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Prepaid Operator Profile: Republic Wireless

This is one in a series of Prepaid Phone News' series of comprehensive US prepaid mobile operator profiles. These profiles cover all the major US mobile operators' prepaid plans as well as MVNOs which offer a good value.

Overview: Republic Wireless launched in November, 2011 as a Sprint mobile virtual mobile operator (MVNO). In July, 2016 began offering service on T-Mobile

Republic is a subsidiary of Bandwidth.com, a provider of voice and internet service to business and government customers.

Republic is a "WiFi-first" operator that routes voice, messaging and data traffic over WiFi whenever possible using Android phones with custom software.

Technology: Sprint CDMA, and 3G EVDO data on the 1900 Mhz band. LTE on bands 25 (1900g), 26 (850) and 41 (2500)
- or -
T-Mobile GSM, Edge and HSPA+ on the 1700 and 1900 Mhz bands and LTE on bands 2, 4 and 12

Republic CDMA (Sprint) Plans Republic GSM (T-Mobile) Plans
Monthly Cost 1  Voice and Messaging Cellular Data with ReFunds Monthly Cost 1 Voice and Messaging Cellular Data No Refunds
$5 Unlimited (WiFi Only) None N/A N/A N/A
$10 Unlimited (WiFi & Cell) None $15 Unlimited (WiFi & Cell) None
$17.50 Unlimited (WiFi & Cell) 0.5 GB $20 Unlimited (WiFi & Cell) 1 GB
$25 Unlimited (WiFi & Cell) 1 GB $30 Unlimited (WiFi & Cell) 2 GB
$40 Unlimited (WiFi & Cell) 2 GB $45 Unlimited (WiFi & Cell) 4 GB
$55 Unlimited (WiFi & Cell) 3 GB $60 Unlimited (WiFi & Cell) 6 GB
N/A N/A N/A $90 Unlimited (WiFi & Cell) 10 GB
1 Unlike most prepaid operators, Republic adds postpaid style taxes and fees of 10-30% to plan prices. Taxes and fees vary by state and include the usual sales taxes plus passthroughs of regulatory surcharges and fee.
2 Customer receives credit for unused data. Additional data available at $15 per GB or $7.50 for 0.5 GB.

Republic Refund: At the end of each plan month CDMA customers receive a prorated $15/GB credit for unused data. The rebate applied to both plan and add on data. GSM plan data is hard capped and there are no refunds for unused data,

Data Rounding: Republic does not round data, customers are charged only for the exact amount of data used.

Switching Plans: Republic allows users to switch plans up to twice a month using a Republic Dashboard app. Charges are prorated based on the number of days on each plan.

WiFi Calling: Republic phones default to WiFi calling, the Sprint or T-Mobile network is only used for calls if the phone is not connected to WiFi. Current Republic phones feature seamless WiFi to Cellular handoff. If you move out of WiFi range the call continues uninterupted on cellular.

International Rates:
There's no extra charge for calling Canadian numbers. International calling to other countries is not available .

International Roaming: International cellular roaming is not available. Republic phones can make calls to the US and Canada from anywhere in the world using WiFi.

Coverage: Republic uses the Sprint or T-Mobile native networks. There's no-extra charge voice on both networks and extra charge data roaming on other networks for CDMA account only. Data roaming comes out of the users data allowance at the rate of 1 MB of roaming data equals 18.3 MB regular data. Republics's and interactive GSM and CDMA coverage maps shows native and roaming coverage and let you zoom in to see block by block coverage.

For CDMA Plans Republic currently sells two Motorola phones, the $299 Moto X (2nd gen), and $149 Moto G (1st gen). Republic's versions of the Motorola Defy XT, Moto X (1st ed) and Moto E (1st gen) are either out of stock or have been discontinued but used examples of these phones can be reactivated. Republic's first CDMA phone, the LG Optimus V, can still be used if currently active but inactive Optimus V phones can't be re-activated.

For GSM plans the following phones can be used;
Motorola G4 (XT1625),
Motorola G4 Plus (XT1644),
Moto X 2015 Pure Edition (XT1575),
LG Nexus 5X (H790),
Huawei Nexus 6P (H1511),
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) (SM-J320A),
Samsung Galaxy S6 (SM-G920T),
Samsung Galaxy S7 (SM-G930U) and
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935U).
These phones will are available from Republic and customers who already own one of these exact models are able to use their phones to Republic.

How to Buy: New Republic phones can only be purchased from the Republic Wireless site.

BYOD: Republic doesn't support Bring Your Own Sprint Device (BYOSD). On the GSM side BYOD is limited to the phones listed above.

How to Activate:
Go to https://republicwireless.com/activate/ to activate your phone.

Payment Options: The only payment method is auto pay using a credit or debit card.

Account expiration: plans automatically renew every month with the plan price and applicable taxes charged to your credit or debit card. If the charges are declined service will be suspended.

Account Management: Republic provides an online account management portal with detailed call, messaging and data use records.

Tethering and hotspot: Tethering (using phone as a modem for a laptop or other device) is allowed as long as you have one of the current Republic plans listed above.

Call Forwarding, Call Waiting and 3-Way Calling:

To forward all calls to another number (unconditional call forwarding):
Not supported

To forward unanswered calls only (conditional call forwarding): You must be connected to WiFi to turn conditional call forwarding on. Dial *28 followed by the number you want calls forwarded to (*28-123-456-7890 ) and press the call button as if making a call and wait for a confirmation message. Forwarding to Google Voice or YouMail works. You can't forward calls to another Republic phone.
To cancel conditional call forwarding: Dial *38, press the call button and wait for a confirmation message.

Call waiting: Call waiting is enabled by default. It lets you place one call on hold while you take another call. When you are on a call and have another incoming call, you will hear a short tone. You'll have approximately 30 seconds to answer before the second caller hears a standard message or is forwarded to voicemail.

To answer Call Waiting: To put the first call on hold, press the on screen call button. You'll automatically be connected with the second call. To return to the first call, press the call button again. To switch between the two calls, press the call button.

3-Way Calling: Lets you create a conference call between yourself and two other people.
  • While on the first call, tap the "Add call" on screen button and dial the 10-digit number of the second person. The first person is automatically put on hold while the call is made.
  • When the 2nd person answers, press "Merge call" to create the conference call.
"Secret" Codes:
##786# (CDMA phones) displays the phone's MSID, ESN, MEID, PRL, call and data counters and version numbers.
*#06# (GSM phones) displays the phone's IMEI (serial number)

Free information services calls
911 - Emergency services

Republic Quirks:
  • MMS to or from Cellcom, Ting, Cricket, Net10, SafeLink, MetroPCS, and Simple Mobile numbers doesn't work.
  • No telephone support: There's no phone number to call for cusomer support. Email support is available. To open a support ticket use this form on the Rebublic Webste. Republic will reply via email and may also call you if the issue requires it. There's also an extemsive help section on the site and an active customer forum.
  • WiFi calling quality issues: although WiFi calling generally works well there can be issues with some WiFi routers and access points. If you are having problems with a WiFi call you can switch the call to cellular by taping the gray arc icon on the phone's screen.
  • Phone numbers can't be ported to Republic from Google Voice or VOIP operators that use Bandwidth.com's backend.
Customer Service:
Phone support: There's no phone number to call for customer support, use email support instead
Online email support form: Click here. Support requests can also be submitted using the Republic Dashboard Android app. Support hours are 9AM - 11PM ET every day.
Community Support Forum: https://community.republicwireless.com/
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Google+

Phone Sales and General Information Web Site: https://republicwireless.com/

Republic Pros: Good value, some roaming, conditional call forwarding supported, online usage records, WiFi calling

Republic Cons: hgh taxes and fees, limited support options, limited handset choices, no BYOP, WiFi calling issues.

Updated July 28, 2016: New Republic GSM phones and plans.


Comment Page :
  1. In case anyone is interested, taxes and fees on the $10 account in Long Beach, California (Los Angeles County) is $1.41. Here is the breakdown:
    Charge Detail
    Moto G Wi-Fi + Cell Talk + Text Service Plan $10.00
    Universal Lifeline Telephone Svc Charge (Wireless) - State (1.15%) $0.08
    PUC Fee (Wireless) - State (0.18%) $0.01
    CASF (Wireless) - State (0.46%) $0.03
    CA Teleconnect Fund (Wireless) - State (0.59%) $0.04
    CA High Cost Fund A (Wireless) - State (0.18%) $0.01
    Telecommunications Relay Surcharge (Cellular) - State (0.20%) $0.01
    Utility Users Tax - Wireless - Local (5.00%) $0.54
    E911 (Wireless) - State (0.75%) $0.05
    Fed USF Cellular - Federal (16.60%) $0.62
    FCC Regulatory Fee (Wireless) - Federal (1.50%) $0.02
    Monthly Subtotal: $10.00
    Monthly Taxes: $1.41

    1. Elias,

      I purchased a Moto X for a family member. Like you have posted, my taxes and fees are almost exactly the same as what you are being charged, less the city of Long Beach Utility Users Tax. Luckily for me, my city does not impose a utility tax.

      My monthly taxes run about .85c, or roughly 8.5% each month, which to me seems reasonable for overtaxed California.


  2. Why would anybody get these plans when their are others prepaid carriers that offer unlimited mins and text for $25 and unlimited mins, text and data for $40

    1. I don't understand you point as Republic is less expensive than the prices you quoted.
      $10/month + taxes for unlimited talk & text
      $25/month + taxes for unlimited talk & text and data

  3. My wife and I were one of the early beta customers. Since our income was extremely low, we endured poor coverage, dropped calls, garbled calls and dishonesty from Republic Customer service through their forums and emails based upon repeated assurances from RW that things would improve with the next update or next phone.

    In retrospect it would have been better to have no service at all. When someone has your cellphone number and you live in a urban / suburban area, people expect to be able to reach you by phone. We had dual band Defy XTs but were never able to roam on Verizon as promised. Friends and family on Virgin or Boost could often make calls and we had zero bars.

    RW was not a start up but a division of Broadband.com ( $100 million + annual revenue ) with the resources to provide better service if the chose to. After 3 years wifi calling is still unreliable. T-Mobile had WIFI (UMA ) calling perfected 7 years ago. RW did not honor their promotions and forget a warranty claim. \

    Republic Wireless is not worth the headaches even if their service was free

  4. People with extremely low income can get reliable service at much lower cost with an inexpensive, used phone and signing up with the Selectel annual plan ($75 for 2000/1500) or Lycamobile paygo (2c/4c/6c). H20 minute plan ($40/yr for 5c/5c/10c) works well if they need AT&T coverage. Needs vs wants.

    1. If someone has extremely low income, wouldn't IT make sense to sign-up and qualify for one the many low income cellular phone plans? In my state of California, one company, Telscape (a Sprint MVNO) offers a free handset along with 1000 voice minutes and 200 text messages each month.


      Other companies such as Virgin Mobile's Assurance Wireless brand, Nexus and AT&T-owned Cricket offer cellular Lifeline service and pricing in California below what Selectel, Lycamobile and H20 offer.

      Other states offer similar cellular Lifeline service and plans.


    2. This only makes sense if they are receiving taxpayer assistance under one of several other government programs, and do not mind sending copies of that personal information to the phone companies and re-certifying every year. Then they can get their "free" phone and service, paid for by other cellphone users via the USF (and by taxpayers, who fund the gov administration of the program). Some people with extremely low income prefer to earn their own living and do not sign up for all the "free" handouts. They probably would not buy Republic Wireless smartphones, either.

  5. I had a DefyXT and now a MotoX on RW. The former had significant issues, the latter works very well. For $10/mo it is a steal. I dont use voice much, txt 90% of the time.

  6. This will help decide. I have had RW for well over a year and it has worked perfectly. No issues at all. Excellent all the way. And RW uses hybrid WIFI calling which has made access to service far more extensive and flexible than any straight cell plan. Cell signals get blocked by buildings and simple geography. That cannot happen to you with WIFI calling. It even works overseas. In addition, RW roams on Verizon towers when Sprint is not available. Republic was rated as EXCELLENT by PC Magazine, and that has been my experience too. Finally use this link to get $20 off when you join. It reduces the final cost of the MotoX to $279 and the MotoG to $129. : http://rwshar.es/Oqvb

  7. Republic Wireless, through the Moto Maker website (operated by Illinois-based Clover Wireless) is having a two-day "flash" sale for the Moto X on June 4 and 5, 2014.

    All fully-loaded (customized) Moto X phones/devices with 32 gb of memory and a wood back side will be selling for $299.99, plus tax and shipping. The normal selling price is $424.99.

    At the Republic Wireless website, the normal selling price for a Moto X with 16 gb of memory is $299.99, and this price does not include any customization of the device, other than choosing black or white as the free color option.

    Basically, for the same price that Republic Wireless offers it's "flavor" of the Moto X at $299.99 everyday, you're receiving an upgrade to 32 gb of memory and if desired, a free wood backplate (normally $25.00), and the opportunity to customize the colors of the backplate (if you do not desire wood) and customize the color of the handset volume control and around the edge of the camera lens at no additional charge.

    Also, the $100.00 rebate for the purchase of Moto X via a gift card expires June 30, 2014.
    In order to obtain the rebate, you must turn in a qualifying Motorola phone/device.
    I took advantage of the rebate, but it took 8 weeks and a call to Clover Wireless before I received the rebate card.

    Here's the link:


    Note: The link may change once the sale commences on June 4, 2014.


  8. This is a good clear useful web posting by Dennis Bournique about the prepaid operator Republic Wireless. I'm commenting to say, though, that I've read that it's not custom phone software that makes the Motorola phones sold by Republic Wireless unusable elsewhere and vise versa: It's firmware, a custom ROM chip.

  9. Republic Wireless to offer credits to customers for unused cellular data.

  10. Republic Wireless Moto E (2nd Gen.) now available for $129

  11. Republic will announce a GSM carrier agreement this year.
    Republic is "patching" WiFi calls with cellular data, avoiding a handoff to the cellular switched network where possible with good quality.
    Here is the FierceWireless story for you to summarize:

  12. Republic adds 6 high-end phones and GSM network service.
    Here is an article for Christine to use/borrow/rewrite:

  13. "Tethering and hotspot: Tethering (using phone as a modem for a laptop or other device) or using your phone as a WiFi hotspot is prohibited by Republic's terms of service."

    This is no longer accurate. In the plans page, they now say all plans support tethering/mobile hotspot.

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