Many Americans are familiar with the big names in the wireless service space: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. They’re the so-called “Big Four” and seemingly own the space. A lot of folks assume this is essentially all there is when it comes to purchasing phones with wireless service. That’s not exactly true.
For every one of the aforementioned network operators listed above there are a number of other carriers fighting for consumer attention. These smaller operators license and use the towers and infrastructure from the big names 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 Android phones can switch quickly between T-Mobile’s GSM and Sprint’s CDMA mobile networks, free roaming, and 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.
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
- $65/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 10GB of high-speed data
Republic customers can add more data to their plan directly from within the app; they can also move back down in the following month.
Looking through the current lineup of phones offered through Republic we find familiar names from brands like Samsung, Motorola, and Alcatel.
As is the case with many prepaid providers and MVNOs, selection is a mixed bag and skews more toward affordability versus power. With that said, we do recognize the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Motorola Moto Z3 Play are offered here.
Bring Your Own Device
You can often use your current GSM phone, especially if it was purchased unlocked and directly from the manufacturer. Head to Republic’s website to check whether your specific model is supported.