Republic Wireless – making the decision to switch

After four years with Verizon Wireless, I decided to give Republic Wireless a try. Their monthly plan would cut my cost significantly.

Our cellphone bill was average of $80 per month per line. Switching just one line reduce the cost by, at least, half even with the priciest plan Republic Wireless offer.

But before making the decision, there are things to consider.

Pre-Switch Concerns

There are a bunch of things I thought through before I made the decision. I’m sure you are thinking the same:

  • Is the service reliable?
  • Will I save money (in other words, is there a catch)?
  • Am I ready to say goodbye to iPhone?
  • Can I keep my number?

Is The Service Reliable?

There is one thing I can’t dispute with Verizon Wireless’ reputation…is the network coverage. My house is the cellular dead zone for T-mobile, Sprint, AT&T, Clearwire, etc. their signals are all shut out somehow…except Verizon.

Republic Wireless is not Verizon, BUT, their unique feature of “hybrid” calling allows me to take advantage of WiFi that I already have at home. With that, I don’t have to worry about not having connection at home.

Now, when WiFi is not available, Republic Wireless uses Sprint’s network on cellular mode. Also, if Sprint is not available they fall back to Verizon’s.  So the safety net is there for me as well.

One issue that I was aware of, before I made the switch, that Republic Wireless had a problem keeping the connection when the source network switch between WiFi and cellular during a call. This issue was known pre Moto X device period, and the company marketed that the connectivity is improved with their new line of devices.

I was willing to give a benefit of doubt on that issue, since phone calls aren’t so critical in my life (I’m one of those who doesn’t realize somebody called until the next day). I can tolerate a bit of glitch here and there.

Will I Save Money?

Their monthly plans are just unbeatable in the market:

  • Unlimited 4G Data, Text, and Voice = $40 per month
  • Unlimited 3G Data, Text, and Voice = $25 per month
  • Unlimited Text and Voice, with WiFi Only Unlimited Data = $10 per month
  • WiFi Only Unlimited Text, Voice, and Data – $5 per month

And there is NO CONTRACT! No more counting down the days to your last day of your contract. You don’t like them, go ahead just switch out…without paying ever-so-agonizing Early Termination Fee.

So what’s the catch?

I wouldn’t call it a catch, because it’s not deceptive or outrageous…but I guess the money draining part of Republic Wireless is getting the device.

Since there is no contract, there is no free smartphones or heavily discounted phones available. You have to say goodbye to your green papers upfront.  I think the device prices are reasonable for being “no-contact” but it’s a solid three digits:

  • Moto X – starting from $299
  • Moto G – stating from $147

And, NO you can’t use any of your old devices with Republic Wireless (unless it is an Republic Wireless device). Their devices are customized to allow “hybrid” calling  so Moto X from Sprint would work.

You can use an Republic Wireless’ old device now that they finally made the device reactivation feature available (on April 10, 2014). So you might be able to find a cheaper option if you are willing to get an used phone.

Am I Ready To Say Goodbye to my iPhone?

Yes. I was so ready. I never became a huge iPhone fan or Apple. So this isn’t a very difficult question to answer.

I gave my 2 years to iPhone and Mac Mini as my primary devices. Didn’t work out too well.

  • I still needed my Windows to get my work done. Boot Camp, or Parallels Desktop didn’t cover everything I needed. Such as life, when you have to deal with Microsoft-based servers on regular bases.
  • My Pebble, my favorite smartwatch, and iPhone aren’t getting along so well.
  • Google Apps are just not well integrated…and I’m a heavy Google product user.
  • iCloud are just way too expensive compare to other cloud storage services (see the table below for the price comparison). That prevented me to switch everything Apple.
  • Siri and I never got along. Apparently she doesn’t understand my accent.

Obviously, iPhone isn’t an option for Republic Wireless…as matter of fact, you have only two options right now (Moto X or Moto G)…no Samsung either.

Again, for those who have strong brand royalty, this may be the hardest challenge. But for me, this wasn’t a big deal

Price comparison between iCloud and Google Drive

Storage SizeiCloudGoogle Drive
5GBFree TierFree Tier
10GB$20/yearFree Tier
20GB$40/year$24/year (100GB)
50GB$100/year$24/year (100GB)
100GBNot Listed$24/year

Can I Keep My Number?

This one is easy to check. Just use Republic Wireless tool to check if your number can be ported over.

Luckily, my number was good to transfer. This, however, could be a deal breaker if it wasn’t.

This used to be a such a minor thing when we had a landline as the primary phone. But that’s not t he case any more, and I just can’t deal with going through every single account that I have and going through the phone number edit…too painful.

How Do I Like Republic Wireless So Far?

I’ve using Republic Wireless for about a week now. So far so good. I hadn’t had a single call drop. I never noticed cellular-Wifi switch during a phone conversation (I only know that I had one because the Republic Wireless app in the phone will congratulate you when you make the first hybrid phone call).

I think it’s too early to write a full review on their service.  That portion of the review will be out in a month or so.

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