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2019 Republic Wireless Cell Phone Plan Review: +Network Coverage

Rachel Carey
Financial Guru
Updated: 6/2019
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REPUBLIC WIRELESS REVIEW
Republic Wireless

Why Republic Wireless?

  • There are no hidden fees or contracts to deal with.
  • Operates under T-Mobile so you can expect the same coverage as T-mobile data plans.
  • It is an MVNO that prioritizes WiFi connection over cellular data so users can save.
  • You can unlock your own smartphone or buy a new unlocked phone through Republic Wireless.
Try Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless Phone Plan ReviewLooking for a new cell phone plan isn’t an easy thing—with the technology age continuing to get more advanced, it can feel like as the world becomes more advanced, it will continue to be more difficult to understand it.

Table of Contents

The Problem

Even just sifting through the amount of cell phone plans that you can find can feel overwhelming, with many of the options constricted to the major 4 brands: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, rinse and repeat.

Besides, for me, it never made sense to pay for an expensive phone plan that many of the major companies offer. I’m always either at work or at home, both places that have wifi and therefore don’t require me to stay connected to a cell phone network. The amount of times I’ve gone to the end of the month without using half of my data plan is enough that recently I decided that I would make a change—it’s now been my goal to find a cellphone plan that I can use and feel comfortable with. This is why it’s so important for me to find a service that I can pay for without feeling like I’m being overcharged for things I don’t even want.

When mentioning this to a friend over lunch, they mentioned a company that I had not heard of before: Republic Wireless. They also seemed shocked that I had not heard of them before, saying that they are an innovative brand that focuses on prioritizing wifi over cellular data, allowing users to save money and not alter their internet/phone habits.

Who is Republic Wireless?

Republic Wireless is a company that initially began in 2010 by utilizing custom firmware; Republic Wireless would use their custom firmware to allow phones to inherently prioritize wifi over cellular data, even going so far as to allow consumers to make and receive all calls over wifi when connected to a network.

Republic Wireless is also a MVNO of sorts, which means that they are a smaller cellphone service that is able to purchase network coverage from larger companies at lower, wholesale prices in order to sell back to consumers for lower rates.

Republic Wireless Phone Plan Review

What is an MVNO?

MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator and is a term used to refer to the approximately 300 businesses in the US right now who don’t operate as a subsidiary of a major network. For instance, an MVNO isn’t about necessarily trying to mimic the business models of major telephone services; MVNOs are trying to present an alternative to the mainstream companies, which typically lock users into a long-term contract in order to persuade them into staying loyal to the business.

A stark contrast from this, MVNOs are typically contract-free, allowing users to either pay-as-they-go with data/minutes or to pay on a monthly basis with no following commitment. For those who are looking for a service that gives them flexibility, an MVNO is a good option to get a reliable, but flexible cellphone service.

MVNOs don’t get their reliability from using their own networks, though—typically MVNOs are using the exact same networks as the mainstream companies, the only difference being that they don’t own the networks themselves. When an MVNO buys coverage from a major company, this means that they are getting the same exact service.

So, for those who might be traveling out of the country a lot but still want a quality service on par with something like T-Mobile, using an MVNO is a way for customers to still be able to retain their desired quality while also embracing their freedom. Credo Mobile and Mint Mobile is a good example of an MVNO. 

Republic Wireless is a company that operates off of an MVNO-type business model, using the service of T-Mobile to offer plans that involve the exact same coverage as standard T-Mobile plans do. They also have the benefit of utilizing wifi to its full potential, allowing people to use their phone’s full capabilities while solely connected to wifi.

There were a few kinks at the start, but since then they have gone through multiple betas and iterations to develop a network that runs efficiently off of this business model, making sure that customers who use wifi are able to get the full usage it can offer while integrating those features with their cellphone bill.

Because this prospect fascinated me, I decided to give it a shot. I purchased a plan for Republic Wireless under the pretense that I was going to try it for a month—here are my thoughts.

Republic Wireless Phone Plan Review

What are Your Options?

When switching to Republic Wireless, users have two options to choose from: use your own (unlocked) smartphone with a Republic Wireless SIM card, or buy a new phone from their roster of unlocked phones.

The Republic Wireless roster of smartphones mainly consists of androids—there are no iPhones or other types of phones on the list, but this was not an issue for me. I decided to continue using my iPhone 6Plus which gave me no problems during the setup process. It was simply a matter of inserting the SIM card and then using my phone, something that I appreciated greatly.

Republic Wireless currently offers the “My Choice Plan”, a type of plan meant to indicate the flexibility of their service. With this plan, users can pay $15/month for unlimited text and calling within the T-Mobile network. There is no pre-set data on this network, as it mainly comes during those moments in which you don’t have wifi, so you pay $5 per GB of cellular data you use.

This price point didn’t bother me that much, but it’s worth noting that this is a bit pricey when compared to other MVNOs that might give you more data and unlimited texting for only $10 per month.

However, when compared with major phone companies, the Republic Wireless phone plan is a complete breeze and entirely transparent, something that is relieving for somebody who is tired of contracts and hidden fees.

How is their Coverage?

Because my previous phone contract was with Sprint, it was good to see the amount of coverage given with Republic Wireless’ T-Mobile-based network. The coverage map they provide is much larger than Sprint and also provides more solid coverage in the areas that they cover, making it easy for me to feel right at home.

I live mostly in Manhattan, meaning that the cell phone service is pretty strong overall, but even on my weekend drives upstate and to the Northeast I was greeted with pretty stable and strong connections, something that I found incredibly helpful and accommodating.

Something that I should mention about the service I received from Republic Wireless, though, is that it would frequently drop calls when I was switching from wifi to data. This is something that confused me, as it seemed like it would be pretty intuitive if the service was using the same features for the connection.

After doing some research online, I was able to figure out that this is something that they actually tried to fix early on, implementing various firmware updates to try and get it to be more stable when switching between connections. It might have been the fact that I was using the service with an iPhone, but this did happen to me every once in a while. I should also note, though, that this happened infrequently enough that it wasn’t a huge deal, only a minor inconvenience at times.

A downside of Republic Wireless is that there’s no international coverage, period. However, for the service you’re paying, it makes sense and is not a huge deal. If you’re planning to leave the country frequently and would like to take your phone plan with you, there are other types of MVNOs that would be more suited for your needs.

If you’re using a Republic Wireless unlocked phone, though, you’re still able to use that for any purposes you’d like while traveling internationally. For example, when traveling to Germany I was not able to use my Republic Wireless phone plan, but I was easily able to switch out the SIM card in my phone with a prepaid O2 one in order to get accurate service.

Another way to save data and utilize your Republic Wireless phone when traveling internationally is to keep the phone in airplane mode, then using the wifi networks around you.

Something that is incredibly helpful about Republic Wireless is their customer service, which typically goes above-and-beyond to make sure that customers are satisfied with their purchases. For example, being able to have a 14-day window on both service purchases and phone purchases to make sure that you’re satisfied is incredibly generous and makes it easier on the consumer end to trust the company.

Republic Wireless Phone Plan Review

Customer Service

The customer support lines are also incredibly helpful and always available, something that helps make the consumer even more confident in the service they’re receiving. When I had some questions about the service, I was greeted with open communication and quick response times, something that I felt was much different than other phone services I had dealt with previously.

Final Thoughts

My overall service with Republic Wireless was very good. I was able to find an incredible amount of stability with an affordable price that gave me more than I was previously using when signed onto a contract with Sprint.

I think an important question to ask oneself when deciding if a service is fitting is mainly what they are looking to get out of it. For example, if someone I know who is very data-dependent asked me if switching to Republic Wireless would be good for them, I would not recommend them to do so. This is simply because the entire existence of the company is predicated on the fact that the people using it will not need data as much and are glad to use wifi. Therefore, if you need an unlimited data plan to be able to function frequently, then it is clearly not the service for you.

The effectiveness of Republic Wireless also depends on whether or not you have wifi wherever you go. Depending on which city you live in, it might be easier to get wifi in public spaces than in other places. For example, I live in Manhattan, New York, so finding wifi in public places was not difficult. During the few times that I would have to use data it was there, but I would be comforted by the fact that I am mostly at home or at the office, meaning that I’m always connected to some sort of wifi network. When I’m not at either of those places, I’m likely commuting, something that also can have accessible wifi due to the subway having wifi as well.

The biggest gripe I have with Republic Wireless is the pricing—though it is incredibly low when compared to contracts from mainstream companies, something about paying $15 to not have data doesn’t sit right with me. There are other MVNOs that allow you to have a good deal of data and unlimited texting/calling, something that left me confused when it was then not possible to do the same with Republic Wireless. If you’re in need of a more beefier data plan then check out Verizon Wireless deals.

The coverage is definitely worth the money, though, as T-Mobile gives you access to a very large network of service that is pretty reliable. I never found myself in a situation where the coverage didn’t feel stable, which is something I’ve definitely felt with all of the other mainstream services I have been with. Taking into account how I was also traveling frequently to upstate NY and also the general Northeast area, I felt incredibly comfortable knowing that my service wouldn’t significantly drop if I wasn’t careful enough.

Republic Wireless is a good, reputable company that also provides a service that can help many people who are looking for a new cell phone service provider. My only hesitation with the service is that it is so specialized that you must do your research before deciding it is for you, but those who are looking for exactly what it offers will be delighted to know that it fulfills its mission statement very thoroughly. Republic Wireless has a good amount of stability and affordability that puts mainstream cellphone services to shame and hopefully its innovative wifi-based business model is a sign of things to come in this ever-changing technological and cultural landscape.

Still looking for a reliable phone plan? Read our Xfinity mobile reviews along with other top cell phone company reviews. 

FAQ

As a Republic Wireless customer, you will find answers to your inquiries in these FAQs. If your questions are not answered in the FAQs listed below, visit the help section of the Republic Wireless to learn more.

Here is everything you need to know about Republic Wireless network;

Getting Started on the Republic Wireless Network

We understand that getting started on Republic Wireless could sometimes be a hassle, especially if you have looming unanswered questions. With these answered questions, you are sure on your way to being a part of Republic Wireless service.

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Does Republic Wireless Use Sim Cards?

Yes, whether you are using a Republic Wireless 3.0, 2.0 or 1.0 phone or you are on the BYON (Bring Your Own Phone) program, you are expected to use a Sim card to access the Republic Wireless network.

Where to buy a Republic Wireless Sim Card?

All Republic Wireless Sim cards are purchased from any Republic Wireless online or designated online outlet. Meanwhile, every phone purchased from Republic Wireless always comes with a Sim card.

What is my Republic Wireless account number?

Your Republic Wireless account number is your 10-digit phone number that is connected to the Republic Wireless network.

How much does Republic Wireless cost?

You can buy and enjoy a Republic Wireless plan for as low as $20 which gives you access to unlimited text/calls plus 1 gigabyte worth of data. Subsequently, you can pay an additional $5 for each gigabyte you choose to add to your existing plan.

How good is the Republic Wireless coverage?

Currently, Republic Wireless has reached the nationwide coverage in and around the United States and still expanding.

Can I transfer my number to Republic Wireless?

Yes, you may be able to transfer your number to Republic Wireless depending on the kind of number you wish to transfer. While most numbers can be transferred, others cannot due to different reasons. However, to know if your number is eligible for a transfer and also to see the transfer procedure, see the number transfer page.

How do I change my Republic Wireless plan?

Changing your Republic Wireless plan depends on the type of plan you are currently on. There are currently three plans on Republic Wireless, and they include the “My Choice (4.0) Plan”, “Republic Refund Plan,” and the “Republic Wireless (1.0) Plan”. For further details on how to change from your existing plan, go to the Republic Wireless How To Change Your Plan.

Can I transfer my number to Republic Wireless?

Usually, you should be able to transfer your existing number to Republic Wireless, but for some reasons, some numbers are nontransferable. To see if your number is transferable, go through the How To Transfer Your Number link.

How to transfer number from Republic wireless?

Transferring your number from the Republic Wireless service is a relatively straightforward process. The first step is to contact your new network provider to let them know you would like to transfer your number from the Republic Wireless Service. Secondly, you will be asked to provide the information below which will help with the transfer:

Your Account Number: This is your Republic Wireless 10-digit phone number, without any additional characters or spaces. (Ex. 1234567890)

Your PIN: This is your account PIN, specific to your number.

When will Republic Wireless release new phones?

There are no specific release dates for new phones, but Republic Wireless always makes an online press release via its online community and its social media pages when a new product is added to the Republic Wireless online store.

Join the Republic Wireless community or follow its social media pages so you can stay updated;

Press Release page

Facebook fan page

Twitter fan page

Does Republic Wireless have added fees?

Apart from the Tax charges and other surcharges, there are no added fees levied by Republic Wireless. Visit the tax and surcharges page to learn more about Tax and Surcharges

Can I change my Republic Wireless plans regularly?

Yes. Changing plans on Republic Wireless is easy and without hassle although there are 3 plans available.

Click on this link to see a step-by-step guide on how to change from your existing Republic Wireless plan to another plan.

What is “Republic Wireless Anywhere”?

“Republic Wireless Anywhere” is a collection of apps that allow you to use your Republic Wireless phone number to send SMS and MMS to any of your compatible devices including your laptop and tablet.

With “Republic Wireless Anywhere,” you have all your information synced across all of your devices- from your contacts to your text messages.

How to find a PIN on a Republic Wireless phone?

Your Republic Wireless Account Pin is a unique 4-digit number used to validate and verify your association with a specific owner or user account. To update your Pin, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Account portal.
  2. Click on “Account Settings.”
  3. Click on “PIN.”
  4. Click on the Pencil icon on the right side of the screen next to “PIN.”
  5. Enter your New PIN.

How does Republic Wireless work?

Republic Wireless does not adopt your traditional phone network model. Instead of using cellular service first, Republic Wireless phones rely on Wi-Fi first, while using the cellular network as a backup option. If for any reason no Wi-Fi networks are in the range of your device, it automatically switches to a cellular network. The result of the pair is a smartphone with all the coverage and capability of a regular phone, but with the added power of Wi-Fi for talk, text, and access to the internet.

Phone Related Questions

Amongs all the gadgets used by Republic Wireless Network to connect its consumers to the world, the mobile phone is still the most used and hence bears the most questions and inquiries. That’s why these lists were put together comprising of possible phone related questions

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What phones are compatible with Republic Wireless?

See the full list of vetted mobile phones on Republic Wireless here.

Meanwhile, if you have a mobile phone of your own which you would like to connect to Republic Wireless, visit the Bring Your Own Phone page to check if it is compatible and then connect it to the Republic Wireless service.

What phones work on Republic Wireless?

All phones sold at our online store are all compatible with Republic Wireless. Besides, you can also bring your phones for compatibility check in our “BYON program”

Can you unlock a Republic Wireless phone?

All Republic Wireless 3.0 phones are all unlocked and can adaptable with any other network provider, but the Republic Wireless 1.0 and 2.0 phones cannot be unlocked because the ROMs are created explicitly for the Republic Wireless service alone.

Where can I buy a Republic Wireless phone?

All Republic Wireless phones can be purchased from its online store. However, at this time, Republic Wireless does not have an offline retail store. You can see the list of online stores here.

Can I use my phone with Republic Wireless?

Yes, you can use your existing phone with a Republic Wireless Sim card. All you need to do is to simply follow the process on this page to get started.

How to block a number from Republic Wireless?

Blocking a number on the Republic Wireless network depends on many factors. For example, the Republic Wireless 1.0 and 2.0 does not come with the feature. However, you can block specific text messages and phone calls. To know the steps involved in blocking a number, go through this link.

How do I activate my Republic Wireless phone?

Activating your Republic Wireless phone is an automatic process. Your phone will display an initial step-by-step guide when it is turned on for the first time. You will be shown every intricate process from setting up your Wi-Fi network and signing up or logging in your Google account to personalizing your device. If this is not the case with your device, please refer to the Republic Wireless help section for a more detailed procedure.

How to port my number to the Republic Wireless network?

Before you can port your number to the Republic Wireless network, you must first check if your number is transferable. To check if your number is transferable and to learn more about the transfer process, visit the How To Transfer Your Number section.

Does Republic Wireless have iPhones?

No. At this time, Republic Wireless does is not compatible with iPhones. However, this may change in the future.

Can you use a Republic Wireless phone with another carrier?

All Republic Wireless 3.0 phones are compatible with other network carriers. However, if you own a Republic Wireless 1.0 or 2.0 phones, you may not be able to use it with another network provider; this is mainly dependent on the model and type of the phone.

Does Republic Wireless work with iPhone?

No, at this time, Republic Wireless Sim cards are not compatible with iPhones, although this could change in the future.

What phones are compatible with Republic Wireless?

All phones sold in our online store are all compatible with Republic Wireless. Also, all phone validated by our BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) program are entirely compatible. To know more about the compatible phones, go through this page.

How to upgrade a Republic Wireless phone?

If you would like to upgrade your Republic Wireless phone, kindly follow the process described below;

Purchase a supported phone from either our store or via the BYOP program.

Proceed to activate the phone: During the activation process, after signing in with your existing Republic Wireless account, you will be presented with an option to input your present number to the new phone. Simply affirm.

Once the activation process is complete, your new phone will be upgraded with your existing number. It should be noted that this automatically deactivates your previous phone.

How to block a number on Republic Wireless?

You can block a number on Republic Wireless from either texting or calling you depending on the Republic Wireless plan you are on. See the How to Block a Number help section for an easy step-by-step guide on how to block unwanted calls and texts on Republic Wireless.

Does Republic Wireless send out system updates automatically?

Yes, Republic Wireless sends system updates to your device periodically through a method referred to as OTA (over the air) when your device is connected through Wi-Fi. System updates are a way to add new features to your device

How to set up voicemail on Republic Wireless?

Republic Wireless voicemail is a way by which you can store messages from your callers. Follow the Voicemail set up page here to see a step-by-step guide on how to set up voicemail on Republic Wireless.

Does Republic Wireless support AT&T unlocked phones?

With the Republic Wireless’ BYON program, you can use any unlocked phone with Republic Wireless. Simply click on the BYOP link to see if your device is compatible to get started.

Are Republic Wireless phones locked?

All Republic Wireless 3.0 phones are unlocked- meaning you can use them with different network providers as long as the phones meet their requirements. However, all Republic Wireless 1.0 and 2.0 phones are locked to the Republic Wireless network exclusively.

Can I sell my phone back to Republic Wireless?

Republic Wireless currently does not have a phone buy-back plan, but it has an option where you can to sell your used phone to a third-party recipient or you can choose to gift your phone to someone who cannot afford one.

Service/Coverage Related Question

Here you will find answers commonly asked about Republic wireless Network coverage. Either to understand the intricacies or you want to just be in the know-know.

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What network does Republic Wireless use?

As of now, Republic Wireless runs on two network providers when Wi-Fi network is unavailable; Sprint and T-Mobile. While Sprint is specially made for mobile phones that run on the CDMA network, T-Mobile is made for mobile phones that run on the GSM network.

Is Republic Wireless CDMA or GSM?

Republic Wireless Sim cards can either be a CDMA or GSM. You can tell by looking at the “Republic” text on the Sim Card; if the text displayed is grey, then it’s a CDMA, but if the “Republic” text is green, it’s a GSM Sim card. However, if you have acquired a Republic Wireless 3.0 phones, you can easily verify your Sim card type by checking via the Republic Wireless mobile app.

What cell service does Republic Wireless use?

Republic Wireless Network supports both the CDMA and GSM networks. All Republic Wireless 3.0 phones can run both GSM and CDMA networks, but not concurrently. It’s either you choose to run on a GSM or a CDMA network. On the other hand, all phones that are synced to the Republic Wireless network through the BYON program can only run on GSM.

Is Republic Wireless VoIP?

Yes, Republic Wireless uses VoIP technology to transmit voice and text signals, but it also uses cellular technology as a secondary option in areas where there is limited internet access. VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, is an improved technology that converts voice into a digital signal, allowing you to make voice calls from your VoIP phone, computer or any compatible device.

What cell towers does Republic Wireless use?

Since Republic Wireless is a Wi-Fi network provider first, it requires no cell tower to operate. But Republic Wireless also uses cell towers belonging to partnered companies to deliver cellular services to its growing customer base.

Is Republic Wireless GSM or CDMA?

Republic Wireless runs on both GSM and CDMA networks. Most of the Republic Wireless 3.0 phones can run on both our GSM and CDMA networks. However, due to hardware limitations, some of the Republic Wireless phones only work on the GSM network.

What two carriers does Republic Wireless use?

As of now, Republic Wireless runs on two carriers when Wi-Fi is unavailable; Sprint and T-Mobile. While Sprint is specially made for mobile phones that run on the CDMA network, T-Mobile is made for mobile phones that run on the GSM network.

General Questions

These are questions that are just as important but could not fit into any of the categories mentioned above.

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Is Republic Wireless a public company?

No, since its founding in 2010, Republic Wireless has been a privately-owned company.

Where is Republic Wireless located?

Republic Wireless currently has its headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America.

How good is Republic Wireless?

With 98% 4g LTE coverage in the United States and the backing of the world’s most reputable cellular brands- not forgetting a billing system that is next to no other, Republic Wireless is far from Good, it is one of the best.

Does Republic Wireless work in Europe?

Currently, you can only use the Republic Wireless Cellular Service in the United States and Canada, but its Wi-Fi service is operational internationally including in most parts of Europe such as Germany and Netherlands. With the Wi-Fi network, you can receive and send texts and make calls to numbers in the United States and Canada. However, additional terms apply to each plan. See the Work Internationally page to learn more;

How is Republic Wireless different?

Arguably, Republic Wireless is one of the most affordable network providers in the United States as of now. It prides itself in consistently providing innovative solutions geared at meeting the needs of its customers; so yes, it is safe to say Republic Wireless is the best amongst the lot.

Is Republic Wireless associated with a bigger carrier?

Yes. Republic Wireless is in partnership with some notable cellular carriers. They are T-Mobile and Sprint. T-Mobile serves customers on the GSM network while Sprint handles customers on the CDMA network.

How many customers does Republic Wireless have?

While Republic Wireless currently has no official statistics to show its total customers, it has continually grown and expanded over the past years having customers and active users in each of the US states.

Does Republic Wireless have stores?

Yes, all the Republic Wireless Sim cards and phones can be purchased from its online store. However, at this time, Republic Wireless does not have an offline retail store. See the following Republic Wireless Online Stores list to check all available online stores;

How to contact Republic Wireless by phone?

In a fix, you can reach any of the Republic Wireless experts at any time from your mobile device. You may use the below means to contact its experts:

You can send them a mail at [email protected]

Open a help ticket from your Republic Wireless app: How To Open a Ticket

Reach out via its social media pages:

Republic Wireless Facebook page

Republic Wireless Twitter page

Rachel Carey

Rachel Carey

Financial Guru

Rachel is dedicated to helping individuals and families boost their budgets so they can enjoy the lifestyle they deserve. Rachel graduated with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. She’s a prolific finance writer, producing tons of articles on different aspects of personal and family budget management.

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