Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless

It could be argued that we are somewhat of curmudgeons when it comes to new fangled technology at our house. I mean we’re still not on Facebook. (Seriously, friend is a noun, not a verb.) However, a couple of months ago we were coming up on that crossroads in our lives where our Verizon contract had ended and our phones were starting to show their age. So before jumping on the Verizon bandwagon again for another 2 years, we took pause and looked around at what else was available. I had heard of these so called “smart” phones that were like carrying around a little computer in your pocket, but after looking at what Verizon wanted to charge for the extra data and texting plans I had second thoughts. (That’s correct, we didn’t have a text plan up to this point. It didn’t make sense to me to type out a message on those tiny buttons when I could just talk to the person much easier.)

Then one day I heard of a plucky little mobile phone company called Republic Wireless. They found a way through technology to drastically reduce the cost of wireless. The secret is that anytime you’re on a Wi-Fi network like at home or work or even at church, all the phone calls, texts, and internet stuff goes through that network that you’ve already paid for instead of the more expensive cellular network. Then for the cellular coverage they just buy time wholesale from Sprint. I liked this idea because it was a slick way to stick it to the man.

I still had to convince our chief financial officer, so I put together this very compelling presentation:

She agreed and we switched back in December. (Incidentally the math in that presentation is wrong now. They dropped the price on the phone since we bought ours from $249/phone to $199/phone for the $19/month plan and $79/phone if you agree to pay $29/month for the plan.)

The Verdict


  • MMS messages don’t really work through this service. (Yet. They say they’re working on it.) That means picture messages. However, you can send and receive emails which seems to be plenty sufficient for me.
  • If you start a phone call at your house (on Wifi) and then go to get in your car, the switch over to the Sprint network is not seamless. The call drops and automatically re-calls. A pretty minor annoyance. You really shouldn’t be talking on your phone and driving anyway, right?
  • If you’re used to an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S3, the phone they have (Motorola Defy XT) is going to seem kind of lame. It doesn’t run the latest Android operating system and it’s pretty easy to run out of space for apps. But, if you’re like us, and switching from phones that aren’t like small computers, it’s still going to be pretty amazing. Rumor has it that they’re going to release some newer fancy phones later this summer.


  • The phone gets service in places other phones (even fancier phones) do not. For instance, last winter we visited my cousin who lives in kind of a cell phone dead zone. After connecting my phone to the Wifi at her house, we were the only ones who could make or receive phone calls or texts. The same goes for our basement.
  • Did I mention that it’s $19/month for unlimited talk, text, and data with no contract?

So far we’re pleased. It’s nice to be in the 21st century with everyone else, but at a much lower price tag. If you’re looking to jump ship on your cell phone provider, by signing up through this link it will give you a discount of $19 on your first month’s bill. (We’ll get $19 off our bill too, so we’ll each save a buck.)

So, if all that didn’t convince you, you should hear this guy out:

And in case you lost the link: Republic Wireless – get $20 off your first bill (and we will too)

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