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.
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 RepublicWireless.com.