Republic Wireless Review: Why You Should Consider Switching Over

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While AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint are the dominant cell phone providers in the United States, Republic Wireless is emerging as a new, cheaper option, and it’s getting more popular every day.

Read on to learn what the buzz is all about and whether you should make the jump or not.

What’s Republic Wireless?

Republic Wireless is a mobile virtual network operator in the United States.

Republic Wireless originally tried starting its business as a Wi-Fi network. After several failed attempts, the company switched to using a cellular network to service potential customers.

That’s exactly how Republic Wireless has gained its competitive advantage: defaulting to Wi-Fi to offer you service at super low rates.

The company explains the technology and how it works on their official website as follows:

“We don’t just use cell towers for calls and texts. Our Adaptive Coverage™ technology, with Bonded Calling™ and included voice roaming, will automatically blend your calls over available WiFi and your phone’s 3G and 4G LTE* cellular data networks together for more, low cost, coverage in places cell can’t always reach–like your basement or garage.”

And here is more information about the technology if you’re still not sure how it helps save you money:

  • The calls you make are automatically blended over Wi-Fi and your cellular data network for reliable coverage.
  • If a quality problem takes place, your call is automatically patched with one of your other data networks.
  • If you move out of the Wi-Fi’s range, you’re smoothly switched to cellular.

Switching to Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless was officially launched in 2010 and has attracted a sizable number of customers since then.

Even though the company is still considered small compared to other big-name providers, they seem to be taking customer service pretty seriously.

Money-Back Guarantee

If you’re not happy with Republic Wireless, the company offers a 14-day money-back guarantee on new service lines.

If you bought a phone directly from them on a new or existing line, you can get your money back within 14 days. So don’t hesitate about trying out the service.

What Cellular Network Does Republic Wireless Use?

When making calls, Republic Wireless scans for Wi-Fi first. If Wi-Fi is not within range, your call will be made through one of the two national cellular networks–T-Mobile or Sprint.

The network you end up using mainly depends on your phone and the network coverage in the area you make the call from.

To check out how good the coverage in your area is, take a look at the Republic Wireless website.

All you have to do is to enter your zip code and you’ll see a coverage map.

According to their website, they offer coverage in 98 percent of the U.S. so there’s a high likelihood that your area is properly covered, even if it’s a remote area.

However, you should keep in mind that most of the calls are made through Wi-Fi, so even if you can’t get a cell signal, your phone will detect a Wi-Fi spot and still make the call for you. This is especially handy if the cell phone tower reception in your house is poor.

Another important thing to know is that you can manually switch from Wi-Fi to cellular or the opposite during a call. This can be quite helpful if either the cellular signal is poor or Wi-Fi isn’t working properly.

Phones You Can Use on Republic Wireless

There are 10 phones available through Republic Wireless. Here’s the full list:

  • Motorola moto g7 Power
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2018)
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
  • Motorola moto g5 Play
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • LG K30
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
  • Samsung Galaxy J7

As you can see, all of the phones on the list are powered by the Android operating system. There are no Apple iPhones there.

However, you’re not forced to buy your phone from Republic. You’re allowed to use another phone that’s not offered by them.

Nevertheless, not all phones are compatible with the network. Check on Republic Wireless website to see compatible phones.

Best Republic Wireless Plans

Republic Wireless plans are pretty straightforward, with no hidden fees or taxes, unlike other carriers who offer unclear rates, which ultimately leads to you spending more without realizing it.

The costs used to increase gradually as you switch to bigger data plans, but things are different now, and simpler too. You get charged $5 for every gigabyte of data you consume.

This is similar to Google’s Project Fi, where you’re charged $10 per gigabyte.

All of the plans offered by Republic Wireless offer unlimited calls and texting, so you don’t ever have to worry that your plan will run out as you would with other low-cost providers. $15 monthly is enough to keep you covered the whole month.

Here are all the current plans offered by Republic Wireless:

  1. Plan one: $15
    • LTE data: None
    • Talk & Text: Unlimited
  2. Plan two: $20
    • LTE data: 1 GB
    • Talk & Text: Unlimited
  3. Plan three: $25
    • LTE data: 2 GB
    • Talk & Text: Unlimited
  4. Plan four: $30
    • LTE data: 3 GB
    • Talk & Text: Unlimited
  5. Plan five: $35
    • LTE data: 4 GB
    • Talk & Text: Unlimited
  6. Plan six: $40
    • LTE data: 5 GB
    • Talk & Text: Unlimited

If you need more data, you’ll have to pay an extra $5 for each gigabyte you use.

Unfortunately, the carrier doesn’t provide international roaming through cellular networks, but you can make calls using Wi-Fi. So keep that in mind especially if you’re one of those who travel abroad frequently.

What Do Republic Wireless Users Think About the Service?

Most customers of Republic Wireless are happy with the cost savings and found the customer service to be quite fast and responsive.

However, some people have complaints about the service itself, specifically the ability to hang on to calls, and lack of proper family plans.  This is like any cell phone service, and if you already have Sprint or T-Mobile service, you’ll notice you have the same coverage since Republic uses those companies networks.

Overall, the company is praised for being very responsive on its website and email system, which enables the customers to send questions for support with the service and get answers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Republic Wireless Do Credit Checks?

Fortunately, Republic Wireless doesn’t do credit checks since there’s no contract in the first place and little to no risk on their end.

This is a huge plus for anyone with bad credit or in case you don’t want another credit check to worry about.

Can I Keep My Phone Number if I Switch to Republic Wireless?

Yes. Almost all phone numbers from other carriers in the US can be conveniently ported over, so if you want to keep your old number, there’s no problem. You can also get a new number if you’d like to.

What Network Does Republic Wireless Run on?

When Wi-Fi isn’t used to make your calls, Republic Wireless uses the T-Mobile and Sprint cellular networks for calls, texts, and data.

Mostly though, your call will be routed through Wi-Fi. That’s how the company can offer you unlimited calls and texts at such a cheap price.

Are Republic Wireless Phones Available in Online Stores?

Republic Wireless phones aren’t “officially” available through retail and online stores. However, you can buy a phone from anywhere you want and use it on the carrier’s network, in case the phone is supported.

Do I Need to Buy a SIM Card?

Yes, if you use your own phone instead of buying a new one from Republic Wireless, you’ll need to buy a SIM card kit, which will cost you only $5.

How Do I Activate My Device on Republic Wireless?

Once you have your SIM card, activation is quite easy and it takes little time. Check out the activation instructions on the company’s website.

Does Republic Wireless Refund Unused Data?

Unfortunately, unused data isn’t refunded, unlike Google Fi, which does refund unused data.  But of course, you are paying half the cost per GB with Republic Wireless as compared to Google Fi.

It’d be better if you opt for a plan that’s just enough for your consumption so you don’t find yourself uselessly paying more money.

The Bottom Line

Republic Wireless is a great option to help you cut one of your major recurring monthly bills.  They offer straightforward pricing that offers a great value option for cell phone service.

The main disadvantage of switching over to Republic Wireless is the carrier’s limited number of offered phones. Not to mention that it doesn’t work with iPhones.

Nevertheless, if you spend a big chunk of your day near Wi-Fi, you’re going to save a lot of money with Republic Wireless.

Stop paying crazy $100 plus monthly cell phone bills and put an extra $75 or so a month back in your wallet.  Check out Republic Wireless and get started saving today.

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Hi, I'm GP. A personal finance expert with a mission to help Entirely Money readers break free of money worries. Combining a finance-focused education background (B.S. in Finance and MBA with Finance focus) with over 15 years of personal and corporate finance experience to help you achieve your financial best life!