FAQs

What's the Mission of Republic Wireless?

Our mission at Republic Wireless is simple: to make enjoying the features of a smartphone more affordable and accessible for everyone. Through Hybrid Calling technology (that's WiFi + cellular), we're able to offer our customers remarkable mobile service plans at unheard of rates. You see, WiFi is cheap and plentiful while cellular (especially data) is more scarce and much more expensive. By relying on our members to use the cheap and plentiful WiFi wherever it's available, we're making great progress on our mission—delivering a mind blowing total cost of ownership that's leaving a lot of folks scratching their heads (happily!).

How has Republic evolved since it launched its first Beta product in 2011?

In a word, hugely. Republic started in Beta because we knew we had a lot to learn. We were doing something that had never been done before, and together with our Beta members, we grew and changed in many ways—always with the goal of accomplishing our mission.

If you've heard of Republic before but haven't stopped by in a while, we've made a lot of progress together with our members. We've created a seamless WiFi to cellular handover experience for uninterrupted calls, made continual improvements to call quality, enabled MMS on our custom built smartphones and implemented the functionality to reactivate old devices. Most importantly, we've built a foundation for continuing to iterate with our members, and updating the experience as we learn.

How does Republic's Hybrid Calling technology work?

Well, it starts with the (true) premise that anything a cell network can do, the Internet can do better and cheaper. A truly smart smartphone should make a habit of using WiFi for everything. Surfing. Texting. Sharing. And, yes, even talking.

Where most of the smartphones on the market today spend a good portion of their time on WiFi—in homes, schools and offices—consumers don't see the benefit of that "cellular data offload" on their monthly bills. And cell data is expensive.

Republic Wireless turns the traditional cellular model on its head. Our phones use WiFi first, with cellular as the backup network. That model saves Republic, and its members, a whole lot of money. We're talking hundreds (and often thousands) off their annual "big carrier" smartphone bills.

Are Republic phones just "WiFi" phones? What if there's no WiFi available?

Absolutely not. Our phones work on both WiFi and cellular, depending on the plan you choose. Republic Wireless offers a smartphone that is like any other in all the important ways. When you don't have access to WiFi, everything still works great over the nationwide cellular network (unless you've selected the $5/month WiFi only plan). The difference between Republic's smartphones and the ones you'd buy through another carrier is that our phones are optimized to use the WiFi all around you. For example, when you're on WiFi, just dial, and your call is connected through the Internet – fast, clear, and low cost. There are no required app downloads or extra steps.

How do I make WiFi calls?

Dial as you would any other call. There's no app to open or second number to manage. You don't have to click a special button or take any special action. Instead, once you're setup for a WiFi network, your Republic smartphone connects and routes calls over WiFi automatically.

How can I make sure that I am connected to WiFi all the time?

First, make sure you set up your phone to access the WiFi networks you frequent. Your phone will remember those networks and connect to them automatically. Many public hotspots don't require any password at all. But for those that do, you'll need to set them up on your first visit.

I have DSL at home. Will it work on that or will I have to upgrade to something faster?

You need about 80kbps both ways to hold a call. The more bandwidth the better for improved call quality. Don't forget that streaming video or downloading large files all use bandwidth, so your mileage may vary if you receive calls and watch Netflix at the same time.

Can I keep my old number?

Yes, in most cases, you can. We offer the ability to transfer numbers to and from our service. To find out if your specific number can be transferred over to us, try our Number Transfer Checker. The best part is that you don't have to transfer right away. You can try out Republic, and transfer your number whenever you're ready.

How do I transfer my number to Republic?

Once you've established that your number can be ported to Republic, simply purchase your phone in the Republic store. At the time of purchase, you will be assigned a phone number based on your billing zip code. You can change that number later in My Account or you can transfer your number from another provider once you've ordered the phone. If you want to transfer a number from another provider, just make sure you do not cancel the other account until that process is complete. For more details on how to port a number, check out our Community.

How much are the taxes on the monthly service?

There are no hidden fees with Republic Wireless. State and local taxes do apply and vary by location. On average, our members pay approximately 17% of their monthly rate in taxes (on top of the stated monthly rate).

Do I need to buy minutes from Sprint or anyone else?

No. We're the first-ever wireless provider to bundle WiFi calling with access to cellular whenever you need it. Depending on the plan you choose, your Republic Wireless phone will have unlimited* access to data, talk and text when using the Sprint cellular network. Note that the $5 plan offered by Republic on the Moto X is WiFi only and the $10 plan on Moto X includes cellular talk and text (no data). All Republic plans include unlimited data, talk and text on WiFi.

How much does domestic roaming cost? International?

Domestic roaming is free. Although we don't offer cellular service internationally at this time, your Republic Wireless phone can place calls over WiFi from anywhere in the world to the U.S. You can also make and receive calls to Canadian telephone numbers without incurring international roaming or long distance charges.

Can I call International numbers from my Republic Wireless phone?

Republic does not consider calls or texts to Canadian numbers to be international calling (including MMS for supported carriers). This means you can make outbound calls and texts to the 50 U.S. states and Canada under Republic's plan. In addition, you can make outbound calls to Per Call Countries. Per Call Countries include Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, American Somoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Johnston Atoll, Midway Atoll, and the Wake Island. Republic currently includes outbound calls to per call countries as part of our monthly calling plans but reserves the right to charge up to $0.50 per minute. For Republic Wireless phones with Android OS versions prior to 5.1, Per Call Countries outbound calling will not work if caller ID is blocked. Members with the latest version of the Republic Wireless app will be able to call the Per Call Countries** even while caller ID is blocked.

What colors are available for the Moto X from Republic? Can I design my own phone?

A Moto X (2nd Gen.) purchased through the Republic Wireless store is available in black for $399. You can also design your own Republic Moto X (2nd Gen.) by using Motorola's Moto Maker with prices starting at $399. *Moto Maker is only available for the Moto X (2nd Gen.).

Are accessories available in the Republic Wireless store?

Yes, we've got a full lineup of accessories in the store--headphones, cases, speakers, and screen protectors for each device that we offer. Accessories are available with or without the purchase of a phone.

Which Republic plan is right for me?

When deciding on the best plan for you, consider your WiFi access and cell data needs. We have a nifty calculator to help you determine the right plan for your needs. With the Republic Refund™ plan, you pay for the cellular data that you use and get paid back for what you don't. Plans start at $5 (Wifi Only). The $10 Base Plan gives you WiFi talk, text, and data and cellular talk and text. On top of the $10 Base Plan, you can purchase cellular data starting at $7.50 per 0.5 GB or $15 per 1 GB. Get the full overview of Republic Wireless Plans here.

I'm already a Republic member with a Motorola DEFY XT. Are there any special incentives on purchasing a new phone and service plan?

Yes! Existing Republic members who purchased a Motorola DEFY XT on or before Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. EST are eligible for a Beta 10% discount off their new monthly service plan when they purchase the Moto X, Moto G, or Moto E or any future phones for the lifetime of their relationship with Republic. This discount also applies to any Republic LG Optimus users. Note: The discount doesn't apply to the entire account, it only applies to each PHONE you upgrade to a new pricing plan. You must be a current Republic member to receive this discount.

Can I switch between plans on my Republic phone?

With the Republic Refund™ plan, any plan changes you make will go into effect on your next bill cycle date. However, you can purchase one-time data buckets at anytime during your bill cycle. Republic 1.0 & Beta plan information can be found here.

What if I already paid for this month and I switch plans, how will I be billed?

You will not be charged to transition to the Republic Wireless 2.0 plans. The way that the Republic Wireless 2.0 plans are structured, plan changes don't go into effect until your next bill cycle date, unless you are upgrading from the $5 plan. When you upgrade from the $5 plan to the Base Plan the change will take effect immediately. Otherwise you are billed at your next bill cycle date. For Republic 1.0 plans go here.

What is the 30-day, money-back satisfaction guarantee?

If you are not completely satisfied with Republic Wireless or your phone with WiFi Hybrid Calling, you can return it for a full refund (minus shipping). We figure a month is long enough to know whether the phone and our service are for you. Simply contact us within 30 days of joining and we'll cancel your service, provide instructions for returning your phone, and process your refund upon receiving it. Terms and Conditions apply.

What can I do with my Republic phone if I cancel my service?

First, you have a full 30 days to test out the phone and service, so if you cancel during that time, you can send the phone on back for any reason, we'll give you a full refund for it (minus initial shipping costs). See Terms & Conditions.

If you end up canceling beyond the 30-day period, there are several good options for your phone:

  • Reactivate it. Give it to a family member or friend. They can either reactivate the phone with their own account or as a separate device under your account. It's a great option for kids too—with plans for Moto G and Moto X starting at $5 and the $19 plan available for the DEFY XT. For more details about reactivation, visit our Community.
  • Sell it. If you want to recoup some of your cash, this is a great option. Sell it online or to a friend and they can reactivate on Republic service with their own account. Just make sure to inform them that it will only work on Republic, due to the custom ROM we built into the phone to make it work natively on WiFi. Other providers can't handle the WiFi heat ;)
  • Donate it. This is a suggestion some of our members brought to our attention. Some of the groups suggested here are battered women's shelters and veteran aid organizations, though there are likely many who would benefit from a great phone and very low priced service options.
  • Keep it. Even without service, you may want to keep the phone. It won't make calls on the Republic Wireless service if it's inactive, but you can still use apps, listen to music, and browse the Internet when WiFi's around.

Can I bring my own phone?

Unfortunately, no. There are some technical challenges we face in enabling folks to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), such as: we have a custom ROM for Hybrid Calling, often phones are locked by other providers, and PRL updates. So for now, it's not an option on the table. However, Android phones, WiFi, and the Web fuel our optimism that the future could look very different.

Is MMS available on Republic's phones?

For those unfamiliar with the acronym "MMS"—MMS is Multimedia Messaging Service, and refers to sending and receiving things like pictures and videos, as well as group texts. MMS works with all the major carriers you see listed below and many more for a total of 70+ other national and regional carriers. Note this currently applies to the Moto E, Moto G and Moto X (1st and 2nd Gen.) phones only.

Provider Can I send MMS to this provider? Can I receive MMS from this provider?
Republic Wireless Yes Yes
Sprint Yes Yes
Verizon Yes Yes
AT&T Yes Yes
T-Mobile Yes Yes

Can't I just download Republic Wireless to my current phone?

No. There are, however, many apps you can download to make VoIP calls over WiFi. Some of them require you to manage a second number, pay for minutes or take special steps to use them. All of them require you to continue overpaying for a cellular plan. Only Republic Wireless provides WiFi Hybrid Calling that's not only built into the phone, but also the price

What if I have issues or questions?

Resolving member issues and questions is a top priority for us. It's also one of the things we do differently to keep costs down. In the Republic, we rely on our active member community to help each other out when issues arise. That means we don't have to spend millions staffing elaborate call centers or opening retail stores in every strip mall. We do offer support from our own Republic staff through email, an online support request system and Twitter but we encourage members to try the community first. If you want to see how it works, visit our Community before you join. See how our support team is doing and get to know them better.