We wrapped up 2017 with a blizzard of announcements and new product launches. Our team has done an amazing job delivering on multiple projects and priorities, all aimed at helping you save money while staying connected. We also set a new challenge for 2018 - to help our members achieve a better phone-life balance, placing emphasis on using our smartphones and devices as tools to help experience life versus living our lives vicariously through a screen.
Here’s a recap of our team’s achievements over the past few months:
My Choice Plans
We are continuously evaluating how we can add value for our members. In December, we launched new service plans called My Choice with this mission in mind. The new My Choice plans offer a simplified and cheaper way to purchase data, for just $5 per GB, on-top of our $15 per month unlimited talk & text. Data at $5 per GB is something we’re insanely proud to offer to our members - we’re not aware of any better a-la-carte data pricing in the market. These plans immediately became available and we transitioned all our former Clear Choice plan holders to this new service structure overnight. Read and learn more about our My Choice plans!
Anywhere & Anywhere HQ
Republic Anywhere is our homebrewed messaging client developed for our members to help you stay connected across all of your devices. The app lets you make and receive text messages on your Republic phone and on any Android, iOS, Windows PC and Mac device, making it easier than ever to stay in touch with your friends and family members. We are continuing to invest in the Anywhere product and recently added calling capabilities to the app which enables users to make and receive calls from their Republic phone number on non-Republic devices (laptops, for example). This feature is being tested in beta right now and is expected to roll-out for general use sometime in 2018.
Republic Anywhere HQ is a hardware product, developed in-house just like Relay, aimed at evolving the home phone experience. This product is a communication-first smart speaker that is voice activated with a smart assistant. It is also synced with your phone number so that you can make calls to family and friends. Republic HQ is entering our Republic Labs and will be developed further in 2018.
We were ecstatic to announce Relay - a screen-free LTE & WiFi-powered walkie-talkie aimed at keeping kids connected and safe. It’s 100% designed by our team and we’ll be bringing this product to market in 2018. The entire experience is over a voice interface, making it easy to interact with. Learn more about this product at www.relaygo.com.
As we mentioned at the start, we’re committing ourselves in 2018 to achieving a better phone-life balance. To kick off this initiative, we launched the Life-Over-Likes sweepstakes encouraging you to create unforgettable experiences with the people you love. Response was overwhelming and participation was off the charts and we had a lot of fun developing some comical videos to ride alongside the sweepstakes While we only could award a handful of winners we hope all participants appreciated the sentiment and we look forward to doing more things like this in 2018.
Republic Wireless Pop-Up Shop
Since our inception in 2011 we’ve lived our corporate life online. Online store, online support, online Community. In November, we took an opportunity to rent and renovate a small storefront in downtown Raleigh, NC. This new space is designed to offer an in person support space for our local members and make connections with our local community. We offer seminars, craft nights, and family fun each first Friday of every month. You can also buy phones or accessories from the shop. If you’re local to Raleigh, NC or visiting be sure to stop by and say hello!
6-Year Birthday for a 1-Year old Company
We celebrated an odd occurrence in late 2017. Republic as a brand and service turned 6-years old. We’d launched with a handful of excited members on now ancient LG Optimus devices in late 2011. From there we’ve grown to hundreds of thousands of awesome members supported by a team numbering in the hundreds. Everyday we come to work appreciative of both our members and the culture we’ve developed. But, the company or entity that is Republic Wireless Inc. is only 1-year old. That’s odd but explainable. We were incubated inside another company called Bandwidth Inc. for 5 years and last December we spun out to create our own separate company…officially Republic Wireless Inc. So, there you have it…a 6-year old company that’s only 1-year old. Ha.
Worth noting, our big sibling Bandwidth had a huge notable accomplishment in November 2017…they went public! Congrats to David and the team!!!
New Devices & Deals
We’ve had a slew of new devices in the past few months. The Samsung Galaxy S8 headlined the group, a great hero-class device delivering all the specs and features you’d expect from a top Android company. We also launched the Moto G⁵S Plus a great mid-tier phone as well as three budget friendly phones the Samsung Galaxy J3, Samsung Galaxy J7, and Alcatel A30. On the bring your own phone side, we were pleased to support the launch of the great Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices.
System and App Upgrades
We’ve continued to support numerous system updates and deliver enhanced RW app capabilities. We’ve made it easier to add data and change plans from the app. You can find information specific to your phone and service level here. Specific to Republic app capabilities we’ve got a few new features brewing, which if they work out both technically and business-wise, should enhance our members experiences meaningfully in 2018. More on that in a future write-up!
As always feel free to leave comments to let us know your thoughts.