Author Topic: Republic Wireless, or other option for WiFi Calling?  (Read 4309 times)

jesstach

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Republic Wireless, or other option for WiFi Calling?
« on: December 05, 2013, 01:10:39 PM »
Hi, I was wondering if you could help me decide how I should lower my cell phone bill.

Current Plan:
AT&T iPhone 5 at $86/mo
Usage: ~1gb data and 450 min
(not sure about texts since I mostly use iMessage)

My main concern with switching to a cheaper plan is that all carriers have VERY limited cell phone coverage in my apartment. I currently use an AT&T microcell to boost signal over WiFi, which works great. Boyfriend uses a Sprint femtocell.

For this reason, Republic Wireless is appealing to me since it makes calls over WiFi. I think this can be done through GoogleVoice, but I don't want to manage two different phone numbers. Is there a simple solution? I'm not that tech-savvy.

Back-of-the-napkin Math:

Sell iPhone 5 +$350
Sell Microcell +$100
AT&T ETF -$175
RW Moto X +$299
Out of pocket = -$24

Monthly savings = $60 ($720/year)

I've spent the last several hours researching RW. My biggest concern is that the phone currently cannot be re-activated (so tough to sell or buy a used one if I break it). However, it would pay for itself in 5 months of monthly plan savings. Other than that, it looked like there were previous concerns about dropping calls when switching from wifi to cell and inability to send MMS to certain carriers, however it looks like these have been resolved with the Moto X. Also, no phone-based customer service, only an online forum.

Is this the best option? Or is there another solution that I should consider? I could keep my iPhone on Airvoice for $40/mo (save $45) but what would I do about limited cell service at home issue? Is there a seamless way to use wifi for calls only at home?

Thank you!
Jess

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4361
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Republic Wireless, or other option for WiFi Calling?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2013, 02:29:45 PM »
Question: Why is it so important to have mobile reception at home? Why does it matter if you have two phone numbers?

Bring in a home phone via VoIP and change your mobile usage habits, including gutting your data usage. PAYG per minute GSM plans can typically do call forwarding, as can Ting.

Alternately, if you're not adverse to selling your current phone and replacing it, again consider Ting as they're Sprint based and may work with your live-in boyfriend's Sprint femtocell with minimal hassle, or even combine bills with him and both go to Ting. Phones are cheaper, and you can potentially get your bill lower than what Republic wants to charge you. Unless he has an iPhone 5 or newer, he could directly switch to Ting without even replacing equipment (including the femtocell - they're the only MVNO that does femtocell support).

Although this might be one of the rarer situations where an mVoIP provider might be a potentially positive thing, I still wouldn't necessarily recommend Republic specifically and advocate the home + mobile solution first. Also, there's other options like TextNow with less draconian terms of service and cheaper equipment.

jesstach

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: Republic Wireless, or other option for WiFi Calling?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 03:29:18 PM »
Hi, IP thanks for your reply. I guess I only need mobile at home since I have no other land line or VOIP set up currently. I guess it wouldn't be a big deal to use two phone numbers. I use iMessage to communicate most of the time anyways.

My boyfriend's company pays his cell phone bill, so he has no reason to switch to a low cost plan. He is considering switching to Verizon for better coverage (his Sprint plan is out of contract). Does Ting support the femtocell if there is no Sprint plan? From what I read, it seemed like it would work as long as there is an active Sprint plan. But once you cancel with Sprint it doesn't work. Is that true?

I think the easiest solution for me would be to go to AirVoice for $40/mo and stick with my AT&T phone. Would GoogleVoice be the best option to make calls from home over wifi? I'd rather not pay additional for a land line or VOIP phone if I could use GV for free. I could sell the microcell for ~$100 to help offset the ETF.

Still considering RW for $25/mo vs. Airvoice's $40/mo though.

As for data usage, I could lower (no more Facebook, instagram, pinterest when I'm bored waiting somewhere). But I still like it for pandora in the car, gps, looking things up if I'm out (yelp, google), and work email.

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4361
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Republic Wireless, or other option for WiFi Calling?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 04:23:34 PM »
Does Ting support the femtocell if there is no Sprint plan? From what I read, it seemed like it would work as long as there is an active Sprint plan. But once you cancel with Sprint it doesn't work. Is that true?

Yes and yes. As for a Sprint activated femtocell supporting a Ting customer, that might be something best asked the Ting support staff.

Edit for clarity: You should also be able to re-activate the Sprint femtocell with Ting if the boyfriend ditches Sprint.

I think the easiest solution for me would be to go to AirVoice for $40/mo and stick with my AT&T phone. Would GoogleVoice be the best option to make calls from home over wifi?

Eh, not really. You get what you pay for. You really should sit down and examine your real usage numbers (not just your included anytime minutes with your plan) and figure out where you make most of your calls. Knowing this will help you best select a plan because you'll know what you actually need.

As for data usage, I could lower (no more Facebook, instagram, pinterest when I'm bored waiting somewhere). But I still like it for pandora in the car, gps, looking things up if I'm out (yelp, google), and work email.

Are you FI? If not, you probably have debt. If you have debt, you shouldn't be wasting money on hedonic conveniences. If you're not FI but have no debt, you should still be socking away as much as possible. You don't need that data, you want it... and most of those services can be easily replaced with offline equivalents and a little pre-planning, and the rest is just a lack of self discipline.

Start here: http://www.techmeshugana.com/2013/01/are-iphones-worth-it/
Followed with the first seven posts here: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-isps-voip-cell/
And finish here: http://www.techmeshugana.com/2013/05/how-to-save-money-with-an-iphone/
Optional reading: http://www.techmeshugana.com/2013/04/voip-and-the-return-of-the-home-phone/

Still considering RW for $25/mo vs. Airvoice's $40/mo though.

Before you commit, do your homework and become an educated customer. Figure out what you actually need and shop around amongst the available options. Be aware that using nearly any other MVNO (if you're willing to ditch the iPhone) will have far cheaper used phone options available with a higher resale value. Also, if you're still sold on the whole mVoIP thing on a Sprint carrier, seriously investigate TextNow before pulling the lever. Same basic technology, near identical caveats with reliability and service, clear cut usage numbers, better terms of service, cheaper handsets if you buy from them directly, and the option to bring your own Sprint Android device on top of it all if you'd rather shop around for a used handset instead.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 04:54:19 PM by I.P. Daley »

Squidrow Wilson

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Republic Wireless, or other option for WiFi Calling?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2013, 02:16:26 PM »
Are you referring to their new model, the Moto X, or the older Defy XT?

I'm assuming that its the Moto X because of the $25 plan you mentioned. The Moto X would likely be fine if you're comfortable with the $299 initial price. But I wouldn't recommend the Defy XT to someone who isn't technically savvy and won't want to tinker with it.

It's a nice enough phone once you've rooted it and gotten rid of their bloatware, but it doesn't take much to max out the unrooted phone.

kendallf

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1065
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
Re: Republic Wireless, or other option for WiFi Calling?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2013, 03:03:56 PM »
I'll chime in here with a recommendation for the Republic Wireless service (with the new Moto X).

I.P. Daley, I don't want to offend you, but I see you posting links to voluminous walls of posts over and over, and I tried to read through it all.  I did.  I just don't care that much.  :-)

I bought the new Moto X from RW, it appears to work fairly seamlessly on Wi-Fi and cell service, and I'm paying $10/mo.  I turned on the cell data at Thanksgiving and used it for a couple of weeks, and it had decent coverage here in FL (I traveled to South FL and back and used it fairly heavily). 

One thumbs up here.

Life in Balance

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 367
Re: Republic Wireless, or other option for WiFi Calling?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2013, 03:59:55 PM »
Another vote for RW!  I'm not super tech savvy with phones, so I was leery of changing.  But I switched to Republic Wireless about two weeks ago:  The Moto X is really nice and I've had zero problems.  I'm now paying $10/month instead of $50.  I'm not too concerned about making up the price for the phone as I needed to replace my old one (poor reception), but I'll break even in less than 8 months just with the monthly savings. 

krenwren

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Republic Wireless, or other option for WiFi Calling?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 05:40:26 PM »
Yes IPDALEY is correct that you should really examine your habits before you decide on switching.  I didn't really examine mine as carefully as I should have and made the leap to RW.  I have been very happy so far.  I have the MOTO X, a wonderful phone and the $10 3G/wireless data plan.  The only thing I have to be careful with is making sure I leave home with all the numbers I need on the go.  This will be less of a problem as I go along.  Also if I am desperate, I can pull over and find a wireless access in order to get data and numbers.  I downloaded CoPilot for maps and it works beautifully for me.  I had the xt and sent it back for the $100 rebate so I didn't end up with a "brick"  RW is working on reactivation but I didn't want to wait.  Anyhoo, I am saving a bundle and am trying to get others on board.

burly

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 151
  • Location: East
Re: Republic Wireless, or other option for WiFi Calling?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2013, 09:05:16 PM »
If you go RW, make sure you really test it out in the first 30 days... Where you visit often and won't have wifi.

My wife and I just switched (21 or so days ago..) it works great for me.. but my wife isn't thrilled with the sprint service or lack thereof where she works (no wifi either)... So.. We're returning her phone and going back to StraightTalk for her.

If RW was on ATT or  Verizon rather than Sprint it would have been an amazing phone...