Republic Wireless: Moto X Phone On Sale Now, New Plans $5-$40 a Month, Switch Between Plans For Free

Updated. Republic Wireless is a mobile phone service that uses WiFi internet to place calls and text whenever possible, saving both you and them money. When WiFi is unavailable, you fall back onto Sprint cell towers. No contracts, but you must buy a phone from them as you cannot bring your own. Some new updates:

  • Moto X. As of November 14th, you can buy the new Moto X smartphone for $299 (Engadget, Anandtech reviews). You can still buy the old Defy XT for $99 but it’s pretty old.
  • Switch between plans for free. You can switch between any of the new plan options, up to twice per month, with no penalty. This means you could upgrade to 4G for a week or a month if you need it, and even downgrade to the $5 or $10 plan if you are traveling or don’t plan to use any data that month. Nice flexibility
  • MMS now supported. MMS (multimedia/picture texting) is now officially working with all major carriers and most regional carriers.

Four New Plans

Here’s a new graphic that explains the plans pretty succinctly:

  • $5/month = WiFi only. No WiFi = Nothing works.
  • $10/month = WiFi + Talk + Text. Unlimited talk and text, no cellular data.
  • $25/month = WiFi + Talk + Text + 3G Data. Unlimited talk, text, 3G data.
  • $40/month = WiFi + Talk + Text + 4G Data. Unlimited talk, text, 3G/4G data.

Prices don’t included taxes and surcharges. Below is information quoted about their Acceptable Use Policy:

Our policy is targeted toward the top 1% of users, based on mobile data consumption —that means users who consume more that 5GB of cellular data or 100MB of roaming data. The vast majority of our users will never reach these limits. In fact, the first time you hit this threshold, we give you a free pass —once in any six-month period we’ll allow you to exceed the limit— and your speed won’t be reduced. If you hit the threshold twice within a six month period, your speed will be reduced to 2G speeds for the remainder of the month of billing. We’ll make sure you’re aware if your usage starts to approach either benchmark.

My Thoughts
I think Republic Wireless has found a good balance between offering “unlimited” data and still making sure people use WiFi at home/work whenever possible as that is critical to their business model. If you remember, their initial limit back in 2011 was about 500 mb of data, which many (including me) thought was too restrictive. Now, it’s 10 times as much at 5 GB of data. I don’t know of any other provider who would allow 5 gigs of data for $40 a month, not to mention the free pass that you get every 6 months.

I like the new Moto X phone, but I don’t like that the phone isn’t easily useable on other networks. Data tethering is not allowing per their Terms of Service, although rooting your phone will not get you kicked off their service. I personally think the 3G plan at $25 a month is the sweet spot, but I am happy with 3G data and don’t really need anything faster. Learn more at


  1. Hi I was wondering how this phone plan would compare to the grandfathered SERO plan I currently have with Sprint. I have 500 minutes, unlimited talk and text for $40 a month with upgraded phones that could handle 3G. Trying to figure out if this would be a better deal for me or not. Thanks!

  2. an additional note, to qualify for the $100 rebate, the phone must be purchased
    before june 30, 2014, and the phone/rebate form needs to be sent in within 30 days of purchase.

  3. Their rate plans look really affordable! They could give these other MVNOs a run for their money if they offered coverage from one of the GSM providers but at these same prices.

    @Heather – A couple of things to consider:

    1)If you ever go to a 4g phone, Sprint might add a $10/mo Premium Data charge.
    2)Republic offers coverage from Sprint any so you probably aren’t gaining or losing anything there as far as coverage. Exception being if Republic does not allow roaming and you need roaming.
    3)Obviously Republic’s phone selection is very limited.

  4. I tried RW a while back, and it was a nightmare. Also, they don’t let you resell the proprietary phone. So if you try them, you are left with a brick once the 30 day return period is up.

  5. Can you throw some light on number porting options?


  6. @clocks – So you can’t resell to another RW user? Good to know. Since it is an Android phone, I wonder if there is some way to hack/root it and install another OS on it that would allow it to be used on Sprint or another Sprint MVNO.

    @Nanda – I’m pretty sure by law now you can port your existing number over to and out of Republic Wireless as needed.

  7. RW sucks… The DefyXT is the worst phone I’ve ever used. There are taxes and fees ($3 on the $19 plan, or 15%) on the plan, unlike any prepaid you can refill with cards. In addition to no taxes and fees, refilling with cards offers huge discounts on ebay/amazon/various websites.

    RW can take their $300 no-resale value brick phone and take a hike. I have a $65 Samsung Fascinate that (with Cyanogen) runs loops around the DefyXT. Unlimited everything + 3g on Verizon StraightTalk runs $33 (after discounts) and it sure beats $29 (post taxes/fees) unlimited Sprint RW 3g on their proprietary phones.

  8. it says you have to do the Motorola trade up within 30 days of purchase of the old phone , which is not possible with option 1, considering the Moto X doesn’t go on sale until November. Thoughts?

  9. JohnnyH in your post dated 11/3/13 you state: “Unlimited everything + 3g on Verizon StraightTalk runs $33 (after discounts) and it sure beats $29 (post taxes/fees) unlimited Sprint RW 3g on their proprietary phones.” Can you are anyone else explain how you are getting straight talk with unlimited everything + 3g for $33 (after discounts)? If this is possible I guess RW starts not to look that good.

  10. You can now sell Republic wireless phones if the service does not work for you. Republic wireless will activate the sold phones for a new member and it’s coming some time in December. So your phone is no longer a brick.
    Republic wireless provides roaming and they do not charge extra for roaming. Roaming is free.

  11. I LOVE Republic wireless. I have been with them since Beta testing. I have had ZERO issues with the phones or the plan. I have traveled all over the country and more times than not I will have service and those with other phones (and service companies) can not get a signal. I drove from Texas to Washington State and I was the only person (out of 6) that never lost a signal, even traveling through mountain passes!! Looking forward to my new Moto X, and especially the new $9.00 plan (got that 10% discount for being a current customer).

  12. What, exactly, is Republic giving you for $5/month? Any disconnected phone works on Wifi only.

  13. Naveen Says:
    November 16th, 2013 at 1:40 am

    What, exactly, is Republic giving you for $5/month? Any disconnected phone works on Wifi only.

    It looks like wifi only. Which means if you buy either one of their 2 phones you can make unlimited calls and text plus surf the internet where wifi is available. If you are in a area where there is no internet service then nothing works.

  14. @John – Good to know about the phones. Quick peek on eBay shows the Defy XT selling for about $50. The Defy XT started at $199 but costs $99 new now.

    @Toni – The $10 plan is definitely a nice price for unlimited talk and text. You could replace your landline with that plan.

    @Naveen – From what I can tell, they are letting you use their proprietary software which makes calling and texting (MMS included) via WiFi easy-to-use. Anyone can technically do VoIP for free with Google Voice but it takes a little tinkering. Also it’s a nice option if you just wanted to downgrade for a month if you didn’t need your phone for a while.

  15. Moto X was starting shipping. this phone has custom ROM not sure if the hardware itself has been changed. Almost no value if sell in ebay. But you can ask RW to give you a 19.99 discount or service credit.

  16. In the weeks to come I think I will purchase RW and give it a try since they have a 30 day money back return. I will report back later with my review.

  17. We’ve had our Republic Motorola smart phone and discount plan of $10/ month since November. We couldn’t be more happy with the service. Sprint provides the coverage and there have been no issues with lost calls or interrupted service. We were even able to port our old phone# over to this new plan.

  18. Tried RW in July 2014. I think they got better about quality but I still decied to not stay with them. In addition to poor (in our area) Sprint quality you get very good service on WiFi but you’re paying essentially for Google Voice features. Even worse limits apply:
    * no international texting (same as GV)
    * no international calling at all
    * no call forwarding and other “phone line” features

    Also note that Motorola runs promotions occasionally and you can get same phones for better prices. You can hook them up to Google Voice and get what RW sells for $5/mo for free. Or you can use your Vonage account and get slightly more for free on first line. I never tried that part though.

  19. I was thinking of switching to Republic Wireless when my Sprint contract is up in November. Thanks for the comments both positive and negative.

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