I recently dumped my friggin’ expensive Verizon contract and picked up a “budget” carrier. Republic Wireless Unlimited Plan for $25 – Hell Yes! Dear readers, if you can find me a better carrier with a better deal – I’m all ears!
Republic Wireless is a no contract MVNO – a wireless carrier that runs a “virtual network (VN)” that piggybacks on the Sprint network. Remember that this is exactly the same as Zact Wireless (both have 4G). Republic doesn’t have any physical stores, you can’t buy your phone in a store, you can’t refill minutes in a store. I’m totally kidding – it’s unlimited talk and text. The rest is true.
Republic Wireless currently offers two phones – Moto G and its better brother, Moto X. Side note: The little brother, Moto E, was released so I’d expect Republic Wireless to pick that up eventually.
I purchased the Moto G. It comes in two flavors – 8GB for $149+tax and 16GB for $179 +tax. I picked up the 16GB flavor because my old Samsung Galaxy Nexus had 32GB of storage. You can compare my old phone and new phone here. However, Moto G has a better processor, same amount of RAM… I’m still upgrading my phone!
Republic also offers the Moto X – which is the better of the two phones. More RAM, better graphics, faster processor, higher price tag. Slightly larger screen, too.
My experience with customer service so far has been fantastic. They’ve got all the features you’d expect – like a FAQ section and a database of answers. They also have a phone number portability checker – to see if you can port you phone number.
And if you still can’t find what you need. They have a giant friggin’ button to get help. I got a reply back in about half a day! And it was helpful. It was as if they weren’t brain-dead (If you’re brain-dead and reading this, I apologize for my insensitive remarks). Well played, Republic!
“HYBRID calling technology”
Your phone will use data, make calls, and send texts via Wi-Fi if you’re connected to Wi-Fi. It’s already an unlimited plan, but I think this helps Republic keep costs low because internet data is dirt cheap and cell data/calls are not.
Conceivably you could make phone calls deep inside a University research lab with a Wi-Fi connection or inside a hospital. I’m pretty ambivalent about it.
My number wasn’t portable. I’m very sad, but this is exceedingly rare. See the article here. Basically the group of numbers in XXX-469-XXXX weren’t in the bucket that Republic network had access to. Something about exchange carriers. Very sad. It took me three weeks to memorize my damn number because it doesn’t have any repeating numbers after the area code. My old number had the pattern 123-0123… hard to forget.
Sprint isn’t perfect in my area. Not really the fault of Republic Wireless on that one. So, I can’t make calls from the basement which I could do on Verizon. You can rarely get 4G on Sprint, which is a slight down step from Verizon.
Occasionally I will get an error “MOBILE IP REGISTRATION” ERROR (screenshot below) and my internet won’t work for a short period of time (2-5 minutes). I’m not sure why this happens and I haven’t tried to resolve the root cause yet as it hasn’t caused much of a problem. I’m not sure if this is on the Republic side or the Sprint side.
Lastly, I cannot text to five digits numbers (12345). For example, I cannot enter to win The Black Keys tickets from Local Radio Station. Damn!
I chose the $25 per month plan. After all taxes and fees my total is $29.71 which you can see my monthly budget report.
The Plans —
You can switch your plans twice per month for free. Republic offers four plans.
All of the plans are unlimited talk & text, which means no overage fees. Ever. YAY!
$25 (which I have) -This gives you unlimited tax, text, and data for $25. Two things to note – the data is 3G, and your speeds are throttled after you use 5GB. However, 5GB is a lot for me, the most I used on my 4GB Verizon plan was ~1.8GB. Sprint 4G is crap here, so why pay for it!
$40 plan gives you 4G data, but requires the MOTO X.
$10 plan gives you unlimited talk and text.
$5 plan gives you unlimited talk, text, data, but is Wi-Fi only. Liken this to Vonage, MagicJack or Skype subscriptions, or Google Voice.
My Verizon contract was in the neighborhood of $90 per month. My Republic Wireless bill is $30 per month. I paid approximately the same amount for the phone with and without contract. I’m now saving $720 per year. That’s worth writing about!
I like the phones. I’m hoping they get the Moto E to fill in the sweet spot (~$79-99).
I love the plans and I’ll be sticking with Republic Wireless. My parents were using T-Mobile prepaid ($100 for 1000 minutes), but I’ve converted my parents to Republic!
Unlimited 3G Plan $25 per month from Republic Wireless <– This is what I have with my Moto G.