Author Topic: Republic Wireless, get me there please  (Read 4677 times)

aceyou

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Republic Wireless, get me there please
« on: July 06, 2015, 07:23:38 PM »
Please help me make the switch.  My $40/month verizon bill has got to go.  If this goes well, then my wife will switch too, making the savings double.  Here's my questions:

1.  Moto G or Moto X?  Background info: My plan is to go with the $10/month plan for talk/text, but no data.  However, if I go on a trip, I may want the ability to add data (but this is not a dealbreaker). I want a serviceable camera to take photos of my son and daughter.  Well, that's about it.  My laptop is the main way I use the internet, I'm rarely using data on my samsung galaxy 4 right now anyway.   

2.  Pricing.  I see that I can get the G for 150 and the X for 300 on their website.  Should I just buy through them or go elsewhere? 

Thanks.  I hope to pull the trigger by the end of the day Friday, because what's the wait, right? 

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2015, 07:38:38 PM »
Think someone was selling one in the market place section on this forum.

Daley

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2015, 07:52:21 PM »
Before you switch to Republic, you should perhaps read about others experiences and why I don't recommend them myself in the guide.

Unless you're already on Verizon Prepaid, you'd be better off looking into only paying for what you need and keeping your existing phones which may or may not be able to go over to an AT&T or T-Mobile MVNO as well as a Verizon MVNO if they're LTE handsets.

Look into Selectel (Verizon), Puppy Wireless (Verizon), Airvoice (AT&T), PureTalk USA (AT&T), H2O Wireless (AT&T), and P'tel (T-Mobile) before locking yourself into a potentially bad situation and generate a whole mess more of needless electronic waste. Don't be afraid of paying for what you need, but if you insist on going with some ultra-cheap hybrid VoIP/mobile monstrosity riding on Sprint, look into using FreedomPop, RingPlus or TextNow. You'll still have to buy new to you smartphone handsets, but at least you'll be able to potentially choose something far nicer and cheaper than a proprietary firmware laden, carrier locked Moto E/G/X as they all support BYOD.... and at least RingPlus and TextNow actually offer real live tech support people.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 07:55:12 PM by I.P. Daley »

jml2307

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2015, 08:10:10 PM »
I have been using RW for a couple months now and am sort of happy with the service. I switched from an expensive AT&T plan which had excellent service and I now have the $25 / month RW plan now. The data / text portion of the pone is great, but the voice portion leaves something to be desired. I drop calls frequently and often have a hard time understanding the person on the other end of the call. I am not able to pin point whether this is because of a poor wifi signal or if it is just the sprint network or a transition between the two. I am not a heavy talker though, so this is not a huge issue.

I have the Moto-G phone, and I stupidly ordered the 8gb version thinking I could put my own memory card into it; you cannot add a micro-sd card to this particular phone. This was not immediately clear to me when I ordered it, and I consciously selected the smaller memory device thinking I could expand it. Not a big problem, but another minor-annoyance. Otherwise, the phone is very good.

On the plus side, I recently was on travel to a location that did not have cell reception on any of the major carriers, but where I was staying had free wifi, so my phone worked as well as normal when in range.

Overall, I give the reception 2 out of 5 stars and the hardware 4 out of 5 stars. I will stick it out for a while to see if anything improves with subsequent software updates, and for the savings, I am not losing $$ either way.

aceyou

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2015, 08:20:54 PM »
To JML2307: Thanks for the review.  Text is #1 for me, talk is #2, and data is #3, so that's good for me as long as texting works.  I'm a tennis coach and frequently like to blanket about 50 kids with information about practice, upcoming events, etc.  So I need to be able to text a lot and effectively.  Heck, if calls don't work well, that's just a built in excuse to not have to talk to people on the phone:)

To IPDaley:  All your concerns/suggestions seem valid.  However, I went to selectel and puppy like you suggested, but they don't offer cheap plans for people who text high volumes.  Republic gives me that ability for 10/month.  If you can suggest a provider where I can keep my samsung and get unlimited texting for about 10/month, I would strongly consider that over republic. 

kendallf

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2015, 08:32:57 PM »
You can read reviews of the Moto G and X online; my short synopsis is the X has a better camera, otherwise they're very similar for a normal user.  Neither has a SIM card slot.  I have been using the X since it first came out on RW (maybe a year and a half?  Don't remember..) and it's been very reliable.  My service and reception on RW and roaming elsewhere have been generally excellent.  RW is a no brainer to me over some cobbled together mish mash of call forwarding and various apps; I have no interest in becoming a phone geek.   My regular bill is $31 with 3G coverage, $11 on wi-fi only.

To JML's point above, you can occasionally get crappy voice quality on slow wifi connections; if I'm aware that this is going on and need to make long/multiple calls, I just disconnect from that wifi network and use cellular coverage.  I regularly use mine internationally on wifi; it's very nice to be able to call the US and have people call you with no setup or other numbers needed.

RW puts a custom software load on these phones so you'll need to buy them from RW or used from another RW customer.


Daley

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2015, 09:49:32 PM »
To IPDaley:  All your concerns/suggestions seem valid.  However, I went to selectel and puppy like you suggested, but they don't offer cheap plans for people who text high volumes.  Republic gives me that ability for 10/month.  If you can suggest a provider where I can keep my samsung and get unlimited texting for about 10/month, I would strongly consider that over republic.

Get me your wife's phone model (just so I can confirm for hers as well) and either a city name or ZIP code for your area (PM me if you don't want to make it public). Your Galaxy S4 is already globally carrier unlocked and supports GSM and UMTS on both the 850 and 1900MHz US bands. If T-Mobile coverage works well in your area, I've already got a couple winners that'll beat the pants off of Republic without even needing to use anything like Google Voice, one if you can keep your minutes under 100 a month at a hard and flat $10 (Liberty Wireless), and the other dependent upon your wife's phone and usage (Ting GSM) pulling from the same usage buckets as yours, but you have to concede that you probably don't actually need "unlimited" texting.

I would also seriously look at your monthly bill and find out how many texts you actually average a month. If it's under about 2000-2500 a month (that's a lot of texting), even Puretalk USA would work with their Simple 1000 plan at $18/month. I know, you're aiming for the magic $10 mark, but Republic has some of the highest line taxes and fees I've seen charged to users. Puretalk USA rolls that stuff into their prices already and you technically only have to remit sales/use tax for what you spent at the end of the year. Figure maybe a $5 difference realistically between the two. 150/5=30 30/12=2.5 years. Granted, this doesn't factor selling your current phone (you'd only break even selling your S4 for a Moto G - and I'd take the S4), but buying a carrier locked $150 Moto G has a two and a half year break-even point on the Republic $10 plan versus the Puretalk Simple 1000 plan, and the Moto G would be stuck with Republic for its lifetime where the S4 could be taken to any AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon LTE supporting MVNO of your choice for as long as it's functional. You'd better hope you really like that service if you make the switch with Republic and sell off what is basically a phone you can take to any carrier you like except Sprint. :)

It's all about the math. Remember, don't be afraid to pay for what you need. Even an extra $5-7 difference per line isn't that much in the bigger picture, especially if the quality is significantly better, you get real customer support, and you have a greater freedom with both your equipment and provider options.

Edit: Just another thought. Be mindful that SMS (text) and MMS (multimedia) are two different things, and MMS requires a mobile data connection to function, though it may be no big deal if you don't send and receive pictures. This would be easy to work around with Ting (the first 100MB is only $3), but less so with Liberty and Puretalk. Bottom line, do the math and know what you actually need.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 10:22:41 PM by I.P. Daley »

Lurgid

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2015, 06:50:24 AM »
To JML2307: Thanks for the review.  Text is #1 for me, talk is #2, and data is #3, so that's good for me as long as texting works.  I'm a tennis coach and frequently like to blanket about 50 kids with information about practice, upcoming events, etc.  So I need to be able to text a lot and effectively.  Heck, if calls don't work well, that's just a built in excuse to not have to talk to people on the phone:)

MMS and group texting is pretty iffy with Republic. I'd stay away if that is important to you.

aceyou

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2015, 07:11:30 AM »
To IPDaley:  All your concerns/suggestions seem valid.  However, I went to selectel and puppy like you suggested, but they don't offer cheap plans for people who text high volumes.  Republic gives me that ability for 10/month.  If you can suggest a provider where I can keep my samsung and get unlimited texting for about 10/month, I would strongly consider that over republic.

Get me your wife's phone model (just so I can confirm for hers as well) and either a city name or ZIP code for your area (PM me if you don't want to make it public). Your Galaxy S4 is already globally carrier unlocked and supports GSM and UMTS on both the 850 and 1900MHz US bands. If T-Mobile coverage works well in your area, I've already got a couple winners that'll beat the pants off of Republic without even needing to use anything like Google Voice, one if you can keep your minutes under 100 a month at a hard and flat $10 (Liberty Wireless), and the other dependent upon your wife's phone and usage (Ting GSM) pulling from the same usage buckets as yours, but you have to concede that you probably don't actually need "unlimited" texting.

I would also seriously look at your monthly bill and find out how many texts you actually average a month. If it's under about 2000-2500 a month (that's a lot of texting), even Puretalk USA would work with their Simple 1000 plan at $18/month. I know, you're aiming for the magic $10 mark, but Republic has some of the highest line taxes and fees I've seen charged to users. Puretalk USA rolls that stuff into their prices already and you technically only have to remit sales/use tax for what you spent at the end of the year. Figure maybe a $5 difference realistically between the two. 150/5=30 30/12=2.5 years. Granted, this doesn't factor selling your current phone (you'd only break even selling your S4 for a Moto G - and I'd take the S4), but buying a carrier locked $150 Moto G has a two and a half year break-even point on the Republic $10 plan versus the Puretalk Simple 1000 plan, and the Moto G would be stuck with Republic for its lifetime where the S4 could be taken to any AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon LTE supporting MVNO of your choice for as long as it's functional. You'd better hope you really like that service if you make the switch with Republic and sell off what is basically a phone you can take to any carrier you like except Sprint. :)

It's all about the math. Remember, don't be afraid to pay for what you need. Even an extra $5-7 difference per line isn't that much in the bigger picture, especially if the quality is significantly better, you get real customer support, and you have a greater freedom with both your equipment and provider options.

Edit: Just another thought. Be mindful that SMS (text) and MMS (multimedia) are two different things, and MMS requires a mobile data connection to function, though it may be no big deal if you don't send and receive pictures. This would be easy to work around with Ting (the first 100MB is only $3), but less so with Liberty and Puretalk. Bottom line, do the math and know what you actually need.


Well, you clearly know what you're talking about, so let's see if maybe there is a better solution.  Here's some more information:
My zip code: 49424
My wife's phone: I phone 5

My wife and I pay about $40/month each to be with verizon.  If we can get down to Republic prices without having to switch phones, then I would LOVE that, and so would my wife.  My wife would want to keep a data package, but would be satisfied with 3G service. 

No, I don't need unlimited texting.  I hardly EVERY text or talk for personal reasons.  However, I'm the varsity boys/girls coach over a very large program that has about 300 kids in all the levels.  At any given time, I often like to send group texts out to about 50 of them.  So, I don't send lots of messages out, but when I do, it is to many people. 

Daley

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2015, 08:07:49 AM »
Well, you clearly know what you're talking about, so let's see if maybe there is a better solution.  Here's some more information:
My zip code: 49424
My wife's phone: I phone 5

Good news first, your wife's iPhone 5 is just like your S4... you both have magic any network but Sprint handsets. You can take both to any AT&T or T-Mobile based carrier just as easily as you can a Verizon MVNO that supports LTE service. This is a good thing, too, because as I'm sure you're noticing Verizon MVNO rates are the most expensive in the industry, and GSM MVNO rates are far cheaper, with the cheapest on T-Mobile's network.

Regarding T-Mobile coverage specifically, if you do any traveling up north of Muskegon or Grand Rapids or over into the Hastings/Nashville/Dowling or Bloomingdale/Breedsville areas, T-Mobile only network coverage might not be a good fit, which means going T-Mo MVNO with roaming agreements (Ting GSM), or an AT&T MVNO such as Puretalk USA or possibly even Consumer Cellular. With Ting (or any T-Mo MVNO) I could safely say that if you spend 99+% of your time in Holland you'll be fine, but I would still highly recommend you at least check Ting's GSM coverage map for yourself knowing where you each go on a regular basis to confirm overall coverage will work for you. AT&T's coverage maps are such that I think you'd probably be safe on their network without needing to check maps... though you should always check coverage maps of the areas you frequent for yourself with any carrier you plan to switch to.

Knowing this, it would help if I had some firmer numbers to work with with you, both with your total usage and your wife's. If you can give average total minute and text usage on each line plus data for any given month, I can help steer you more soundly.

As it stands, however, given you've stated an ongoing desire for mobile data for your wife and occasional data use for yourself, that sounds like you were expecting around $35/month plus taxes with Republic or higher any given month. With this in mind, this gives us a realistic target budget of up to around the $50/month area for both lines. This brings us back to the economy of multi-line usage with shared pricing and (again) the short list of three providers: Ting GSM (T-Mo + misc. GSM roaming partners - smallest national coverage map of the three), Consumer Cellular (AT&T + T-Mo roaming - largest national coverage map of the three), or possibly Puretalk USA (AT&T w/o roaming)... but all three providers work best and cheapest on your knowing what the average hard usage numbers are for each line. Look at bills, do the math, and we can seriously talk turkey about where you can go and for what prices with your existing handsets.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 08:15:49 AM by I.P. Daley »

aceyou

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2015, 10:11:54 AM »
Ok IP Daley, I've attached a doc that has an itemized usage of data, messages, and minutes used for myself, my wife, and my mother-in-law

I should have added that my mother in law is bundled together with my wife and i through verizon right now.  she will likely join us wherever we go, so if we can all bundle together to save money somewhere, that would be AWESOME. 

Oh, and my mother in law has an iPhone 5 like my wife. 

WingsFan4Life

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2015, 10:31:45 AM »
I think Republic wireless is crap. Might as well just use google voice over wifi.

Daley

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2015, 11:28:46 AM »
I think Republic wireless is crap. Might as well just use google voice over wifi.

Seriously, this. With mindful mobile usage, you could combine Google Voice with Truphone SIM, and get better service and coverage (with mobile phone and data!) for less than $10/month. It's not as hard to set up as some people would lead you to believe.



Ok IP Daley, I've attached a doc that has an itemized usage of data, messages, and minutes used for myself, my wife, and my mother-in-law

I should have added that my mother in law is bundled together with my wife and i through verizon right now.  she will likely join us wherever we go, so if we can all bundle together to save money somewhere, that would be AWESOME. 

Oh, and my mother in law has an iPhone 5 like my wife.

Your usage between three lines eliminates Puretalk USA.

The usage between the three lines also sets the expectation of a cost of $60 plus taxes with Republic ($25/line for data, $10 for voice and SMS only), unless your MIL is willing to go without as well. I figure if your wife won't, though...

When estimating usage and picking buckets with providers like Consumer Cellular and Ting, aim for the buckets that cover worst case usage for maximum cost estimates. It's also worth checking to see what the lowest price is based on minimal usage.

Going Consumer Cellular, cheapest and most expensive over the past six months would be a solid $60/month cut either way, and give you up to 750 minutes, unlimited texting, and 1.5GB of data to share. Unfortunately, if you find yourself needing more than 750 minutes of talk time in a month (cutting close a couple times, but not exceeding), you'll either get charged 25/minute or you'll have to manually bump up a level and pay an extra $10 for 1500 minutes making your cut-off 40 minutes over (790 minutes total) before selecting the the 1500 minute page will save you money. They're good about notifying you of usage and potential overages, but you have to manually change plan options before bill date if you have overages. That said, your usage pattern the past six months hasn't even broken that $60 baseline, and their customer support may have IVR menus before you can talk to a person, but it's good enough to keep Consumer Reports, senior citizens, and the AARP happy.

Going Ting, you'd range between $54-76/month with Ting auto-adjusting between buckets on billing for you and you'll have better usage controls per line, but you'll still average around $60+ most months. Ting month to month could theoretically occasionally come in less than Republic or Consumer Cellular some months, but due to their bucket structure, will run closer to $60 or more most months. Their account controls might have more features and auto overage bucket adjustment, and their customer support just answers the phone with live people, but you're trading that for far spottier physical coverage and a far smaller mobile data coverage footprint.

Either way, between Consumer Cellular, Ting and Republic, you're looking at about the same cost per month, about $60 plus taxes... and if you went Republic, you'd personally sacrifice mobile data access all the time for that price. Your best bet is clearly Consumer Cellular, all three of you can keep your handsets and keep using them all without any changes in usage habits, you get coverage comparable to Verizon, you'll get great customer support that you can call, the iPhones should auto-configure with the new SIM cards, and the SIM cards themselves are free so the cost to switch is literally nothing. And for the record, with a little fine tuning on the iPhones to reduce and eliminate background mobile data usage (like software updates) and your willingness to go without data entirely, you could even get the Consumer Cellular bill down to $50/month.

There you go, Consumer Cellular. Exact same price (or less!) as what you'd spend on Republic for all three handsets, you'd get to keep your phones, there'd be little to no usage modification by any of you, and technically all three of you will get more and better service for the money.

You're welcome. If you feel inclined to share your thanks, you can do so here.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 11:43:34 AM by I.P. Daley »

aceyou

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2015, 09:04:01 PM »
Thanks so much Daley...and everyone else of course.  I will start contacting the other companies tomorrow to verify pricing, starting with Consumer Cellular.  I agree that if you wrote is correct, that will be a FAR better option for my wife, my mother-in-law, and myself. 

And Daley, I checked out your website and left a thank you there as well.  Your site looks great, and I have it bookmarked.  I'll be checking that out more later as well. 

kimmarg

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2015, 08:36:45 AM »
Well, you clearly know what you're talking about, so let's see if maybe there is a better solution.  Here's some more information:
My zip code: 49424
My wife's phone: I phone 5

Good news first, your wife's iPhone 5 is just like your S4... you both have magic any network but Sprint handsets. You can take both to any AT&T or T-Mobile based carrier just as easily as you can a Verizon MVNO that supports LTE service. This is a good thing, too, because as I'm sure you're noticing Verizon MVNO rates are the most expensive in the industry, and GSM MVNO rates are far cheaper, with the cheapest on T-Mobile's network.

Regarding T-Mobile coverage specifically, if you do any traveling up north of Muskegon or Grand Rapids or over into the Hastings/Nashville/Dowling or Bloomingdale/Breedsville areas, T-Mobile only network coverage might not be a good fit, which means going T-Mo MVNO with roaming agreements (Ting GSM), or an AT&T MVNO such as Puretalk USA or possibly even Consumer Cellular. With Ting (or any T-Mo MVNO) I could safely say that if you spend 99+% of your time in Holland you'll be fine, but I would still highly recommend you at least check Ting's GSM coverage map for yourself knowing where you each go on a regular basis to confirm overall coverage will work for you. AT&T's coverage maps are such that I think you'd probably be safe on their network without needing to check maps... though you should always check coverage maps of the areas you frequent for yourself with any carrier you plan to switch to.

Knowing this, it would help if I had some firmer numbers to work with with you, both with your total usage and your wife's. If you can give average total minute and text usage on each line plus data for any given month, I can help steer you more soundly.

As it stands, however, given you've stated an ongoing desire for mobile data for your wife and occasional data use for yourself, that sounds like you were expecting around $35/month plus taxes with Republic or higher any given month. With this in mind, this gives us a realistic target budget of up to around the $50/month area for both lines. This brings us back to the economy of multi-line usage with shared pricing and (again) the short list of three providers: Ting GSM (T-Mo + misc. GSM roaming partners - smallest national coverage map of the three), Consumer Cellular (AT&T + T-Mo roaming - largest national coverage map of the three), or possibly Puretalk USA (AT&T w/o roaming)... but all three providers work best and cheapest on your knowing what the average hard usage numbers are for each line. Look at bills, do the math, and we can seriously talk turkey about where you can go and for what prices with your existing handsets.

Working on a similar problem here (getting two iPhone 4S off Verizon) just wondering about coverage. Do the MNVO *really* have the same coverage as Verizon? Verizon is the only one of the big three with good coverage where we are (my husband is on AtT from pre-move and routinely drops calls in the house.) tmobile is a joke I'm not even sure they work in town. The coverage maps tend to be pretty umm ambitious and don't factor in mountains very well. This concern is what is stopping me from making the switch.

Daley

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Re: Republic Wireless, get me there please
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2015, 01:54:36 PM »
Working on a similar problem here (getting two iPhone 4S off Verizon) just wondering about coverage. Do the MNVO *really* have the same coverage as Verizon? Verizon is the only one of the big three with good coverage where we are (my husband is on AtT from pre-move and routinely drops calls in the house.) tmobile is a joke I'm not even sure they work in town. The coverage maps tend to be pretty umm ambitious and don't factor in mountains very well. This concern is what is stopping me from making the switch.

It kind of depends on how you look at it and define "same coverage". Some MVNOs are native network only, and others have partner roaming agreements. You also have data roaming policies as well. In the case of Verizon MVNOs, BYO Wireless is an example of a Verizon only CDMA MVNO, and Selectel would be an example of a Verizon + Sprint +US Cellular + misc other CDMA networks for roaming MVNO, but voice and text roaming only - no data. Selectel's coverage (excuse data roaming) should be identical to Verizon postpaid's coverage, where BYO would be identical to Verizon prepaid. Any Verizon first MVNO is going to connect to the exact same in-network towers as a Verizon postpaid customer will. The important question in your case, however, is whether that Verizon reception in your home is actually Verizon or if you're roaming onto another CDMA tower from, say, US Cellular. It probably is Verizon, but it never hurts to make certain.

If you find yourself on roaming fairly regularly in your area even for Verizon, you'd clearly need to stick with an MVNO like Selectel (MVNOs that handle roaming are a bit more expensive)... but if Verizon coverage is really and truly solid and you don't find yourself roaming at all in your area, BYO Wireless would probably be an excellent option as well.