk and text. 2GB data.
- L ($55/mo.) – Unlimited talk and text. 3GB data.
- XL ($70/mo.) – Unlimited talk and text. 4GB data.
- XXL ($85/mo.) – Unlimited talk and text. 5GB data.
Customers who need even more cellular data can easily purchase them via the Republic Wireless app, which comes pre-installed on every Republic phone.
All plans come with no contracts, no overcharges, no hidden fees, and with activated roaming, which is calculated at 18.3 times the regular cellular data rate.
If you are tired of paying huge bills for your mobile plan, a low-cost carrier, such as Republic Wireless, is a fantastic option. What differentiates Republic Wireless from the rest is their innovative hybrid approach, great customer support, excellent 30-day money back guarantee, and a range of well-optimized Android smartphones that are a pleasure to use.
The service will be most beneficial for people who spend most of their day connected to Wi-Fi network and don’t use too much cellular data each month. We strongly believe that Republic Wireless is pioneering a new way of thinking about mobile operators and costs associated with our mobile devices and we look forward to seeing more carriers entering this market.