Republic Wireless is now limiting roaming data to 25MB per month on all plans. In addition, roaming data speeds are being throttled to "below 3G speeds.... sufficient for light internet browsing, GPS navigation and email." Until now roaming on Republic was unlimited, although customers who used more than a bit of it reportedly got warning letters.
Data used by the Republic Wireless app and data used to send and receive MMS (picture, audio, video) messages does not count against the 25MB limit. Republic says that it plans to eventually offer bundles of paid data roaming.
In a post on their blog, Republic blames the change on the price it pays for roaming data, which it says is 30% higher that of non-roaming data. Republic isn't the only carrier wailing about its high cost A recent blog post by T-Mobile also complains about the high prices it's charged for roaming, especially by AT&T and Verizon, and asks the FCC to set limits on roaming rates. While I believe that operators should be able to charge a premium to roaming partners, a 3000% markup does seem extreme.
I'm not surprised by this change. Very few prepaid operators offer data roaming at all and the ones that do either have low caps on roaming data or charge a high per MB price for it. For example, T-Mobile only offers data roaming on plans priced at $50 or more and limits it to just 10MB on the $50 plan and 50MB on the $60 and higher plans. RingPlus charges 55¢/MB for roaming data and Virgin Mobile Custom sells a 15MB bundle of roaming data for $5 (33¢/MB).
There's a interesting discussion about the new data roaming cap and throttle on Republic's user forum. For more about Republic Wireless see, Prepaid Operator Profile: Republic Wireless.
Public domain image from: Pixabay