- Republic keeps its rates low by using WiFi for phone calls whenever possible, rather than cell signals.
- I was not able to continue using my existing phone (an old LG Cosmos 2 dumbphone). Republic only works with three models of phones: the Motorola Moto E, G, or X. I bought the cheapest, a Moto E, from them for $117 including tax and ground shipping. It has all the features of a smartphone and runs Android 4.4.4.
- Republic offers a 30 day trial period. I could have returned the phone and canceled my service during that period for a full refund.
- In my area, Republic uses Sprint for its cell towers, with Verizon as a roaming backup where Sprint signals do not exist. This led to poorer coverage for me than I had with Verizon. However, for my usage and travel patterns, I found that I am almost always in a place where there is either WiFi or Sprint signal (or both) available.
- I was not able to keep my old cell phone number. Republic does not have any phone numbers local to my area. In fact, when the phone first arrived it had a 520 area code, but I was able to switch it to a 928 (my area code) number easily and quickly.
- If I wanted to upgrade to a data plan, Republic makes that easy and allows switching between plans up to twice a month. As I said, my new Moto E is already a smart phone so I would not need to upgrade it if I went to a data plan.
- After seeing my phone, my father also decided to switch from Verizon to Republic. Since he wouldn't need the 30 day trial period, we bought a refurbished Moto E for $82 (price has now dropped to $74) on eBay which looks and works like new.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Why (and How) I Switched to Republic Wireless
The why is pretty easy: I was paying around $35 a month for unlimited talk and text through Verizon. With Republic Wireless, that number has dropped to $11.81 a month. And there is no monthly contract.