Just over a year ago, I switched my cell phone service over to Republic Wireless. It was a new company, and they were trying out some pretty cool new things. Not the least of which was a cell phone plan that cost me $20 per month with no long-term contract.
I loved the price but for a while I didn’t love the actual service. I was using an older phone and there were a lot of problems with it. I was almost ready to switch to another carrier.
But I kept hearing that their new phones were light-years better, so a few months ago I decided to upgrade and give Republic Wireless another shot.
Talk about a good decision!
I now have the best cell phone I’ve ever owned and I only pay $10 per month for unlimited talk, text and data. So today I want to tell you a little bit more about Republic Wireless, in case you’re interested in saving tons of money on your cell phone bill too.
Why is Republic Wireless so cheap?
Republic Wireless does things a little differently. Basically, they specially program their phones to use wi-fi whenever possible. If you make a phone call, it will first try to make it through a wi-fi connection. Same with texts and data. And since wi-fi is free, it’s much cheaper to provide service this way.
Of course wi-fi isn’t always around, or isn’t always high quality. When that’s the case the phone automatically switches to Sprint’s cell network, which means that you have the best of both worlds.
Even if you start a call on wi-fi and lose that connection while you’re still on the call (maybe you’re heading out of the house), your phone will automatically switch to cell coverage so the call can continue uninterrupted.
So essentially, it’s cheap because it uses wi-fi first, but you still have the same cellular capabilities as any other phone.
The really cool part: the plans
Republic Wireless offers four different plans depending on what you need. Here’s how they work:
- $5 per month – Unlimited talk, text and data over wi-fi only. No cell coverage.
- $10 per month – Unlimited talk and text over wi-fi AND cell. Unlimited data over wi-fi only.
- $25 per month – Unlimited talk, text and data over wi-fi AND cell. 3G data coverage.
- $40 per month – Unlimited talk, text and data over wi-fi AND cell. 4G data coverage.
Other than taxes, there are never any other fees. And each plan is month-to-month, meaning there’s no contract locking you in and you can cancel whenever you want.
And now get this because this is awesome: you can actually switch between plans up to twice per month, whenever you want, at no extra charge.
For an example of how cool this little feature is, I’m currently on the $10 per month plan just to see if I can survive not having data for the short periods of time when I don’t have access to wi-fi. So far it’s going pretty well.
But I’m heading to a conference in a couple of days and while I’m on the road I want 3G data coverage too. So I’m switching to the bigger plan just before I leave, and then I’ll simply switch back when I get home. I’ll get the coverage I need for only the length of time I need it, which is not only incredibly convenient but will save me a little money.
What phones can you use?
There’s good and bad news on the phones, and depending on your personal preferences this could be a deal-breaker or might be exciting.
Republic Wireless has to specially program their phones in order to make them run primarily off wi-fi, so your options are limited. In fact, as of right now you actually only have two choices (and neither of them is an iPhone).
So that’s the bad news. The good news is that the phones are really good.
You have your choice between the Moto X (the deluxe version) and the Moto G (the slightly less deluxe version). I’m no techie and I’m not going to pretend to be, so if you want a detailed review of the phones you can go here.
I’ll just say this: I got the Moto X a few months ago and it is hands-down the best cell phone I’ve ever owned. It’s just awesome. Easy to use. Fast. A big screen that lets me type without hating it. I love it. And from what I understand the Moto G is basically the exact same thing, just with fewer bells and whistles.
Now, the last thing to know about the phones is that you have to buy them outright. Because there’s no long-term contract with Republic Wireless, they choose to let you buy the phone yourself rather than wrapping it into the price of your contract and calling it “free”. But still, while that saves you a lot of money over the long-term, it does mean that there’s an extra up-front cost.
Right now the Moto X starts at $299 and the Moto G starts at $149.
I’ve been with Republic Wireless for over a year now and I held off on recommending it for a long time because the service with that older phone just wasn’t good enough. Even at the low price, I didn’t feel good about it.
But after several months of using it with my new phone, at this point it just feels like a no-brainer. The phone is great, the service is excellent, and the price is unbeatable.
In fact, this is exactly the kind of thing that can make a HUGE impact on your budget because it’s a one-time effort that will save you big money month after month. Depending on your current cell phone bill, it might even save you thousands of dollars per year.
They even have a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can see how it works for you and send it back if you don’t like it.
But if you like it (and I’m guessing you will), you can sit back and bask in the savings.