Not to turn this into a "How to Save Money" blog, but I thought I would also detail how we cut down on our monthly charges for our two smartphones.
Here's the synopsis. We were faithful Verizon Wireless subscribers. Aside from a short hiatus, we were loyal, happy customers for the past decade. To restate, aside from the how much we were spending a month we had no complaints whatsoever.
At some point we did the math and realized that $185 a month is close to $5000 over the course of a two year contract, plus a few hundred dollars for the phones.
Enter Republic Wireless. Republic Wireless is a low-cost carrier that has smartphone plans ranging from $5-40 per month. Savings vs. the main carriers are due to the unique way that wifi is used for calls and texts whenever available. The lowest cost plan uses wifi exclusisvely and has no tower service when outside of wifi range. The $10 a month plan (which we use) has wifi + cellular calls/texts via traditional cell towers when outside of wifi range. The $25 and $40 dollar plans have 3g and 4g data respectively. The Sprint network is used for data/call/texts where applicable based on your plan.
As I'm getting typing-weary let's jump to bullet points
- Incredibly cheap, even with 4g data it is a savings of more than $1000 over the course of a two year contract
- In many work environments, aka here at the hospital, I get better service than my co-residents as the wifi is ubiquitous but cell service is very marginal.
- Free international calling via wifi, great for travelers. Make calls and send texts from anywhere there is a wifi network without paying exhorbitant fees as you would with a traditional carrier
- For those that have a mobile hotspot, either through work or in your car, you can get away with an even cheaper monthly rate.
- Try it for free for 30 days, return it with no questions asked and a full refund at any time.
- Great mobile signal throughout the Chicagoland area, try it out in your area to see if you have similar results.
- Currently only have two phones to choose from: Moto X and Moto G. I'm an android fan so this is fine with me, but if you are a diehard iphone lover this may be a bridge to far.
- Occasional random calls: I'm not a tech whiz but I believe when under wifi republic uses Google Voice to make and receive calls. Google seems to have it's wires cross occasionally as I get people trying to reach "Veronica" every few days. When asked they give a number that is completely different than mine. This is mildly annoying.
- Need to frequently (every few hours) click to Accept the Terms of the Guest Wifi Network that I frequently use in the hospital.
- When I was using wifi + 3g data I had some trouble with picture text messages when under cell data. When I am under a wifi signal there was no problem. Additionally, stream-of-consciousness text messages will be split into multiple messages, often leaving a few letters out in between which is somewhat painful to interpret at times.
- Must have mobile data for GPS directions UNLESS you start the directions while under a wifi signal. While driving the GPS will only give you one route (if no mobile data). If you deviate from that route you will have to return to it to continue to get turn-by-turn directions.
On balance, I think it is a great deal. The savings are worth the headaches for us, even for my iPhone loving wife. If interested you can check it out here.