I have started a new journey by putting my iPhone aside for a little while and trying a new cellular service. This service is called Republic Wireless and their hallmarks are:
- Provide unlimited talk, text, and data services for $19/month
- Rely on community members to help each other with issues
- Use available WiFi access, when available, to place/receive phone calls
- Jump on the Sprint cellular network when necessary
I have only used the phone for three days, but I think the drawbacks are outweighed by the fact the service is only $19 per month. More updates to come.
Check them out at: http://republicwireless.com
Update: March 31, 2013
It has been a month now living with a Republic Wireless phone and here are some of my thoughts…
- The Republic Wireless service has been rock-solid. I have had no more and no fewer dropped calls than I have ever experienced with either Verizon Wireless or AT&T Wireless. In fact, the dropped calls I have experienced have, usually, been in the same physical locations as with the big guys.
- Overall, the WiFi calling (which is really just VoIP) is not bad. At times it is better sounding than cellular service and, at other times, it sounds worse. It really comes down to the quality of the Internet connection.
- Speaking of WiFi availability, I am surprised how many places offer WiFi for free. One nice feature of Republic Wireless phones is they automatically sign in to many networks, e.g. AT&T WiFi. At places like Home Depot – obviously not the kind of store in which it is easy to get cellular service – the WiFi service is absolutely necessary.
- The Motorola Defy XT phone is not too bad. It is not an iPhone and one should not expect it to perform as flawlessly as an iPhone. In another post I will list the handful of changes I made to the phone that makes it work much better.
- I am finding it somewhat difficult to keep my cellular use at 70% or less. The community-at-large is averaging around 50-51%. Obviously, my mobile phone usage is different than most others.
Would I suggest Republic wireless for others? Yes, definitely. In fact, I tend to be a walking advertisement for the service because I think it is mobile service done well and at the right price.