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.

What you need to know:
  • 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.
Note: I am not being paid by Republic to promote their service. 

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