Many Americans are familiar with the big names in wireless: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Far fewer know about the smaller operators that comprise the prepaid and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). These smaller brands license and use the towers and infrastructure from the big carriers but with their own rates, customer service, and phone selection.
Let’s take a look at one of them in particular: Republic Wireless.
Republic Wireless launched in 2010 as a service provider that defaults to Wi-Fi for connectivity instead of 3G or 4G LTE. Nevertheless, it does have partnerships with T-Mobile and Sprint, giving subscribers networks for supplemental coverage.
The Republic model utilizes a proprietary VoIP app so that Android phones can switch quickly between T-Mobile’s GSM and Sprint’s CDMA mobile networks. It provides free roaming and hops to and from WiFi, depending on which is available.
Republic rate plans are no-contract, meaning there’s no long-term commitment and subscribers can go month-to-month. There is a 14-day cancellation policy.
Things are really simple in that there is basically one option: $15 per month for unlimited talk and text. Data is added at $5 per gigabyte. So, a 1GB plan is $20 per month, 2GB is $25, and so forth.
- $15/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with no data
- $20/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 1GB of high-speed data
- $40/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 5GB of high-speed data
There are no overage fees for hitting the data allotment and Republic does not throttle speeds for the rest of the month. Instead, data simply stops until you purchase more. Subscribers can purchase up to 15GB of data per month.
Customers can also opt for a yearly plan and save a couple of dollars each month.
As of today, new customers who sign up for the Republic mailing list can receive $40 off of a new phone. This comes from a message that greets visitors to its website.
Anyone who switches from another carrier and brings their existing phone number to Republic can receive two months of free service. This deal expires at the end of June 2019.
Looking through the current lineup of phones offered through Republic we find familiar names from brands like Samsung, Motorola, and LG with prices that start at $129.
As is the case with many prepaid providers and MVNOs, selection is a mixed bag. There are only one dozen phones to choose from, but it’s evenly mixed across the low, mid, and high end. At the top are the Samsung Galaxy S10 models.
If you’d like to spread payments out, you can set up monthly payments through Affirm. Options include 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. The terms are set based on the cost of the phone.