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Republic Wireless: Old Phone, New Phone, and a Tempting Competitor

A sample from the new phone's camera (click for larger)

A sample from the new phone’s camera (click for larger)

Just a few hours ago, I unwrapped my new Moto X phone from Republic wireless. It’s the dazzlingly fancy new device that many current and potential Republic customers have been waiting for, so I figured this event warrants an early review.

If you read my original post about this wireless company from May 2013, you know that I’m already a fan. Back then, they were offering a basic smartphone with a $19/month unlimited-everything service plan.

The response was mixed: quite a few of us signed up, and I received mostly positive reviews from those who reported back. Republic’s sole phone at the time – the Motorola Defy XT – was definitely a step back in time, but somehow I managed to lead a happy and productive life with it for over 5 months. Call quality was usually fine, and email and text messages were pretty good too. I didn’t love that gadget, but I also didn’t hate it like Jim Collins did.

I took it to Canada for the summer and was pleased to note that calling and texts remained free for me even during that time. Took it to Ecuador and was able to keep in touch over Wi-fi as well as using it as a hiking navigator by caching a satellite map of the Otovalo area in Google Maps. Used it as a speedometer, altimeter, and E-book listener, and tuned it to Pandora’s Medeski Martin and Wood station one summer night and plugged it into an amplifier, where it rocked a party (pulling music out of thin air with the unlimited 3G data connection) without complaint. The user interface was definitely choppy and slow to the touch, and it didn’t take good pictures. The upside is that I spent far less time looking at my phone. “It’s the phone that gives you your life back!”, is the humorous marketing slogan a friend came up with.

But temptation called, and I was given the chance to evaluate the opposite end of the spectrum: A Samsung Galaxy S4 superphone (retail price about $600) running on a Ting Wireless plan – a direct competitor of Republic wireless. I accepted this challenge to make sure I wasn’t just becoming a complacent Republic spokesman, while not knowing what else was out there.

galaxy s4Going from the little Defy to the gigantic Galaxy was like stepping centuries into the future. Holy Shit, is that ever a nice phone. Every feature is incomparably better than the equivalent on any other device I’ve ever seen. The screen is astonishingly big, bright and clear. The camera takes images that look like you cut them out of Real Life and pasted them to your retinae. The sound and video recording, call quality, and smooth, fluid motion were other-worldly. I became addicted to telephone use again, and my wife and son were not pleased.

The neat thing about Ting is that they have a unique pricing model: you can bring your own Sprint-network phone (some people pick them up on eBay), or buy one directly from them. Then you use talk, text, and data as you see fit and they automatically adjust your plan based on a bucket system with six sizes: Small through XXL. You can add additional phones at $6 per month each and share the same pools.

ting-plans

I ran mine at full-bore for a month and came up halfway through the “Medium” bucket with a bill of $33. So theoretically Mrs. MM could add a line and share the bucket, and our joint family bill would be $39 per month. A big bonus for travelers is that this plan includes Wi-fi tethering, which is hard to come by without ridiculous fees.

All this Ting stuff is important, because Republic has now released a phone that beats the iPhone 5 and rivals the Galaxy S4 in most important usefulness measurements, while running on an ultra-competitive rate plan system.

The New Republic Plans:rw_plans

  • For five bucks a month ($5!?), you can use this phone in WiFi-only mode. Everything still works whenever you get wifi reception, you just can’t make calls from the middle of nowhere.
  • 10 Bucks gets you the same WiFi access, plus unlimited talk and text nationwide. This is probably the most useful ultra-frugal plan I’ve ever seen.
  • The $25 plan duplicates what the $19 plan offered before: unlimited everything, including 3G data. They had to raise the price slightly because they know that when your phone is awesome instead of crappy, you will naturally tend to use it more.
  • The $40 plan adds up to 5GB of 4G data. This would be the road warrior fancypants plan. Since any internet access at all on a telephone is still thrilling to me, and my town doesn’t even have 4G towers, I would personally find this to be overkill. But for those using phones for work, it is still a mighty low price for what they are offering.
  • All of this is based primarily on the Sprint network, but Republic phones will automatically roam (free of charge) to Verizon towers for both voice and data if you ever find yourself outside of Sprint’s coverage

And as if that wasn’t enough flexibility, you can also jump between any of these plans freely, up to twice each month. And by “jump”, I mean swipe down on your screen and select a new option, not make an arduous call to a telephone service representative. So you might stay on the frugal plan most of the time, and boost it to 4G mode for business or road trips.

It’s almost too cheap – I hope that the company can continue turn a profit while making service this affordable and subsidizing the phone. But from conversations with the management, it seems they are approaching things from the position of  strength – put out a really good offering which depends in part on customers not abusing it, and hope that the resulting strong demand and customer loyalty counteracts the risk.

Both of these companies represent an amazing step forward for the typical US mobile phone customer. This week a reader and I had an amusing conversation with Verizon on Twitter. Verizon was trying valiantly to keep his business, but when I looked at their rate plans, I could see it was hopeless. To review the competitive landscape in three points for a hypothetical household of two:

  • They could share an already-plentiful 500 minutes, 1000 texts, and 500MB of data on Ting for $39/month
  • Or they could each have unlimited everything on Republic for a combined total of $50/month
  • Or they could share unlimited talk and text and 1GB of data on Verizon for … $130/month!?

The battle between these new carriers and the old ones is so far from competitive that it is ridiculous.

 The Phone

meet_motox

This is the part we were all waiting to find out: Does the Motorola X live up to its promise of being one of the most advanced smartphones in production? And can it finally make calls over Wi-Fi that are reliable and clear every time? So far, I believe the answer might be yes.

We’ll start with the price: Republic is selling the phone at $299, which means they are subsidizing a good chunk of the purchase price, despite the fact that they have a no-contract service model. It’s still a lot of money, so if you’re using a Defy and it works well for you, keep up the good work. A better phone will not give you a happier life, but in my line of work, I do benefit from certain features – especially a better camera.

I rounded up the four phones that are currently residing in my house*: iPhone 4, Motorola Defy, Samsung Galaxy S4, and Motorola X. To keep the comparison brief, I took the same picture with all four phones: a low-light interior shot (with no flash) of my messy breakfast bar. This allows you to get a rough idea of phone size, camera quality and lens angle, screen size, and screen quality all in one shot.

Clockwise from top left: Defy XT, iPhone4, Galaxy S4, Motorola X

Clockwise from top left: Defy XT, iPhone4, Galaxy S4, Motorola X

Although it’s just one picture, this general theme sums up the capabilities of the four phones in all areas. The iPhone pretty much nailed the user experience back at version 4, and since then things have just been getting bigger and shinier. You can generally gauge a phone’s raw power and fanicness in all areas, simply by noting how huge it is.

For example, my experience over the past month with the Galaxy S4 has been pleasant, and it is a great device for taking pictures, sound recordings, and reading emails and even whole books. But it’s so big, I have to take it out of my pocket when squatting down to work on something for an extended period. It is also delicate: the phone developed a frequent-rebooting problem within two weeks of ownership. Later, I accidentally dropped it from chair height onto my driveway, and the entire glass sheet cracked to shards. So much for “Gorilla Glass” (note to self: better put a beefy rubber case on this new Motorola X before the next accident happens).

The Moto X has most of the advantages of the Galaxy, but with a less slippery exterior, and slightly more compact dimensions that fit better in a pocket. It feels more like a good phone, and less like a tablet. It still has a very large, incredibly bright and clear screen with pixels too fine for the eye to discern. The menus and motions and swiping and 3-D gaming graphics are fluid, like something from an amazing science fiction movie rather than something you and I actually get to own.

It runs a clean and up-to-date version of Android, which means it is easy to use and easily customizable: I’ve already updated its stock keyboard, camera, image viewer, sounds and ringtones, voice recorder app, calculator, wallpaper, notification tray, and added a one-touch flashlight widget, for example. I also prefer its wider-angle lens: in the picture above, you can see how much more of the room it captures when compared to the Galaxy. Note that in my photo, the Moto X screen appears a bit blurry and overexposed but this is just a byproduct my attempt to capture all four phones in the SLR I used to take that picture – in real life, color realism and clarity was very close to the Galaxy.

If you’re curious about where it lies in the phone landscape, our mutual friend Johnny Moneyseed put together this table of stats:

moneyseed_comparo

Various phones, compared by J. Moneyseed

When it comes right down to it, the choice of smartphone depends heavily on personal taste. Because mine gets used almost entirely for blog-related stuff, my own preferences are good camera first, fast interface for reading emails second, big clear screen third, sound recording fourth, and then internet access, some other stuff, and phone calls somewhere near the bottom. But a plumber or salesman or software engineer might put things in a completely different order.

The bottom line for the purpose of this article, however, is that the Moto X is near the top of the pack in all of those areas, and when combined with Republic’s $5/10/25/40 rate plan, makes them almost unbeatable.

If you’re interested in checking out Republic Wireless, you can do so using this link or the picture below.

republic_picture

On the other hand, if the Ting plans line up better with your needs, you might want this link**.

An Update, 3 months later: I continue to use the Republic Moto X as my primary phone, and could not be happier with the phone and the company in general. Everything just works and blends in to the background of life as it should, just as it did when I got my first iPhone. Taking pictures, doing business, and making calls. The only difference is that the unlimited nature of the plan makes life simpler, and the ridiculously low price makes life less expensive.

Final Note: Republic and Ting represent only my own two favorites out of a growing range of options. Collectively, your fellow readers know far more than I do in this field and they have already started sharing their own tips in the comments section below. Let us know your own ultimate frugal mobile phone solution, or if there is anything I need to add to this post about Republic to make it more accurate and complete. 

* Four phones!? You can blame this on the blog. People send me free ones these days, and I dutifully engage my old gadget addiction so you can benefit from my cluttered house.

** Both of these companies offer affiliate links, so I have provided those in this article. So if you use ’em, they benefit this blog – and thanks!
But if you are already a member, you might want to generate your own referral codes and share them with your friends privately – this will give you additional months of free phone service. Enjoy!

  • Travis November 18, 2013, 1:41 pm

    I’ve been watching Ting for about a year now and my plan is to switch to Ting once our contract is up w/T-mobile. Kind of sad since we’ve been with T-Mobile for 12 years but where our new location in OR our coverage is spotty. We don’t use data and rarely text but all major wireless companies are pushing data plans and making voice only too expensive to justify it. We currently pay $45/mo for two phones and 1,000 shared minutes

    My current plan is to add a home phone using OBi and google voice costing $12/year which will allow us to reduce out cell phone usage since we make most of our calls from home anyways. Then I can switch to ting save ~$20/mo.

    This will cost us about $185 in equipment to setup (assuming we can get a cheap used/refurbished phone) and then 9.25 months to recoup that cost. However, we will then have better home phone service and cell service for much less.

    Republic’s plans are just too for me because of the phone they require. The $10/mo plan requires a $600 investment for us and would take 17 months to recoup the phone cost. If I use the cheaper phone that’s still $200 and then $38/mo for the service which would be $7 less than I currently pay at t-mobile and $13 more than what it would cost at Ting. Compared to my current plan that would take 28.5 months to recoup my cost and in both of these scenarios I have no home phone.

    Reply
    • Eric November 18, 2013, 4:10 pm

      @Travis – heads up. I was going to go the Obi / GV route too but just found out that GV will stop working with Obi next year.

      Reply
    • Ed November 18, 2013, 5:46 pm

      Travis, I too was going to go the Obi and google voice route, but read that they are discontinuing allowing Google voice in 2014? I may use the Moto X and $5 plan at RW to use as my new home base phone. I pay $30 a month for Century now, so after 12 months I’m even. Then I could activate the $10 plan if need it for trips. -Ed

      Reply
      • Travis November 19, 2013, 12:50 pm

        I’ll look into some of the other vendors like Anveo.

        Reply
    • Ed November 18, 2013, 5:49 pm

      Travis, sorry I forgot the link where Obi annouces no more Google voice after May 2014. Here it is: http://blog.obihai.com/2013/10/important-message-about-google-voice.html

      Reply
      • Travis November 19, 2013, 12:14 pm

        Well that stinks…thanks for the heads up.

        Reply
  • chris in MT November 18, 2013, 2:20 pm

    Verizon customers:

    Looks like there are a lot people asking about how to get out of Verizon and keep our phones. I’m looking into this now (with an Apple 4S) and it looks like PagePlus is the main MVNO where you can bring your own device. I looked at Net10, and it seemed like PagePLus was generally a better deal.

    Otherwise, it looks like a process of selling the phone and buying one that works on Ting or Republic, etc

    Is that about right?

    Reply
  • Donovan November 18, 2013, 2:31 pm

    Well the quick version of what I previously wrote must have got deleted or went to spam.

    I have Verizon pay $80/month, I just bought the new Moto X with Republic Wireless plan, the breakeven with the $25 plan is around month 5 or 6 and month 2 or 3 if I would decide to buy the new Iphone. So even if the service is not great or I don’t like the new phone, not only do I have a 30 day return policy, but I’m saving money within the first 2-6 months, I’m sure you can sell the phone to another RW if it did not all work out.

    On a side note, I did save the first month using the MM code, so we all earned/saved a little money.

    Reply
  • Micro November 18, 2013, 4:39 pm

    Ting looks like you can get hammered for data use if you’re not too careful. Republic Wireless is looking a bit more attractive. I liked the idea when they first came out and even signed up for the beta trials. I opted to not follow through though because I wanted to give them time to iron out the bugs. I didn’t want to give them a shot and reject them based on growing pains all new technology goes through. It seems they have the system working pretty good now. The other nice part is I use Virgin Mobile as my current provider so I’m used to Sprint’s network and have a good idea of what my coverage would look like.

    Reply
  • JTP November 18, 2013, 6:40 pm

    Hi MMM, have you heard of another MVNO called Solavei? It runs on the T-Mobile network and it is a $50 flat fee, Unlimited everything (4G high speed data). It does have a Network marketing side to it, but you do not have to get involved (as I do not) and just go for the phone service. If you do however, you can get your phone bill discounted, and have them even pay you for it! Just a thought, as you seem to appreciate the MVNOs.

    Reply
  • Liquid November 18, 2013, 7:10 pm

    The Moto X battery is not easy to replace when you compare to something like the Nexus 5. This will likely matter if you plan to keep the phone for more than 2 years.

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Motorola+Moto+X+Battery+Replacement/16974

    Reply
  • Igor November 18, 2013, 8:27 pm

    I am testing Ting at the moment using an old Sprint flip phone. Compared to Verizon coverage, I see much weaker signals in our area. On a single drive home for example, I dropped call twice where Verizon has no issues. That’s a big concern for me. I like Ting’s pricing structure as well as RW, but Sprint network may not be up to snuff just yet. Though they are supposedly working on it. Something like these guys but on Verizon towers would be the ultimate solution :(

    Reply
  • Jonathan the Barbarian November 19, 2013, 3:09 am

    Is the Money Mustasche Man starting to shave his ‘stache off, as the wasteful spending on consumer toys takes off?

    “Aah, but it’s so _convenient_ to have such a lovely smart-phone/device”.

    Listen, there’s this great deal on a cable-television subscription which I need to talk to you about….

    Reply
  • Josh November 19, 2013, 10:30 am

    Thanks for the insight. Signed up my in-law’s old Sprint iPhone on Ting to test it out… so far so good!

    A theoretical question about the whole concept of MVNO’s: If these things really start catching on and they start gobbling up contracted subscriber’s from the major carriers (as I’m sure they hope to do), what’s to prevent the major’s from jacking up the MVNO’s contracted rates to the point that this business model is no longer feasible?

    Perhaps this is a non-issue (for some reason I can’t think of)… obviously the carrier’s know what the MVNO’s are doing with the allocation and are allowing it at this point, but I’m just wondering what the long-term viability of this business model is if the major’s start loosing a significant number of subscribers.

    Reply
    • Misstachio November 26, 2013, 9:33 am

      I’ve thought about this too. My experience is only with PagePlus but it seems to me that one needs a bit of extra effort to transfer and use a phone on PP, whereas the process is extremely streamlined for the big companies. I’d say I’m somewhat gadget-savvy but when I transferred my number from Verizon to PP, I had to do quite a bit of research to figure out the process. When my parents tried to transferred from Verizon to pageplus, they couldn’t figure out the process and failed the transfer process 3 times. There isn’t much support for those who are not so tech savvy. I had to sit down, troubleshoot with them and do their transfers remotely. Took me about 4 hours. I also had to figure out the process for another friend whose phone was not set up for the pageplus activation process. So at least for this MNVO, the complexity and the poor support structure seems to be the biggest barrier to the masses transferring over. But maybe that will change as all the MNVOs get more customers and start being more competitive…

      Reply
  • Clint November 19, 2013, 11:07 am

    I’ve loved Ting since connecting in May, so much so that my family makes fun of me for being a Ting shill. We have two smartphones and decent Sprint coverage. The monthly bill has been $43.34 with taxes and fees, or $38 before fees, with the usage coming out like this: large bucket for minutes, medium bucket for texts and small bucket for data.

    I’ve been trying to knock $9 off of that, but my wife tends to talk much more than I do on the phone. Data could be more expensive if we transmitted a lot of photos (my daughter does this on Virgin Mobile), but we don’t do that, plus I’ve set a limit on data so that we don’t go over the small bucket. So far, we haven’t come close to using all the data allotted under the small bucket.

    Reply
  • Jenny N. November 19, 2013, 11:29 am

    This article is very timely since my existing Sprint contract expired today! Thank you for the information on Ting – I was hoping I could keep my current phone (I bought a used one a few months ago so I could avoid adding onto my contract) and it sounds like Ting is exactly what I need to do that. I’ll fit in nicely with the medium buckets. The real savings, however, will come in a few months, when my husband’s part of the contract expires and we can get rid of our Sprint account for good and move completely to MVNO networks. Thanks, again!

    Reply
  • Antonio November 19, 2013, 12:19 pm

    I have been a Republic Wireless customer with the Defy XT since 2012 and have had great service. They gave me $100 off the $249 Defy XT back then for being a beta customer, no complaints there! I am paying $19.99/mo and the sprint MVNO works great for me in my area. I suggest those interested check sprint coverage in their area first. I ordered the MOTO X upgrade and will soon pay $24/mo, not bad for a MOTO X phone for unlimited everything with no contract. I read that there is a 5GB data limit before your get throttled down but I do not even use 2GB currently per month, so this is a good option for me.

    A quick story: I was in Cancun, Mexico for vacation at a nice Condo with wifi. I was able to contact my extended family for some issues at home free of charge. I was able to receive and make calls. Also, at the Cancun airport I was able to text my co-workers back and forth with only the roaming signal. Also free of charge. My co-worker and I were amazed that we could text where there was no sprint network and I had no wifi, just roaming. Awesome!

    I also did not like to pay $299 for a phone that is locked onto RW, but unlocked it would of cost me about $499! What won me over was taking advantage of the motorola trade-up program to trade an eligible motorola phone for a $100 visa card. That’s what I will be doing. Now the Moto X cost me $199. This is worth it to me!

    You want additional saving?
    If ordering please remember to use referral link to get a service credit of $19 toward your monthly fees. Also use discount code “moneymustache19” at checkout when ordering the phone for your first month of service free.
    (e-mail me if you want my referral code or look for it online)

    I saved about $43 at checkout, and will get $100 visa card in the mail soon. In addition to this, $24 month for unlimited everything is unheard of. Two of my co-workers used my refferal and they got the $19 credit and so did I. So that is an additional $38 credit toward my monthly service. Talk about great savings!!

    I suggest if your on the fence try it out and if not happy contact them before 30 days are up to return the phone and start getting your full refund. Remember to use the “moneymustache19” at checkout for your first month free so this trial month is truly free.

    Republic Wireless might not be for everyone but it sure is great for me!

    Reply
  • Little House November 19, 2013, 6:42 pm

    I recently switched from Sprint to Ting and love the savings! The quality of the calls are the same and I got to keep my phone. Another benefit from Ting, if you had to pay to break an early contract, Ting will reimburse up to $75 depending on the cost of the early termination fee. We ended up with a credit of $25 on our first bill, so even with paying $115 to break our contract, we saved money our first month with Ting. It’s awesome!

    Reply
  • Michelle November 19, 2013, 7:28 pm

    Thanks for the review! I’m looking forward to changing my cell plan soon.

    Reply
  • Dan November 19, 2013, 10:32 pm

    Thanks for the favorable review of the moto X. I am a software engineer that worked on that phone.

    Reply
  • MrMoneyMustCash November 20, 2013, 5:27 am

    One cool thing about Ting, is that by signing up, you get a $25 credit and credits for everyone you refer to Ting from Sprint or new service. It is totally worth it just for that. I wanted to try the Republic plan, but because I was already with Sprint and my phone works just fine from that carrier, I stroked my mustache and transferred to Ting. Thanks for inspiring us all, MMM!

    Reply
  • Jess Mink November 20, 2013, 12:44 pm

    Paying $5 a month for wi-fi calling is puzzling to me. My partner has that set up for free using Google Voice and an unlocked phone.

    For prepay phone plans I’ve had good luck with Tmobile. My current plan is $2 a day that you use it ($0 when you don’t) and unlimited voice, text and data.

    http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/pay-by-the-day-cell-phone-plans

    The daily plan works very well for me right now, because I alternate between being in the back country for long periods of time and short jaunts in civilization. Combine it with wi-fi calling and it might work for more usecases.

    Reply
  • m- November 20, 2013, 7:15 pm

    Hey Triple M.

    Can you right a post about happy! Thing in your life, things you hope might come true in the near future, and when your loooonnnnnnggggg ggggggooooonneeeee!!!!

    Thanks,

    m-

    Reply
  • John November 20, 2013, 8:28 pm

    Republic Wireless all plans,

    *Our Terms of Service permit us to reduce your speed for a billing period if you exceed 5GB of data while using cell during the billing period. We also give you a break and will forgive you for exceeding 5GB of data once every 6 months! See our Terms of Service for more details.

    Reply
  • Mr. Money Fitness November 21, 2013, 2:00 am

    I am a reader of MMM since the first days and have to state that this is one of the most un-mustachian articles ever! Sorry, but I had to say this.

    What happened to the good old pay-as-you-go?

    I use a dumb phone from 2007 with PAYG which needs to be charged once a year with 15€ to keep my contract. And that is also what I pay to be always reachable and make all really necessary calls for one whole year at 0,09 € per minute.

    15€ for big comfort for a complete year.

    I still think “mobile phone frugality” is one of the best and easiest ways to start saving a lot of money and become more badass:
    – Use one of the still functioning dumb phones that nearly every household has lying around and do not call people only because there seems nothing better to do:

    – To say it short: Keep your perfect working phone and use it only when necessary. (This blog is repeating this for cars, bikes, tools – but somehow not for phones and their plans.)

    – Always have a book with you to make yourself better or keep yourself entertained the (unfortunately) “old-fashioned” way.

    – Look on the street before you, instead on a screen.

    – Stop wasting time always chasing the latest smart phone (or gadget) or the (at that time) best phone plan.

    The results:

    – You save a lot of money and time without additional effort.
    – The environment will thank you for it. There is now a big number of smartphones and accessories never produced. (Be honest: The “hot phone” today is already outdated next week when the new superdupermega phone XYZ is coming out.)

    Please MMM, do not have any more “how-to-waste-money-better” articles (other finance bloggers write more than enough of them) and go back to the good old kick-butt-times!
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache November 21, 2013, 11:01 am

      Good points MMF. If you read through the other comments, you will see they were already addressed, but it is worth repeating this one last time.

      I switched to a smartphone (in 2010) when it became clear that it would cost me less to own one than to keep holding off (because it replaces a camera, MP3 player, GPS, and every other gadget). And I have never paid more than $30/month for the whole package.

      For tech-oriented people, communication and ready access to information is important, and it makes you money in the long run. This is why I view a good phone differently than I view a shinier car or purse.

      But you should know your own habits: if you’re just going to be scrolling through Facebook and Twitter while you’re on the bus every day, I agree: stick to a dumbphone and bring a book instead.

      Reply
  • Steve November 21, 2013, 5:15 am

    I use my phone a lot while travelling, so Sprint based service doesn’t quite do it for me. Its just not available in many areas, although you will do just fine in many urban zones. For example I live in a large suburb 30 minutes from Tampa with no Sprint coverage.

    I went with the new start-up AIO Wireless instead. It uses AT&T towers, so it works on any unlocked gsm phone and gives you corporate quality USA coverage.

    I chose the semi unlimited $55 a month plan, which gives you all you can eat LTE service. If you exceed 2GB they throttle you back.

    Best of all I brought my brand new Google Nexus 5, so I can geek out while still saving a bundle compared to Verizon.

    The only downside is that AT&T is planning to acquire the parent of Cricket Wireless, and fold AIO into that. Who knows what will happen to AIO in the future but for now as a premium LTE prepaid they are a great choice.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache November 21, 2013, 10:55 am

      Sounds like you’ve thought it out well – but note that Republic isn’t just a Sprint-based network: it is a combination of Sprint AND Verizon due to the seamless roaming arrangements. I will add this to the article as we figured all this out earlier in the comments but it is not evident if you’re reading the post only.

      Reply
      • Steve November 22, 2013, 8:45 am

        Thanks very interesting based on that info I decided to take a second look. However when I put in my zipcode – it came back with.

        Uh-oh. We might have a problem with cell coverage for you in zip code 33543. However, WiFi coverage is available wherever you have a connection.

        I’m about 30 minutes from Tampa but in a densely populated neighborhood that was once one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the US.

        I have a Verizon LTE tower within a few hundred yards from my house, but no Sprint coverage, so I am a bit confused now I’ll google around.

        Update: According to some blogs I am reading you are correct but a Sprint tower is needed to activate. The Verizon roaming makes all the difference in the world and makes them very attractive indeed.

        Reply
      • Blergh September 15, 2014, 7:44 pm

        “it is a combination of Sprint AND Verizon due to the seamless roaming arrangements.”

        What seems to often get left out here in the flashy “unlimited” advertising is that what you are saying only applies to voice calling and text messages. Data roaming on the Verizon network, I’ve heard, is horribly throttled and limited to 100MB per month… actually make that 25MB per month as of today.

        So, no it is not Sprint and Verizon combined.

        Reply
  • MaxRules November 21, 2013, 8:51 am

    Air Voice has a new set of plans also. The $30 per month plan I was on (unlimited talk and text) now includes 100MB of web and unlimited MMS. The web data was previously $5 more. You’ll need an unlocked IPhone to use the MMS and a special app to use their data network. There is also a $40 and $60 plan for more data and features. I rarely use data but it’s great to have while on the road for checking email or looking up something. I’ve had Air Voice for several months now and it’s really a great service on the AT&T network. Special thanks goes to MMM for the post about Air Voice and freeing me from my expensive AT&T contract phone!

    Reply
  • Tom November 21, 2013, 9:17 am

    While this solution may not work well for everyone, we recently decided to switch from a post-paid plan to prepaid for our cell phones. After getting the run-around with our old service (LIME) we finally cancelled our service and went for the prepaid plan where texts are 10 cents each. We honestly think this will work best for us as we almost never make a phone call using our cell phones, it will probably come out to $20 – $30 per month, which is very good considering the high prices here.

    Living in the Cayman Islands, we have Magic Jack plus ($30 a year) as an option to call home and facetime using our ipad on our home wifi. If anything we may be overspending a bit with the Magic Jack line since we could easily use google voice through tapatalk to call people at home who do not use iphones. Like I said, this option may not work well for everyone. On a small island there is little need for things like google maps, yelp, etc. but I have to say, I don’t even take my phone with me much and I love it. It’s almost a liberating feeling NOT having it on me at all times.

    Reply
  • cdub November 21, 2013, 10:58 am

    I just got my RW moto X and I’m trying it out on the $10/month plan.

    The wifi kind of sucks at my work so we’ll see how it goes. The wifi is awesome at my house though.

    Reply
  • Alvaro Gil November 21, 2013, 7:09 pm

    Rolled my own $14/month hybrid Verizon network calling plan like this:

    1 – Ported my phone number to Google Voice.
    2 – purchased GrooveIP
    3 – Manually flashed my 4G Galaxy Nexus to 3G only
    4 – Called up Page Plus and hooked up the phone to a $12/Month plan. (new number – no one will ever see it)
    5 – installed Google Voice and set it to always use it for outgoing calls. (original number in step 1)
    6 – Installed a firewall app on my phone and set it to only allow the following apps to use data on 3G: Google Services, Talk.
    This is key, in order for google voice outgoing calls to work, it must use minimal data to sign in.

    At the end of the month, I go over my 10 meg/month data limit with these settings by about 10 megs. It costs about $2 extra each month. The data rates are different when you are on a monthly plan!

    This method is awesome if you are willing to do some legwork, you can pick your own device and handle things yourself.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache November 21, 2013, 9:19 pm

      Badass.

      Reply
      • Mr Joe November 24, 2013, 9:47 pm

        I thought Google Voice calls to phones (and thus GroVe IP) was EOL’ed May 2014 IIRC. A perfectly reasonable solution for now, but also a need to watch and see how it develops. Can GroVe IP survive?

        Reply
        • Desh April 7, 2014, 11:29 am

          Yeah, Google Voice is going away (for purposes like this) soon.

          I believe there’s an answer using SIP replacement services for Google Voice, such as Vestalink. I’m still playing with it, so I’m not sure how well it works, but I think it can work similarly to Alvaro’s solution above. Vestalink isn’t free, but it’s extremely inexpensive by my standards, and perhaps even by MMM’s: It adds in the ballpark of $30/year to your costs (which are otherwise just a cheap cell plan.) I might splurge for the $30/month 5GB plan from T-Mobile instead of Page Plus, which would cost me a total of $32.50/month when you add in Vestalink, and give me way more data than my friends on $90 Verizon plans.

          Reply
          • Steve April 8, 2014, 8:25 am

            Does anyone know if there’s an unlimited data plan compatible with my Verizon iPhone 4? I’m now on the Page Plus $30 plan. I’d like to replace my CenturyLink internet service, too, which is now $80/month after the intro offer, but PP doesn’t offer tethering.

            Reply
  • Matt November 23, 2013, 11:16 am

    Dear MMM,
    I must note a contradiction in your post: purchasing a very expensive cutting-edge smart phone is NOT mustachian!!! Granted, you are getting them for free because you publicize them for the companies, but I think this actually contradicts the theme of your website. The average person will have to buy their own phone. Additionally, these phones are overkill; at this stage they are overly luxurious because their are older competitive models that are still 80% as good the new expensive smart phones, plus you can get them used or refurbished. I bought a HTC Evo 4G, used from Ting, effectively for $100. I chose this rather than an even lower price (from non-Ting company) because I wanted the option to trial the phone for 30 days because i didn’t know how sprint reception is in my area. The phone functions very well, and can do all of the critical things a smart phone can do. By making most of my calls and web use over wifi (which is Mustachian!) I can bring my monthly bill below $30/month without impinging on my happiness. More important, I am not stuck with a super expensive smart phone in case it breaks, becomes obsolete, or i decide to leave Ting.
    Food for thought!
    matt

    Reply
    • Ross November 26, 2013, 9:32 pm

      Meh, Mr M. Mustache is the founder of the religion, so I opine that he gets to set the rules and break him if he wants. God give god take :P.

      What?

      Also, I have a p.o.s. t-mobile prepaid phone, and I operate my calls in conjunction with Google Voice so I don’t hardly use the cell phone, but texts and calls do get forwarded to it. I only recently really did the calculations, and it turned out that it was costing me around $18/month. Now with Republic Wireless, which I am now switching to, I can drop my costs down to $10/month. The monthly savings will pay off my phone in 3-4 years, and then those extra eight bucks a month will just get dropped into savings. Another plus to this is that it would make me less dependent on Google (Diversity, baby!).

      So while ideally it would be better to not have to pay for a phone at all, until human beings no longer talk to each other and just rely on Twitter for all intraspecies communication, I think I will happily pay RW my $10 (plus the $300 phone) without feeling I have violated any central tenet of Mustachianism.

      Reply
      • Matt November 28, 2013, 2:05 pm

        Eh, I don’t buy your argument. Pay it off in 3-4 years?
        By then I’ll have traded in my used phone for a ‘new’ used phone that is better than the moto X.

        The real question is whose phone plan fits you best, while factoring in the cost of the new phone. Ting is especially good for me because I don’t use a lot of data, and do most of my calling from a wifi location, so I will have bills that range from $9-20 / month (plus service fees).

        However, some people are addicted to data (despite how anti-mustachian it is to dick around on your time watching youtube videos; granted there are plenty of practical smartphone data uses, but I still think a lot of people just waste time on them).

        Anyways, in the end, the biggest money saver is simply switching away from Verizon/Spring/AT&T; deciding btw RW and Ting is smaller issue.

        Reply
        • Ross November 29, 2013, 9:10 am

          Well, maybe I was speaking more for myself there, as my phone seems to be within a couple months of completely breaking down. But why wouldn’t it get paid off in that time frame by the savings? Even if your plan only becomes six bucks cheaper, that is still $288 after four years.

          I’m still not seeing what makes Ting cheaper. With Ting, you’re paying $6 per device, and it seems pretty unlikely that you’d use less minutes/texts (assuming you use zero data) than four dollars’ worth. I suppose it could work out to be the better option, because you don’t have to get an expensive phone, but per month I think RW is def going to be cheaper on the $10/mo plan. But I’m with you; the difference between RW and Ting really isn’t something to quibble over.

          Reply
    • Vince S November 27, 2013, 3:03 pm

      We just switched to RW from Airvoice, bought 2 Moto X phones for $643 (after tax, ship …) and sold our two iPhones for $450, thus getting 2 of the newest smartphones on the market for $193 with no contract and $10 unlimited plans – SHA-WEEET!

      We should be good now for at least 3-4 years with the new phones and plans. Adding up the numbers, we will average @ $15 per month after adding in the phone cost, plan cost and taxes over a three year period. Not too shabby!

      Our monthly cost did increase @ $5 due to taxes from RW, but we have no annoying balance alerts after every call / text from AV and unlimited cell and text from RW – a win win to us for just $5 more per month.

      We will also be adding our oldest son onto the plan for Xmas, but cant decide whether to have him buy the Moto X from his savings and up our bill $12 per month to @ $37 or buy the Defy XT for him as a Xmas present and he would have to foot the $20 per month unlimited plan.

      Hmmm, choices, choices. …. but either way we will still be paying 75% less on cellular service for three than we were for two just one year ago!

      Reply
  • Chris H. November 25, 2013, 1:09 pm

    I have a possible alternative to Ting Wireless. It is called Zact Wireless. The have essentially the exact same business model as Ting but they have better rates from what I can see. In the example that you provided above (a two person account with 500 minutes, 1000 texts, and 500 MB’s shared), this would cost approximately $32.69 with taxes and fees.

    Ting has a rate of $39 and I don’t know if this includes taxes or fees.

    One big difference from Ting and Zact is that you have smaller “buckets” for the pricing structure. Zact charges you in 100 minute, 100 text, and 50 MB increments. Unlike Ting, you aren’t stuck paying for the 500 minute plan even though you only used 101 minutes. Whereas, Zact would charge you for the 200 minute plan.

    Zact is partnered up with Best Buy, so Best Buy does sell Zact plans.

    The main disadvantage that I can see is that you CANNOT bring your own phone. However, they do have a good selection of older android models.

    I just wanted to let everyone know that this option was available to those interested.

    Reply
  • Chris November 27, 2013, 7:11 am

    My wife and I converted to RW this past week. Phones are awesome. I was able to use the phone for eBay research out in the field the other day with 3G only (was used to an iPhone 5 with 4G/LTE). I will sell the iPhones on eBay or Craigslist once I can get them unlocked. Even with the unlock fees and the new phone purchases, we will save over $1000 through the end of our ATT contract (Nov2014)!!

    Reply
  • Matt K November 27, 2013, 10:04 am

    Just wondering what the actual cost is of Republic Wireless….on the $25 plan. Is it just “sales tax” that gets paid, or is it loaded up with fees & excise taxes like about half of my land-line bill is? I am in Wisconsin. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Per Diem November 27, 2013, 3:11 pm

    Regarding Roaming on Verizon: Just brought my wife’s new Republic phone to work today to see how the Verizon roaming works (we only have a V tower here and no other phone service works on our remote site). Anyways, outgoing calls, sending and receiving texts, and data work great! However, for some reason I am not able to receive calls from offsite but am able to receive calls placed onsite (my Verizon cell and office phone)… Voicemails left push through just fine. A minor issue, but an interesting one none-the-less. Also I do not have access to wifi at work.

    Reply
  • Brian November 29, 2013, 8:50 am

    I know I am going to take a lot of flack for some of what I say, but the Moto X isn’t nearly as nice as my old iPhone 4. I spent many hours trying to get the same functionality with Android. It took additional apps and extra steps and some of the ios apps just aren’t made for Android. Apple products are very user friendly. I grew up with pre DOS, DOS, Windows and it is so nice not to have all the Microsoft type hassles.
    I also don’t agree that the Republic Wireless tech support is adequate. I got the Moto X on November 27 and sent a request for help because I couldn’t make cell calls. I received a response within hours, but it didn’t address the problem and to date there hasn’t been any followup. The status of my question open. I can use wifi but if I don’t have wifi, I’m without service.
    Yes, it is a lot cheaper, but my son laughs at the thought of me switching from the iPhone because Verizon is so expensive. He claims they have the best coverage and so can get the most for it. And I can’t really disagree that Apple has the best smartphone, but this is really about saving money on phone services.

    Reply
  • Brian November 29, 2013, 1:58 pm

    Tech Support could be a lot better. I love the concept and the idea of saving money, but it didn’t work when I tried to set it up and their Tech Support hasn’t been able to get it to work or provide any useful help at all. Sure wish I was MMM! My wife says it may be time to send it back, but I invested so much time figuring out how to get it to do what my iPhone did, I hate to give up. There staff must be overwhelmed and it doesn’t seem like all the bugs are worked out. I’ve been using with the FreedomPop, but 3g is a bit slow for it and it breaks up a lot.

    Reply
  • George November 30, 2013, 5:45 pm

    Thank you so much for the infos on RW and the discount code! I just pulled the trigger on my next step to FI! Dumping the overpriced and greatly detested Verizon Wireless cell phone plan!
    Now I’m off to see how much I can get for my rooted and freshly modded S4 :)

    Reply
  • Stew December 2, 2013, 3:37 pm

    $30/month for 1200 minutes, 3000 texts and 500mb 3G data on PagePlus.

    I use an iPhone 4, which I bought used from eBay for $140. Works great though it isn’t an officially “supported device”.

    I only need 500mb of data because I am usually somewhere with WiFi–I turn off 3G for data-heavy media apps–but it’s great to be able to use maps, email and find and reserve Car2Go cars on the go.

    Signing up for a recurring monthly plan on PagePlus is a bit convoluted, in part because the company is mainly organized around pay-as-you-go usage. As a previous commenter noted, it can be a challenge to activate a phone (technophobic folks might ask a techie friend for help), but I found both the online chat and the phone support very helpful.

    I just hooked my mom up for one of these plans, and she’s delighted. We also transferred my grandmother to a 100-minute pre-paid card: those minutes last for 120 days. She has a phone she never uses just in case of an emergency, so we only need for it to stay active and have a small number of minutes. With a Verizon family line my mom was paying ~$25/month for Babci’s phone. So with her line alone we’re saving $270/year.

    Reply
  • Chung Park December 2, 2013, 4:45 pm

    MMM, we’re making the plunge and we’re gonna try out RW. Using your link! Thanks for everything!

    Reply
  • Steve December 4, 2013, 1:21 pm

    I’ve had Google Voice for years and try to give that number only to most people. The one limitation is that if you don’t have cellular reception or maybe don’t even have a sim card, you obviously won’t receive calls.

    Enter Talkatone. Its in the app stores and integrates with Google Voice nicely. Its a VOIP app you can run over wifi. So you can make and receive calls over the number people already know.

    Also useful to run on your tablet. Pop a bluetooth on and it becomes a full featured phone even with no minutes plan.

    Reply
  • mmeetoilenoir December 8, 2013, 3:00 pm

    I have a brand spanking new LG G2 on Sprint, and it just came out two months ago, so no Ting for me just yet. :( The minute they approve it for their network, though, I’m switching and taking advantage of the handy-dandy ETF rebate of $75. My new plan is $107 after taxes (!!!), even though I hardly use any talk minutes. Terrible.

    I’m so glad that I found this blog and learned about Ting. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  • kobo December 11, 2013, 8:25 pm

    I joined Republic just a few weeks ago; as soon as the Moto X became available, coming from Tracfone, which I had been a subscriber of since around 1999.

    Tracfone was ideal for me; I just needed a phone for emergency’s; either my own or if someone had to reach me. My later phones came with Triple minutes which was a huge savings.

    For involved reasons I decided to upgrade but I still did not want a contract. Looking at my options for carriers none of them struck me as a bargain, I had to pretty much pay top dollar for the phones, and some services suck in my area.

    I first considered Republic when they were in Beta, but the Defy just did not impress me; much better than any Tracfone I had had, but if I was going to pay a monthly fee after spending $90-$120 A YEAR for Tracfone I had better really like the phone.

    When we got a email from Republic that they were going to have the Moto X, and after researching that phone, I was hooked. I ordered it the day they released it, a week and a half into the 30 day trial period I ported my old number over and I havent looked back.

    I had some reservations about Republics customer service; Tracfone’s CS is legendarily horrible (unless you call their corporate resolution center in FL; then it is outstanding). You can pretty much forget about trying to contact Republic via phone.

    But the half dozen times I felt the need to get some assistance from them was pretty painless; I have contacted them via email as well as via Facebook and Google + and have received pretty prompt replies each time and meaningful answers to my questions.

    All reports I get back on call clarity are positive, the switch over from wifi and Cell while in midst of a call are pretty much seamless and I have had no problems with the reception. In fact my reception has increased dramatically for the better; my home is like a Faraday cage; it is almost impossible to get decent cell reception. When I come into the house now Republic immediately jumps onto my wifi and I can actually use my cell phone in the house.

    One note about Republics use of wifi to handle calls and keep the cell costs down: this means that it wants your wifi to always be on, which can affect your battery life. I added a wifi on/off widget and use it to shut off the wifi when I am in areas where there is no possible chance of me having a wifi signal to use; such as when I am driving or working outside away from home. As soon as I get home I put the phone in airplane mode and turn the wifi back on. If I had to compare the battery life of the X with any of my older Tracfones I would have to unfairly say it is horrible; unfairly because while my tracfones lasted nearly a week on one charge; there really wasnt much I could do with them except make or wait for the rare phone call. There is so much more I can & do with the X it does not surprise me I can only get a day out of it.

    One thing I was concerned about with the Moto X is its paltry on-board memory and no means to add a SD card. I have since purchased a tiny Meenova reader & a 32 gb micro SD card which works very well. On top of that with my now having the ability to stream audio form one of dozens of apps I have I dont even miss the gazillions of songs (and videos) I have at my disposal on my Samsung Galaxy Player and its 64gb SD card, which has been my droid device for a couple years now.

    If had to nit-pic about one thing it would be the change in buttons between Ginger Bread, which my SGP has, and Jelly Bean which is on the X; I hate that I no longer have the Menu button; it is a step backwards to me. There are a couple other similar gripes but, again they are OS related; I liked Ginger Bread.

    I still use my SGP for reading things like ebooks; the screen on the X is just a bit too small for my liking, even web browsing is more comfortable for me on the SGP 5.0; but the X fits in my pocket better.

    As for not having the ability to use Moto Maker with Republic; I couldn’t care less; its phone, not a fashion statement, and when I put a case on it you’ll never the damn pretty colors anyway.

    Overall I am very pleased with the service; after so many years with Tracfone I expected some feelings of nostalgia; now I think: trac-who?

    Like the man said; I hope they can keep profitable; I really like Republic and hope to hang around with them at least as long as I did Tracfone.

    Reply
  • AB December 12, 2013, 7:00 pm

    Just dumped Virgin Mobile for a new Moto X and Republic! I’m so happy so far. It was easy to order online, and the best part was the ease of porting my existing number over! Thanks for the discount code MMM! My wife keeps trying to talk to her phone with sad puppy dog eyes….”ok google now”…..no response

    Reply
  • Eric Bahn December 16, 2013, 10:45 am

    Thanks MMM for turning me onto Republic Wireless! I really love the concept, but I think that the company has a long way to go before their service becomes really great. I’ve been using my RW phone for about two weeks now, and I’ve determined that it’s pretty good if you use your phone to primarily text and use data. But actually making phone calls sucks a lot, both on WiFi and 4G (my plan). Also–a lot of dead zones when you’re on Sprint.

    It’s still better than Verizon so I’m sticking to the service. Thanks again for sharing RW with your readers!

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache December 16, 2013, 11:58 am

      Man, that is odd – I read your review about poor Sprint coverage in the SF bay area (you can click Eric’s name to get to his website if you like). There must be thousands of people who also use Republic in the same area – any positive experiences to counteract? It is possible your phone might have an actual hardware glitch that is decreasing 3G reception, as I’ve never had a dropped call with the Moto X, and 3G data works great, even here in my low-coverage small city.

      With the problems you describe, it sounds like a Sprint (or Motorola) issue rather than something Republic could fix. I’d suggest comparing performance of your own X with a friend on Republic, in a marginal reception area, to help isolate that variable.

      Reply
  • MrSmith December 22, 2013, 6:09 pm

    best deal out there is
    Nexus 5 from google store for $350
    on $30 a month Tmo plan ( 100min / unlimited text / 5gig of 4G after that unl/2G)

    possibly a better deal ( mustache like :) )
    Moto G $179 on Amazon
    Lycamobile Pay as you go @ 2c/min, 4c/text, 6c/MB 4G data
    incoming texts free

    the problem I got with RW is , that moto x is locked with RW.
    N5 can go to any GSM carrier and Sprint
    and you can change those carriers every month if you wanted to
    or if good deal pops up ( same with Moto G )

    another thing that bugs me is that wifi dependence
    I dont want any restrictions

    Reply
    • Mike Avery December 29, 2013, 7:44 am

      A quick heads up – I’d be very surprised if you could take a Nexus 5, or any phone, from a GSM carrier to Sprint. Sprint uses CDMA, and very, very few phones support both CDMA and GSM. I believe that the Sprint Nexus 5 is a different phone from the GSM Nexus 5.

      One of many reasons we left Sprint was that they held back Nexus updates. Google tells you that you get a purer Google experience and faster updates with a Nexus phone.

      My Sprint Samsung Galaxy Nexus was over a year behind on getting updates. Sprint has to approve the updates so it’s not updated directly by Google. One thing they do on the Galaxy Nexus is disable the ability of third party tethering apps to transmit to WiFi. FoxFi had worked very well for me until I switched to the Galaxy Nexus. My son is very happy – he’s already gotten an update on his Nexus 5, direct from Google through the T-Mobile network.

      Reply
  • Mike Avery December 29, 2013, 7:34 am

    For us, Republic, Ting, Virgin and Credo are non-starters. They all use the Sprint network, which is unreliable in our area. While on Sprint, we were without service for several months at our home. In the end, they loaned us an “AirWave” which let us make calls over our high speed internet. Your mileage may vary.

    A greater issue is that with CDMA networks you are largely locked into the carrier. It is hard to move your phone from Sprint to Verizon or the rest of the gang. GSM networks are more flexible, you swap out your sim card with one from the new vendor and you’re on their network. Having paid too much for Sprint and having been trapped there, I wanted a no-contract GSM phone.

    We got our phones from eBay, except my son who wanted a Nexus 5. And we’re paying $40 a head on T-Mobiles BYOD family plan – that includes all taxes and fees. My son and I use more bandwidth than my wife, so we are paying an extra $10 a month for additional high speed 4G/LTE bandwidth. T-Mobile’s base plan is for 500mb per month of high speed bandwidth. When you use that up, they throttle you back to 3G speeds, but there is no limit on your 3G usage.

    So far, we’ve been on T-Mobile and we’re much happier than we were with Sprint. I especially like the idea I can ditch them if they fail to deliver on their promises.

    Reply
  • Tyler J December 30, 2013, 2:39 pm

    Does anyone on here live in the Seattle area and have advice on this? In the past I’ve had T-mobile, AT&T, and Verizon here and Verizon has far and away the best coverage and I’ve never had a dropped call. A few texting issues occasionally, but I think that’s the phone. Whereas with AT&T I had dropped calls constantly and T-mobile had spotty coverage.

    I am looking to decrease the price as I am currently on a family plan for my wife and I that’s $157/mo after taxes (OUCH, and this includes a supposed corporate discount). I’ve read reception reviews as well and Sprint gets nothing but complaints of no coverage and dropped calls for Seattle; they also don’t have 4g here where all other carriers do. I think the hills and difficult geography are too much expense for Sprint. I use my phone for a lot of texting and ~1gig of data and maybe 250 minutes of voice per month to run my side real estate business. I don’t have access to wifi at my main J-O-B (yes I’m still growing my ‘stache) and they block email on my work computer. Also, I don’t want to use the company phone for my personal business. In other words I need my phone to work and I’m afraid of the other networks, but amongst Verizon MVNOs there seems to be not that great of deals and no access to Verizon’s great LTE network. Any help is appreciated!

    Reply
  • Chris H. December 31, 2013, 7:20 am

    Tyler,

    You have a few options. Is it only you and your wife on the plan? If so, you can cut the $157 dramatically.

    You need to look at Net10 (Straight talk and Tracfone are owned by the same guys). Net10 has a family plan for 2 people for $85 which comes with unlimited talk, text, and 2.5GB data. This is LTE speeds so no worry there. It is technically unlimited data but is throttled after 2.5GB. It may be slightly more than $85 since this may or may not include taxes. You may only have sales taxes on this amount.

    This would slice a good portion off your bill. If you can get by with 500MB data, then Page Plus has a $30 plan which includes 1200 minutes, 3000 texts, and 500 MB data. So, the total bill would be $60/mo. This has no LTE speeds from what I understand.

    Hope that helps!

    Reply
  • Rhonda January 5, 2014, 11:49 pm

    I truly wish we had these less expensive options in Canada ;( My home internet bill just came in at $85 this month & I don’t even have cable! My cell is on top of that for another $65/month for unlimited text/200 mins/1 GB data….it’s crazy expensive compared to the U.S. prices….if anyone can break into the Canadian market please do us all a favor & challenge these big companies that have the monopoly on our cellular services!!!

    Reply
  • GubMints January 6, 2014, 8:46 am

    MMM –

    Thanks for the discount code!

    I had already pre-ordered the Moto X before reading this article, but I was still able to use the coupon when they notified me the phone was ready.

    I have posted a 30-day long term review of the Republic Moto X here: http://wp.me/p2Nyqo-ml

    Reply
  • John January 15, 2014, 12:37 pm

    Are there different versions of the Moto X (GSM or CDMA)? It looks like the Moto X from Republic Wireless has a sim card slot, but I read a comment on their community forum that claimed that that sim card slot is strictly used to access Sprint’s LTE network. Can anyone confirm?

    I ask because I plan to do some international travel this year and want to my next phone to be GSM compatible and Republic’s Moto X plan looks great! Thanks!! Great article!

    Reply
  • Derek January 17, 2014, 5:03 am

    The moto x plan sounds great- my biggest reason for having a phone is the camera and I’m afraid to give up my iphone 5. I’ll try to find an online review of the moto x camera

    Reply
  • Rachel January 22, 2014, 11:37 am

    I just had to comment on this one – I bought a phone of Craigslist on Sunday, 1/19/2014 and activated it through TING late that evening, and I checked my account this morning, 1/22/2014 and my bill is already at $36.00!!!! Seriously!? $18/day?? They said it was because of data usage from the 19th. I have no idea what this is about and I am a light phone user (rarely use internet, no photos, videos, movies, etc.). Just be careful guys – I thought this was going to save me money, but I guess not. :(

    Reply
  • Cameron January 29, 2014, 12:02 pm

    As a result of discovering MMM’s blog, I’ve been fired up to grow out my stache. First big step: slashing $100/month on phone bills and even upgrading to a smart phone in the process. I’m loving the Moto X and very pleased with Republic’s customer service and approach. When I told my sister that I consider myself an “early adopter” of innovative technologies she laughed and told me that getting a smartphone in 2014 is not early adoption. I consider a $25/month smartphone technology and innovation worth waiting for. The future is now! BTW, this phone definitely took some effort to get dialed in and has one or two small glitches (doesn’t receive incoming calls while roaming with data turned on, for example) but nothing I can’t deal with. Highly recommended if you are in a sprint/verizon area and thanks to MMM for the pointer – payback time for cost of phone and termination fees is less than a year.

    Reply

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