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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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JimPysht
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JimPysht

Question: What are the mechanics of migrating my (Verizon) cell number? ie. cancel my VZ acct. 1st/after subscribing to Republic, and/or, etc.?

Tomigaoka
Guest
Tomigaoka

Is there any call logs offered? Or any billing statement i can receive by mail or just look at online? These 2 are important to me

dc
Guest
dc

Glad to hear this is working well! Thank you

Liv
Guest
Liv

Can anyone clearly lay out how republic wireless’s 911 service is different from other cell phone carriers? I have been looking forward to signing up for RW for a month now, and when I finally went to sign up tonight, I ran into their 911 Service Agreement and I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with it. However, I’m not sure I fully understand it. Does anyone have a clear explanation to how it compares and what realistic limitations it places on receiving 911 services? To me it’s not worth saving $20 a month if it means me or someone I… Read more »

Drm186
Guest
Drm186

when there a tower that the phone can communicate with if will work as any other cell phone (even if the tower is not usable by Republic carrier partners
only if there no tower that the phone can use and a WiFi internet will the phone work differently, then it will call 911 base on the location in your account portal 911 address (the WiFi part of the network does not relay your location to republic to know where your at (there on tower the tower knows where it’s at)
by default Republic phones use cell towers for 911 whenever possible

Jess
Guest
Jess

Will the phone work in Montana? How about Haiti?

Melanie
Guest
Melanie

I may be misunderstanding the phrase “abuse of cellular data” as I am not tech savvy at all. I am EMF sensitive. Everything in my home has to be wired,I cannot have wireless anything. If I had RW and never used wifi, would I be seen as abusing cellular data? Im so not tech savvy Im not even sure if Ive phrased my question correctly.

Gregor
Guest
Gregor

OK, I openly admit I am techno-challenged, but I don’t understand this. I can’t get my phone to totally connect to WiFi at Starbucks (actually that’s a Google problem, but still) … you’re saying this service does … what? Just randomly picks up WiFi signals and uses those for calls and texts? Like, if I’m in Waffle House it will use the WH WiFi, but if I’m driving past Kohl’s, it will use their WiFi? Does it use private citizens’ WiFi? That hardly seems fair … I don’t even have WiFi turned on on my phone currently (I haven’t seen… Read more »

Dave Short
Guest
Dave Short

Like any device that uses WiFi you have to have access to that network. If the network requires a password you will have to provide the password. Even if no password is required you still have to tell the phone that you want to connect. The phone does not randomly connect to networks as you drive along.

Jackson
Guest
Jackson

My wife and I have been T-mobile pay-as-you-go users for about 5 years, and we are thinking about changing to RW. She uses an old unlocked LG Optimus and I use an unlocked iphone 4s. I know that these phones won’t work on RW, but we are both looking to update our phones, most likely to the Moto e4. My pay-as-you-go minutes (about $40 worth, 10 cents per minute or text) will run out in about 6 weeks, and I will probably make the switch over then. My wife doesn’t use her phone a lot, and has about 900 minutes… Read more »

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

I just discovered RW last week. Sounds pretty darn good to me. I am currently using Consumer Cellular which I started using back in Feb 2017. Pretty good service and certainly cheaper than the big dogs. I am living at a motel that provides free internet wi-fi. If you are familiar with most of these motels’ service, you get connected with their service using a password. You are connected but cannot use the internet without going through their “splashpage” which pops up after that initial connection is made . There is a button you have to click on and then… Read more »

Wayne in Indy
Guest
Wayne in Indy

Nice article. Thanks.
Just wanted to add that I ordered a smartphone and plan from Republic Wireless as a surprise Mothers day gift for my wife. Turns out she really does not need or want a cell phone. I went to their website and canceled the phone and service. It was completely hassle free. Not only did they refund my 1st months’ service fee and $200 for the phone, but emailed me a prepaid mailing label. Very easy and a pleasant surprise. When my T-moble contract expires, I will look into moving my service to them.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

I am on a $10/month plan (wifi only, no data) but this is now a $15 plan. If I upgrade my phone will I be billed for the new cost of the same plan, or will I keep my original billing amount?

Jack
Guest
Jack

If I am in a store does the phone use their wifi or cellular connection? Does the phone automatically pickup wifi signals while traveling? Or if I am at someones house do i need to use their wifi code?

Quinn
Guest
Quinn

If WiFi is available then the phones will automatically utilize the WiFi connection, and not the cellular connection.. When leaving the WiFi area it should seamlessly transfer to a cellular connection with not disruption to your call or call quality.

Of course, it can only use WiFi connections that you are fully connected to. So if a password is required then it will not connect to that WiFi until the credentials are provided.

Jay Dewar
Guest
Jay Dewar

Hi Jacob,
I am impressed by your interactions on line.
I almost ordered an Ascend by Huwawei until I saw some troubling reviews. As such, researching Moto models for economy and value.
It’s my belief that if I BMOPh unlocked it will remain unlocked even if I switched to another carreier (?)
Is it the same if I bought one direct from RW, incase I am not satisfied and want switch to another?

Joe K
Guest
Joe K

I have the Moto G now which has worked fine for years. I want to upgrade to Moto G5 Plus. What are my uses with old Moto G? Can I still use with wifi? Can wife use join RW and get another phone number and use it? Any other uses? thanks

Denise Smith
Guest
Denise Smith

I know you can cancel any time with RW. But can the service be suspended and reactivated regularly? I am in the US only 6 months a year. Can I have a plan for the 6 months and suspend the service for the remaining 6 months? If so is there a fee?

Clive
Guest
Clive

They do not currently suspend service. It has been asked many times on their website and they may work with you. Otherwise it is just the cost of the sim card to reactivate…

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