Project Fi MVNO is that users only pay for the data they actually use. Project Fi customers add data to their plans in 1 GB increments at $10/GB. At the end of each month Google will give each user a credit toward their next payment for unused data. So if you buy 1GB and only use half a gig you would get a $5 credit.
Sprint MVNO Republic Wireless has announced that they will also give users credits for unused data. Like Project Fi, Republic's data refund scheme is a invite-only Beta. Called Maestro, it's part of Republic's Labs Beta testing program. To be eligible for an invite you need to sign up for Rebublic Labs here and then apply to join the Maestro Lab. Maestro is scheduled to begin May 18.
Republic has revealed very few details about how Maestro will work. Most importantly they aren't saying how much the credit for used data will be and if Maestro will work with current Republic plans or require a special plan.
Currently Republic offers two plans that include cellular data:
- $40/month for unlimited talk, text and data with the 1st 5 GB of data at high speeds, including LTE, and the rest throttled
- $25/month for unlimited talk, text and data with the 1st 5 GB of data at 3G speeds (no LTE), and the rest throttled
Republic is a "WiFi-first" operator that routes voice, messaging and data traffic over WiFi whenever possible using Android phones with custom software. Republic currently sells four Motorola phones, the $399 Moto X (2nd gen), $299 Moto X (1st gen), $149 Moto G (1st gen) and $99.99 Moto E (1st gen). 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 pass-throughs of regulatory surcharges and fees.
Republic actually announced data refunds the day before Google announced Project Fi. On Twitter, Republic has invited Google to join the Maestro lab. I wonder if Republic is serious and if anyone from Google will accept the invite?
Sources: Fierce Wireless, Republic Wireless pwk blog. Image Twitter
Prepaid Operator Profile: Republic Wireless
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