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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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Rob
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Rob

I have had RW quite awhile now. I left it for a week last month to try PureTalkUSA. I quickly came back to RW. PuretalkUSA was awful. Most times calls would not even go through. They use the AT&T network. Apparently AT&T is not that good in my area. I only left them because I had a Galaxy S5 active lying around which I really liked. Which does not work on RW. Republic actually credited me back the difference what was not used for that month. Their website is easy to understand. It really is easy to switch. There is… Read more »

Jeanette
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Jeanette

Curious how your serviced is working in Iowa, as I am in Iowa as well.

Christine Lee
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Christine Lee

I am 90% ready to make the switch from our expensive Verizon plan to Republic. But I really love my iPhone and hate to give it up. I can synch it with my macbook pro and can have all the details of my life (grocery lists, calendar, etc) at the tip of my fingers. If I move to an android phone, would it be possible to use one of the available phones as I currently use the iPhone, and synch all the information on it with my laptop? Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Don Bob
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Don Bob

I don’t miss the huge bill, the iPhone (all hype) and for the majority of my apps/data/info, the switchover was fairly painless. We are 4 months in, and could not be happier. We are currently using a pair of Motorola Z play phones. Most Android phones are way ahead in regards to storage on your phone. Plop in an SD card and viola! Massive storage!

Good Luck, best wishes!

Heather
Guest
Heather

Yes it’s possible. It’s not exactly the same and you would be using a few different apps to do it but there are many wonderful tools that Android users have that rival Apple. An app called Wunderlist can help you with your grocery lists. Google calendar works nicely between computer and phone. Evernote works for general notes and scanned documents and I’m sure there are many other apps out there if you do a little searching.

Scott Keen
Guest
Scott Keen

Will GPS navigation (Google Maps, Waze, etc) work with the cheapest $15 plan? Will GPS navigation only work when the phone is on a WiFi connection since the $15 plan does not include cellular data? (i.e. on the $15 plan, how would GPS navigation work when I’m driving in a remote rural area far from any WiFi connections?) Thanks for the review.

Tammy Mills
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Tammy Mills

OMG. Thank you so much for this information. I have a home phone set up through VOIP using Google talk. You can have your own phone number and can put the ‘Talk’ app on your android phone and make free calls through wifi. I even have it on all my pc’s and laptops so I can sit at my laptop, talk to my family while surfing. All you need is a good headset. The calls are reliable and chrystal clear. My wife has been using straight talk for her cell phone, but the plan you spoke of is amazing. I… Read more »

Barbara
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Barbara

Does anyone know if with the new unlocked phones with a Republic Sim Card whether you can remove that SIM and put in one from another country? That would be great if possible.

Monty
Guest
Monty

Is there an activation fee for Republic Wireless? Can I transfer my cell phone number?

Elke
Guest
Elke

Hi there,
I have the T-Mobile plan with an IPhone6 – would it be possible to switch to RW?

Robert
Guest
Robert

You can not bring an iPhone onto the RW network.

Annette
Guest
Annette

If I switch to Republic will I lose all my contacts, pics etc from my Samsung Galaxy S5 to a new unlocked phone? Also, can I use the micro SD card I have in my Samsung right now and put a new phone from republic? I am afraid I will not be able to set up the new phone without a cell phone dealer. I am afraid I will lose everything.

DJ
Guest
DJ

The short answer is no you will not lose anything. You can put everything onto the micro SD and then insert it into the new phone but there is a migrate icon in your apps that will automate all of this for you from one phone to the other. You will still have your old phone so no worries on losing your info since it can still be accessed on the old phone even if you don’t have service or a phone number associated with the phone (actually you can still use the old phone on wi-fi too. Good Luck!

James Larry Plyler
Guest
James Larry Plyler

Can I get my wife a phone and she would be on my plan?

ADAM J WILLIS
Guest
ADAM J WILLIS

Has anyone purchased just the SIM card and used it in a unlocked phone? The models they say are comparable online are only the factory unlocked versions I have a s7 edge that is the same model and unlock just a different last letter because it was through a different carrier. I want to switch but also want to be able to use my current phone.

Morris Pelzel
Guest
Morris Pelzel

So, if I am currently on a Republic Wireless plan with the Sprint network, can I choose to switch to a plan with the T-Mobile network? Will these new plans run on both T-Mobile and Sprint, or just on T-Mobile?

Aidan Breese
Guest
Aidan Breese

The question i have is say i have the 1 GB/month plan. When/if I use up that GB before the month is up will i be charged extra? Will they take my data away? Will they slow down the data?

Sherrie St. Cyr
Guest
Sherrie St. Cyr

I’ve been using RW for a couple of years and I love it. I’ve got the Moto X 1st gen. phone and it is still going strong. One son has the same phone and the other one just got the new Moto G4 Plus (he lost his old phone). When I tell people about our plan they never believe me. The big carriers really have a lot of people fooled into thinking they won’t have service unless they pay the big bills.

Sara
Guest
Sara

I’m just wondering if I understand this correctly. Where I live I would be roaming on the Sprint network. We have wifi at my house so would I still be able to make calls because I have the wifi at my house and I wouldn’t need to worry about the Sprint network?

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