It’s been some time since I updated this Republic Wireless review, but there have been some major changes with their service. Good changes if you ask me.
You see, I tried out Republic Wireless a few years ago when they had just two phones, then I left for Cricket Wireless. I came back when they introduced their new refund plans, but then broke my phone and left again. Now I’m back, happy, and will stay awhile.
Yes, I’m like a yo-yo cell service user. Just come along for the ride!
The big downfall of Republic is they used to only have a few phones that you had to get through them. I had the Moto X and loved it. Unfortunately, I dropped it on the side and it shattered the screen. Since I run my business from my phone when out, I needed a phone. The worst part was it was on a weekend. So, I headed over to Best Buy, bought a cheap Moto G (awesome budget phone) and got setup back on Cricket in less than an hour.
I was sad that I had to leave Republic Wireless again, but I had to have a working phone. So, when they told me they were introducing their new plans with a BYOP program (Bring Your Own Phone), I knew it was time to go back. I’m excited to be back and I only spend $20 per month for my service with the Moto Z Play phone, which I love. I was even able to call and text when in Jamaica!
Since I’ve been back for a few months, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on their service, their phone selection, and their technology. I think you’ll love Republic Wireless if you’re looking to pay less and enjoy good service. I know I’ve been good since coming back and now I don’t have to worry about a new phone, since I can just go purchase one!
*This is an update from my original Republic Wireless review as they have changed their plans and their phone selection. You can use the buttons below to skip to different sections.
Republic Wireless is what I like to call a “disrupter!” 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 now can enjoy hybrid wireless calling for much less. You pay thousands per year just for the the luxury of owning and using a cell phone with the main carriers.
Carriers have finally taken note that people want to save more money and not be in contracts and are taking Republic Wireless’ lead in trying to provide lower cost service for those who don’t like to be nickled and dimed. I’m one of them and I’m sticking with Republic here. They changed the game and others are just following along.
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.
What is Republic Wireless All About?
Bandwidth.com was the innovator behind Republic Wireless until this year (2017) when they were spun off as an independent company. This will now allow them to manage their technology and innovation much better, which is great for consumers. They are a IP telephony company that works with creating the ability to call over the internet. Republic was born based on a need of something different in the wireless industry, so they set out to create their product. Their service has changed the game considerably. Right now, you can start out for just $15 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!
How Does Republic Wireless Calling Work?
Republic uses what they call Adaptive Coverage with Bonded Calling. Their words, not mine!
What does this even mean?
Here’s what they have to say about it…
We don’t just use cell towers for calls and texts. Our Adaptive Coverage™ technology, with Bonded Calling™ and included voice roaming, will automatically blend your calls over available WiFi and your phone’s 3G and 4G LTE* cellular data networks together for more, low cost, coverage in places cell can’t always reach – like your basement or garage.
So, basically, their system blends the two technologies (cell and WiFi) to ensure you have a smooth call no matter where you are. If you have WiFi that is unstable, it can blend in the cell towers to make sure your call doesn’t get dropped.
I can tell you their service has gotten much better since I joined a few years ago.
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 cell network. Their call handling hand off is pretty seamless (little drag) and you don’t have to worry about the call dropping.
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.
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 currently offers 11 phones, all Android based. And to answer your question..
Does Republic Wireless support Apple iPhones…No, not at this time.
Here is a screenshot of their current phone selection on their site.
If you don’t like the image above, then here is the current list of Republic Wireless phones (based on price – lowest to highest):
- Moto G Play (4th Generation)
- Huawei Ascend 5W
- Samsung Galaxy J3
- Moto G (4th Generation)
- Moto X Pure Edition
- Nexus 5X by LG
- Moto Z Play
- Nexus 6P by Huawei
- Moto Z
- Samsung Galaxy S7
- Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
You can have your own, unlocked phone for as little as $149 or go with the very nice S7 Edge for almost $800. Just depends on your budget and the features you want on your phone.
Can You Bring Your Own Phone?
This is the big kicker with Republic Wireless, you now can bring your own phone (sort of). They used to only sell locked phones due to their software setup, but now they just have an app, which allows you to find a good deal on a phone and bring it. They do have a list of the phones they can support at this time, but it’s growing. You can check that list here. You can also see them below…
This is a huge win for Republic in my opinion. Their customers (me included) have been asking and asking to get this functionality and they delivered. Now I don’t have to worry about breaking my phone and not having anything to cover me. I can go buy a new one (unlocked of course) and put my sim card back in to set it up. That gives me the flexibility I need to run my business and personal life.
I’ve even seen they have a few pop-up kiosks in a few states that allow you to try out and purchase phones to use. These are just starting out, but that is a good thing to see. People want to try out the service and phone before buying, so this could be big for Republic.
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 now.
For the longest time, Republic only had a few plans, then they moved to refund plans (which I think were awesome), but now have moved to plans that fit their model better. Their new pricing allows them to have two different networks and offer new phones and their bring your own phone program. While some might like the old refund plans, these are good too.
Here are the current Republic Wireless plans:
As you can see, Republic offers six (6) plans for you to choose from. They range from $15/month (no cell data) to $90/month for 10GB of cell data. I’m using the $20 per month plan as I work around WiFi all day long and rarely use over 500mb of cell data per month. They key to these plans is realizing you can typically use less data than you think due to WiFi usage. Having said that, these plans might not work for everyone.
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, just good WiFi signal. 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 or T-Mobile network. Yes, you get to have the option of two networks to see which one has the strongest signal where you’re located. You can check out the coverage map to see if you will have service.
Republic has revamped their customer service quite a bit. They used to only have public forums (what they call their community) for customers to give and receive answers to questions. Truth be told, this didn’t turn me off on their service in the beginning. I know it did for others.
They have since introduced help desk tickets, which are answered quite quickly in my testing. They even have live chat for you to jump on. While they are not as active on chat, they are there during business hours to help. I’ve even seen them available late at night when I needed something.
Customer service is very important to me and I’m not afraid to tell a company when they’ve done me wrong. Twitter and other social media channels are a blessing for that. Want to get a quick response? Share your bad experience on social media!
Republic heard the voices telling them about their service level in the beginning. It was a sticking point for many, but they have worked on it, increasing their forms of contact and providing better answers to problems.
My Overall Thoughts on Republic Wireless
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. While I have left and come back a few times, it shows they have a special spot in my money saving heart. Republic Wireless offers me a chance to save the most money each month while still having good cell service. That’s all I can ask for.
Are they without issues? No.
Could they improve their selection of phones and where to buy them? Yes.
Republic Wireless is not all rainbows and butterflies, but they do answer my need for functional cell service at a low price. That’s all I can ask for. They also treat me like a person, not a number or contract. I support companies like that, which is why I support Republic.
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 14-day money back guarantee, what do you have to lose?