Republic Wireless: Wi-Fi Cell Phone Service!
I looked into Republic Wireless recently, and decided to put something together for my favorite readers to help them decide whether this new phone service is right for them or not. The basic ideas behind the company and service look really cool.
In a nutshell, when the phone is able to, it uses a Wi-Fi connection to make and receive calls and a cellular connection when there is no Wi-Fi.
What’s Unique about Republic Wireless?
Their phones make use of available Wi-Fi networks when they’re available to make and take calls, send text messages, and for data usage, like the Internet and email. Basically, when using a Wi-Fi network the phone becomes an IP phone, like Vonage or digital voice from the Cable companies. When you’re on the go and away from an available Wi-Fi network the phone reverts to a regular cell phone and uses the Sprint network, so you know that you’ll get good reception and clear call quality.
Phone activation is another way that this company is different. With other cellular companies, you usually have to go down to their store, or call their support and spend too long jumping through their hoops. With Republic Wireless, that’s not the case. Most of the activation process is done by them. First, order your phone and select your plan online. Once your phone arrives, follow the few onscreen prompts and you’re done in minutes.
Save Loads of Money with Republic Wireless
I went to their site to check out the Republic Wireless plans and I thought I’d been dropped into a time warp. I literally had to look at the rates twice because they were so low. Their plans run from about $5 a month to right around $40 a month. There are currently four plans available.
- The bottom plan is priced around $5: You get unlimited talk, text, and data when you’re on a Wi-Fi network, but there is no cell service with this plan.
- The next plan up runs to about $10: It comes with unlimited everything while on a Wi-Fi network and unlimited talk and text when on the cellular network.
- The third plan up runs in the neighborhood of $25 and adds unlimited 3G data to the previous plan.
- The top-of-the-line plan currently runs in the neighborhood of $40: The unlimited 3G data plan turns into an unlimited 4G data plan — for those that really like to stream content.
How Republic Wireless Can Give Such Great Rates
The prices for cell phone service seem to go up every year. What was once an affordable option can soon become exorbitantly priced.
First, you have to figure in the cost of your voice plan. If you send text messages like I do, you then need a texting plan. Don’t forget your data! If you check email, browse the web, or watch online videos, you’re going to need some sort of data plan. Lastly, with most carriers, if you go over your monthly allotment of voice minutes, texts, or data, get ready for overage charges that can sometimes be well over what your monthly plan costs.
The problem is that quite often we use our phones at home, at work, and many other places where we could be using a Wi-Fi network. When we want to switch over to that Wi-Fi network, we have to tell our phones to do so. However, most phones are designed to only use a Wi-Fi network for data usage, not making and receiving calls or sending and receiving text messages.
With Republic Wireless, those days are gone. The company partnered with Motorola to design the Moto X, the first full-featured truly hybrid smartphone on the market. So, as stated above, when you’re in range of a Wi-Fi network you’re authorized to use, everything goes over the Internet-calls texts, and data. The phone automatically and seamlessly switches over to the cellular network as you leave the Wi-Fi network’s range. The company partners with a well-known cellular provider; only paying for the amount of usage and passing those savings on to you in the form of lower plan rates.
Can I Accessorize My Phone?
Of course you can! There is a growing list of accessories available for the Moto X. You can get:
- A car charger
- A glare resistant screen protector
- A variety of cases including carbon fiber lookalikes
- Corded and Bluetooth headphones and earbuds
- Extra power packs
- Bluetooth wireless speakers
The Good and The Bad
As I always do when I’m checking into buying something that’s new for me, I asked my friends and found out that two of them have phones through Republic Wireless. One friend and his wife absolutely love them. They love paying about $20 bucks per month and still having all the options they had with other carriers. They tell me the switchover between wireless and cellular networks is unnoticeable. There are no clicks, pops, or hisses at all. Both of them are using the Moto X and report zero problems in the couple of months they’ve been using them.
Another friend and his wife have had theirs for a little longer — almost a year to be exact — and they still have their Motorola Defy phones. They also love their phones and the service. However, they have two provisos:
1. If you use the phone “too much” outside of Wi-Fi networks, you will receive a warning message saying you’re using too much cellular airtime. Apparently, if you don’t use Wi-Fi enough, they can and will close your account.
2. Neither of them has been able to send pictures or other media attached to text messages. However, like I said, they are using older phones.
Without question, Republic Wireless seems to be the future for cell phone service. They’ve figured out a cost-effective way to keep people connected through Wi-Fi service and cellular service without any issues. If you’re interested, see if Republic Wireless’ service is available for you in your area.
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