Have you heard of Republic Wireless? (you’ll get an additional free month if you use that link)
It’s a cell phone company offering unlimited calls, texts, and data for only $19
In order to do this they rely on you to run a lot of that data through WiFi
Here is my Republic Wireless Review.
Disclosure: I am not paid by Republic Wireless for my review. This is simply based on my personal experience.
I should also disclose that I’m a ‘hater’ of 2 year contract plans and that I’m willing to give most of these cutting edge companies a shot, knowing that I can always switch services at any time and still easily keep my phone number.
With that said, my review of Republic Wireless is positive.
My experience has been great so far.
Their website has tons of information, but the 3 main points are:
1. You must buy their phone in order to use the service.
2. They rely on you to make calls through WiFi in order to keep the cost low for the consumer (and them!)
3. The cost is $19 or $29 per month depending on what you pay for your phone
My experience began when I had a few additional questions that I didn’t find answers to on the site.
There aren’t any brick and mortar stores so you have to direct your questions via email or the online community.
I have Zero problems with this if it’s done well (I can’t say I’m a fan of driving and waiting in line at a brick and mortar anyway).
My experience was great — I emailed my questions and had a detailed response within the promised 24 hours.
My question (and only concern after reading the site) was a technical one – ”Can the phone seamlessly switch from WiFi to a tower if I were to leave the WiFi hotspot?” The answer is that it can’t. It wasn’t a deal breaker for me, and it has yet to affect me. I prefer to not talk on the phone all day anyway (I prefer text and email if possible).
Let’s discuss the phone:
So it’s not the newest and meanest phone on the market, and I was worried that I would be disappointed. But I’m not. It works just fine for ole’ BroCon.
You can get the phone specs here.
Would I be happier with a more powerful phone?
But maybe not, and let me explain.
First, I recently left a restaurant and as I passed 3 tables, I noticed that 100% of the people had their phones in their hands and were playing on them — Facebook, Texts, etc.
I don’t want to be that guy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no angel.
I probably am that guy sometimes, as I definitely like to be attached to technology.
But if I can just keep a smart phone rather than a genius phone then that’s probably a good way to keep me in check.
Second, I like to put $$ figures in comparisons.
For example, this Motorola DEFY XT is ok, but would I rather spend an additional $700 this year to use a different phone company and have the phone of my choice?
“Mr. DEFY, we’re going to get along just fine.”
[If you do decide that this is a good move for you, I have business friends that use Straight Talk (aff link) and are completely happy with that service. That is who I would switch to if I ever became unhappy with the Republic Wireless service].
Let’s discuss Republic Wireless relying on you to make calls through the WiFi:
Republic Wireless relies on this in order for them to provide you with inexpensive service.
It passes a large piece of the data burden onto your local onsite internet providers rather than them having to use the mobile towers for your data and calls.
This isn’t a completely new concept, as many phones automatically switch to a WiFi connection for their data usage (smart of phone companies) but not the phone calls.
The difference with RW is that they use a phone that can route the phone calls through the WiFi as well!
I have been happy with the call quality.
When you have a low signal, yes, it can get choppy, just like it would on a mobile network.
It just sounds different. More robotic chops rather than blips.
Warning: I am Frugal.
So I don’t mind getting slightly less quality for a much lower price.
Example. In my opinion, Verizon Wireless has the absolute best service on the market – and they price it accordingly.
My business partner currently pays $120/mo. for her unlimited plan. Yowzers!
But would she rather save the $1,200 for a good service and give up the great service?
So she’s switching within the next week.
Will she have to forgo some quality? Maybe.
Will it be $1,200 worth of quality lost annually?
And that’s how I look at things.
Let’s discuss the Cost:
You can pay $19/mo. if you buy the phone for (currently) $199.
Or you can pay $29/mo. if you buy the phone for (currently) $79.
Their pricing is quite smart because one is not absolutely better (in my opinion).
$29 is only $10 per month more to get the cheaper phone.
$19/mo. is better, but I pay $199 for the phone and it takes me 12 months to recoup.
After the 12 months I’m saving $10/mo. in perpetuity.
Both fairly good deals.
I chose $19/mo. deal, as I figured this would be more fun to brag about to my friends.
“Look at me! I only pay $19/mo. for my UNLIMITED phone plan!”
In conclusion, am I happy with my switch?
I actually switched from an unlimited service company where I was paying $54/mo. (not bad) so getting me to make this switch wasn’t easy.
But do I think that even the $400 in annual savings will make this switch worth it?
That, along with bragging to my friends that I have unlimited service for $19/mo.?
You’re Dang Right.
Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to answer them.
And if you decide to make the plunge, don’t forget to use this link, as we will both get one free month of service!