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Republic Wireless: Unlimited Talk and Text for $15/Month

Republic Wireless Review Save Money

I first reviewed Republic Wireless four years ago while researching low-cost cellular providers. I reviewed the service again after helping my parents switch to Republic. To recap:

Republic Wireless combines the best of WiFi broadband internet and cellular coverage. The Republic team took the stock Android operating system and developed a custom firmware that integrates WiFi calling technology with traditional cellular coverage.

When connected to a Wifi internet connection, Republic Wireless automatically makes calls and sends messages through the WiFi internet connection, which is very cheap to do. When WiFi is not available, Republic utilizes cellular towers like every other cellular provider.

The transition between WiFi and cellular is seamless. If you make a call from your home while connected to your WiFi, then get in your car and leave, Republic will automatically transition from the WiFi connection to cellular towers (and vice versa) without any disruption to call quality.

Republic Wireless Phones

There are two different phone options available when switching to Republic Wireless.

  1. Bring your own device and purchase a Republic Wireless SIM card ($5)
  2. Purchase a new, unlocked smartphone directly from Republic

Bring Your Own Phone

If you already own a compatible smartphone, you can purchase a Republic Wireless SIM card ($5 including free shipping) and activate service on your existing device.

To check compatibility, visit the Bring Your Own Phone Webpage and click the message at the top of the page titled “Click here to view the full list of our supported phones.”

After verifying compatibility, you can then order a universal Republic SIM card for $5. When the SIM card arrives, insert into your device and load the Republic app to activate your device.

Purchase a New Phone from Republic

If you don’t own a compatible smartphone and would like to purchase a new phone, Republic offers a variety of new, unlocked smartphones for sale.

These phones require no contract whatsoever. If you decide to leave Republic, you can take the phone and use it on another carrier immediately.

Additionally, Republic Wireless offers a money-back guarantee on all smartphones and service. If for any reason, you decide Republic isn’t for you, you can contact Republic for a full refund on your device and service within the 14-day window.

Republic Wireless Plans and Coverage

First and foremost, Republic requires no service contracts. All service is prepaid monthly and can be canceled at any time. When you sign up, you pay for your first month of service, which begins when you activate your SIM card. You can even cancel your first month of service within the first 14 days and receive a full refund (see the section below on the “Republic Wireless Money-Back Guarantee”).

Republic Wireless utilizes either the T-Mobile or Sprint network (but not both). When you plug your address into the Republic Wireless Coverage Map, the system selects the optimal network based on availability and network speeds where you live. If you don’t like the initial recommendation, you can chat with support and request a particular provider.

As of right now, Republic offers the following unlimited plan:

  • $15/month (or $12.50/month when paid annually) – Unlimited talk and text in the U.S. and Canada
  • $5/month (less when paid annually): Each Gigabyte (GB) of 4G LTE cellular data

The $15/month includes unlimited talk and text. If you need cellular data (WiFi is always free), each Gigabyte (GB) of cellular data is a flat $5/month, and you can add additional data any time during the month. Both rates are reduced when paying annually.

When Republic tested these plans with a large sample of customers, they found that the average user used roughly 1GB of cellular data each month (because WiFi is so widely available). 

Republic Wireless International Coverage

While in the United States, you can receive (but not initiate) calls, texts (SMS), and multimedia messages (MMS) from anywhere in the world at no additional cost. You can initiate calls, texts, and multimedia messages to any U.S. or Canadian number, at any time.

While traveling internationally, you can receive calls/SMS/MMS from any international phone numbers while connected to WiFi only. You cannot place calls, send SMS/MMS, or use cellular data while traveling internationally.

When using your Republic phone for WiFi calling/messaging abroad, I suggest placing your phone in airplane mode and manually enabling WiFi. Using airplane mode will help preserve battery life that would be otherwise wasted when your phone attempts to locate a cellular signal it cannot utilize.

If you need to make calls to local (international) numbers where you’re traveling, you can switch between Republic and local cellular service by swapping out your Republic SIM and putting in a SIM that works in the country you’re visiting. Many of the unlocked phones supported by Republic are capable of connecting to foreign cellular service, but you need to verify that your specific phone is compatible with the service that is available at your travel destination. If your phone is compatible, simply purchase a SIM card at your destination and swap out your Republic SIM whenever needed.

The Republic Wireless Money-Back Guarantee(s)

Republic Wireless offers a money-back guarantee on all products and services.

There are two different types of guarantees:

Phone Guarantee – Republic offers a 14-day guarantee for all smartphones purchased directly from the website. Following the date of delivery, you have 2 weeks to use your device on the Republic network. If you are unhappy for any reason, you can return the device for a full refund (device must be undamaged, with original packaging).

Service Guarantee – After activating your new phone, Republic also provides a 14-day guarantee on cellular service. If you don’t like the service, you can request a full refund of the initial monthly service charge.

If for any reason, you decide Republic isn’t for you, you can contact Republic for a full refund on your device and service within the 14-day window.

The Cash Cow Conclusion

For individual users, other cellular providers are still trying to charge 2-3x the price of Republic’s unlimited talk and text plan. The plan pricing is transparent and flexible, allowing you to select the amount of cellular data you need each month.

Furthermore, the money-back guarantees offered by Republic are unmatched. The 14-day risk-free trial provides ample time to test coverage and device satisfaction.

Republic Wireless is disrupting the landscape of cellular providers, increasing competition among existing networks, and driving down the cost of cellular service.

Republic Wireless Review
Summary
Starting at $15/month, Republic Wireless is the best cellular provider for unlimited usage. With new phones, new plans, and continual updates, Republic is tough to beat.
Pricing9.5
Features9.3
Ease of Use9.2
Customer Support6.9
Pros
Reliable coverage
Low-cost unlimited plans
Bring your own phone
Affordable unlocked smartphones
Cons
Customer support is limited to email and chat. No phone support is available.
8.7
Overall

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

User Generated Content Disclosure: Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Josh
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Josh

I am thinking about trying Republic Wireless’ $10 plan. I was wondering how much the fees and taxes are in total. Can anybody tell me?

Derek
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Derek

The fee’s and taxes will vary based on where you live. It totally depends on local charges for 911 and state taxes and regulations, which are all different.

Chuck
Guest
Chuck

i live in NC where republic/bandwidth is based so i think i’ve got one of the highest tax etc. rates. the $10/month plan comes to $12.19.

Isissonia
Guest
Isissonia

Hi, just a review on Republic. This blog was one of the sources which convinced me to try Republic! the savings FAR FAR FAR outweigh the “inconveniences”!! Oh goodness, people! Why do you want to make all of those companies more wealthy while you get poorer?!I have it for a year now. Republic means – no overage charges! No data charges! No contracts! No 600.00 phone if you calculate the monthly payments over 2 year period! There are 3 different phone options now & they may continue to keep growing! the Moto X is AWESOME! You are not settling if… Read more »

magand127
Guest
magand127

I have had republic wireless for a few months now and have been completely satisfied with no complaints. It is also great to be able to make all my friends jealous with the unlimited plans where I don’t have to constantly worry about my phone usage on the go.

Luis
Guest
Luis

Hey Jacob, I also read yesterday that there is an Ebay reseller where you can get the Republic Moto X refurbished for $199 plus shipping. Great deal for people with an even more restricted budget. I think I will try it out. Plus I live in an area in Los Angeles where the Sprint reception is excellent. I’m so tired every time I call Verizon they try to sell me something I don’t need. Last time I call they tried to put me on a different plan where I would be saving a whooping $3.00 after taxes. This after I… Read more »

John
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John

I just tried to use there service and all though there connection map shows Alaska the chat person said they don’t ship phones to Alaska so I guess no service in Alaska

Robert
Guest
Robert

there is no high speed internet where i live so no wi-fi. Will this be a problem if i get the $10 per month plan?

Valeria
Guest
Valeria

I have been using Republic for about a month now and I have to say it has been smooth sailing so far. I have the Moto G and the operating system seems thus far to work flawlessly. The handoff between wifi and cell service works great. I have started calls on cell, then arrived home and I didn’t even notice until later that the service switched over to wifi. My first bill arrived and with tax, it was only $29. Less than $30 a month for unlimited phone, text and data. Gotta love it!

Joe Max
Guest
Joe Max

I have been with RW for about five months now. I have the much hated Defy XT , it serves the purpose for 23 bucks a month, tax included. I use it for about two hours a day, mostly on WiFi. It drops calls once in a while, but for the money, it is a keeper. Took a look at the G , but for six bucks more a month, it is really not worth it to me. Add the phone cost too. I would rate RW overall, with all phones and plans considered. A six max, compared to the… Read more »

Tim
Guest
Tim

Joe, in our family we have used the Defy, Moto X, G & recently the E. There is a world of difference between the Defy and any of the other 3. Going to the Moto E might be a good option since the price is lower. We probably would not have stayed with RW if we had only Defy phones. Now we won’t move. The 3 Moto phones work great and the price is awesome.

Mike S
Guest
Mike S

I use the Moto X with Republic Wireless and it’s a good phone for a decent price at $299. The price is a lot better than elsewhere for over $500. Republic also has access to Sprint’s roaming partners so the coverage is much better than other MVNOs from Sprint. All in all, great service at an awesome price.

Tarynkay
Guest
Tarynkay

I just switched to Republic Wireless. I got the Moto G, which I am plenty happy with. I had a dumbphone through Virgin Mobile before that. I liked VM and would recommend them for people with no access to WiFi, but realized that I was paying $30/month for limited talk and text when I could be paying $10/month for unlimited. And then my 2 year old destroyed my dumb phone, so I took that as a sign. Anyhow, I like it, and I especially like that it has a pretty good camera b.c that is something I did not have… Read more »

Ken
Guest
Ken

Nice review Jacob. I tried the RW here in the suburbs of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Usually have WiFi everywhere I go. Love the phone: Moto X. Only issue I have encountered is whenever going from cell to a new WiFi location many require I enter some information or check a box saying I have read their legal info. This catches me off guard at times but it is only a minor issue. Liking RW so much I bought my daughter a Moto G and did the $10/month package. She is at the university 9 months out of the year and has… Read more »

mikencolo
Guest
mikencolo

i started with RW last spring using the moto g and have been very happy. we live in rural colorado and part of living where we do means no cell signal, at least not until we are a good many miles from home. i have found a couple of things getting started that might well be helpful to other RW end users. first we all have two telephone numbers even if we believe we have just one, that is how we get our calls via the sprint network. so we have our primary in addition to that hidden sprint number.… Read more »

Josh
Guest
Josh

We have been using Republic Wireless for a couple weeks. We live in West Michigan. The switch between wifi and cellular service seems smooth. We live in West Michigan and love it. We just bought another Moto G from them.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Thank you for your comments! I also live in West Michigan and was wondering about RW’s service in my area. I would like to upgrade to a smart phone but as I tend to use my talk/text phone only occasionally, I don’t want a high priced plan. This looks like a viable option for me.

David
Guest
David

I live in Fruitport, MI and have a RW phone with $10 plan – and I love it! Do it!

Beach Boui
Guest
Beach Boui

I’ve been a Republic Wireless customer for over a year (joined Nov 16, 2013). I’ve been realistic about my expectations, and I’ve been very pleased. I just upgraded to the Moto X phone, and I am even more pleased! Sweet phone! I’ve become a wi-fi snob. 😉 My phone stays on wi-fi mode when I’m at home or in a hotel. Wi-fi calls are generally better than cellular calls as far as quality is concerned. And, wi-fi uses less battery power than cell. Finding open wi-fi hotspots around town is like finding little little treasures. It’s fun! It has been… Read more »

Jon Maroni
Guest
Jon Maroni

My wife and I switched to Republic Wireless a few months ago and it is as good as advertised. The days of overpriced cell phone plans are gone, there really is a better alternative. We are on their beta priced $20 per month anything plan (which includes data) it isn’t available for new customers but their current $25 plan is equivalent to that one. Something great that Republic Wireless also offers is the chance to save on your bill if you refer friends to their service. We have already gotten a few of our friends to sign up. We went… Read more »

Brian
Guest
Brian

That is a well written review (per usual for you). I feel like if you are going to spend $40/month then you might as well go with a traditional plan (or a pre-paid plan) since you can basically get that anyways. I do think the real value is the $10 and $25 plans. I would worry that if I were to switch I would be someone who they would see as “abusing” cellular data since my work doesn’t have wifi and I use about 6-8gb of data a month on cellular networks at 3g speeds. I have heard that this… Read more »

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