Republic Wireless is an MVNO that operates on both the Sprint and T-Mobile networks, but not on both simultaneously.
In fact, when you subscribe to Republic Wireless, you’ll have service almost exclusively on one network or the other.
Republic Wireless does support domestic roaming, but for voice only. Which network will be the main network that you have service on will depend on your location and may automatically be chosen for you at signup.
Besides operating as an MVNO on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks, Republic Wireless also operates over WiFi. In fact, the MVNO is a WiFi first-based provider. Calls are automatically routed over WiFi when WiFi is available.
When the WiFi signal is weak or unavailable, Republic Wireless uses what it calls adaptive coverage with a bonded calling to provide service.
The technology is used to blend both WiFi and cellular data networks together to provide subscribers with the best voice quality possible.
Text messages can also be sent over WiFi. You can use your Republic Wireless service to place calls and texts from your PC, MAC, or tablet by downloading the appropriate Republic Anywhere app for your device.
All Republic plans feature unlimited talk and texting, so you don’t have to figure out how much you call and message people as you would with other discount carriers, such as Consumer Cellular. Instead, $15 a month covers the cost of your talk and text.
Talk & Text
As for data, just tack on $5 every month for each gigabyte you use. A Republic customer who keeps data usage down to 1GB of LTE data would pay just $20 a month, once talk and text are included.
A 3GB plan — which is more than enough data for most users — would run you $30 a month. Our top-rated discount carrier, MetroPCS, gives you 2GB of LTE data for $30 a month (though Metro rolls taxes and regulatory fees into that rate).
Both Republic and MetroPCS charge the same for 5GB of data: $40 a month.
Since you pay by the gig with Republic Wireless, this service is only for people who are willing to track their data usage.
When you open the Republic Wireless app, the first thing you see is how much data you have left and which apps are using the most data. An exclamation point indicates that you may run out of data before your billing cycle ends.
If you reach your data limit, data will stop and you won’t be charged extra. You can add more data from the app for $5 per GB.
Republic Wireless Phone Deals
When it comes to phones your options are limited through Republic Wireless. As of 2018, they still don’t support Apple devices.
So if you’re a loyal iOS user unfortunately this MVNO isn’t for you. If you’re an Android user though, you’ve still got a few options:
Bring your own phone – Republic Wireless operates on both GSM and CDMA networks, so you’ll have not troubled bringing your device from any other carriers. You’ll just want to change the APN settings (don’t worry, it’s easy) and you should make sure your device is unlocked.
Buy a new phone – This carrier offers a limited number of devices online through their store. However, they do offer the latest and greatest Android phones. You can also make monthly payments on your device. But keep in mind, this will bring your bill up possibly to the same rate you’re paying now.
Buy a refurbished phone – You’ll save the most money – up to 50% off retail – by shopping for refurbished phones compatible with Republic Wireless. Compare prices and features on all your favorite Android devices from reputable sellers.
1. Does Republic Wireless offer family plans?
Republic Wireless plans are already extremely low-cost, so they do not offer further discounts for families.
2. How do I switch to Republic Wireless?
Switching to Republic Wireless is smart, quick and simple. You don’t have to buy a new phone, since you can bring your device to Republic Wireless. You can keep your old number. All you need to do is order a Republic Wireless SIM card and once you have that, you can switch your phone service in as little as 2-3 minutes.
3. Can I transfer my number to Republic?
Basically, many cell phone companies out there won’t accept a number from Republic because it’s classified as a landline. Bummer.
4. Where can I buy Republic Wireless phones?
Republic Wireless does not currently have any brick and mortar locations, you you’ll have to use the company’s online shop.
5. Does Republic Wireless use a GSM network?
According to Republic, most of its phones can use both GSM and CDMA networks. But some phones may work only with the GSM network. You can check out GSM or CDMA compatibility here.
Republic Wireless deserves credit for innovating with a concept that would later be popularized by Google with its Project Fi service.
If you’re a student who lives on a Wi-Fi-blanketed campus or you want to fork over less cash to the big four wireless carriers, then Republic Wireless might be a solid option. The carrier’s straightforward approach to data pricing is also appealing.
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