A Letter from Our CEO: Republic Wireless Joins DISH!

Good Morning @jfilteau216 and welcome to the Community!

Republic actually got its start as part of a larger company, its former corporate parent Bandwidth.com. Republic was spun out as a separate enterprise in late 2016. That said, Bandwidth is nowhere near as large as DISH.

But, I get it. For me, Republic selling to DISH is sort of like watching lots of others discover a band I liked before others did so. One is happy for their success but attending a concert at a stadium just isn’t the same as seeing them in a club.

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Sad to see yet another good small independent business get swallowed up by some big corporate entity. But it is not that surprising to me, especially after the terrible year that was 2020 was. Change will come, and probably not for good. Just like with Rooster Teeth, it took time, but they are radically different than they were back when they were independent and free to do things their way, and not under the direction and forced filtering of a cooperate entity that controls the paychecks and company image.

Republic was a incredible find for my mother, got her off a flip phone to her first smartphone that otherwise, impossible for her to afford, back when the Refund plan was and 3G CDMA was the norm. (which are now pretty much unuseable)
Then, somewhat painfully, upgraded her to the newer plan and newer phone.
For the several years she was a RW user, was very good.
I also found RW very useful and affordable when i made the switch, after my work and usages needs changed. Used for a few years,

But, having a VOIP based number started to become a serious issue with more and more things, and then, TMobile launched a plan more affordable and better suited to our needs.

Been over a year now, since leaving RW.
For sure miss the extraordinary beyond expectations level of Customer Service and communication ability that R.W provided.

Now that they are “part of the DISH family”…maybe RW will no longer be a VOIP based service, that would be the only improvement I think would truly help RW overall.
But, it was a war, for me, and many others, to break free of the major money grubbing monopoly cable tv companies…and we will never want to do business with them or any one associated with them ever again. DISH may or may not be as bad as Comcast/Xfinity, but still, seeing their name makes me cringe and run away.

I hope R.W the best…but very much think of this move as a big mistake and one that they, and mostly their customers, will regret in the future.

I came from Ting to RW a few years back. I really loved Ting, but as I used more talk/text, the price went from about $21/mo to $40+.
I saw your post, and looked at Ting now, and yes, the plans are cheaper.
I’ve been happy with RW, so I don’t plan to change carriers, but I’m glad Ting has changed their price structure.
I think some folks are being the voice of doom about the acquisition. I would wait and see what happens to pricing and service, and just know that there are other competitors out there if you’re unhappy.

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Imo a few months is the perfect window of time to try a cheaper similar service like Mint and have the option to change your mind if you don’t like it.

Hey thanks for the update. When the news broke online and in forums here, I was going to ask what that meant for the dude that founded it, but I wasn’t sure whether he was even still running RW or not and I didn’t take the time to research it.

It makes sense if Dish is trying to build a national network to buy resellers that already have deals with other national networks - feels like a quick way to build coverage in places where they wouldn’t have it otherwise. I’m a little worried that the hybrid calling, which was Republic’s defining disruption in the early days (at least for me), will get lost, and I’ll have to stand by a window to make a phone call again, but honestly as long as @Chris.Chuang is around, I’m hopeful.

Like Republic, DISH has a network partnership agreement with T-Mobile. DISH’s agreement is part of its previous acquisition of Boost Mobile, which, T-Mobile was required by the FCC to divest when it merged with Sprint. Boost was previously owned by Sprint. Presumably, DISH would inherit Republic’s network partnership with T-Mobile but as it already has its own, it wouldn’t seem to add any coverage.

In addition to Republic’s customers, DISH is acquiring the Republic Wireless brand (which is well thought of in the wireless industry). DISH is not acquiring Republic Wireless, Inc. per se. Republic Wireless, Inc. is to be renamed Relay, Inc. and will focus on Relay devices and service. Mr. Chuang, will remain the CEO of Relay, Inc. He will not be accompanying Republic’s customers and brand to DISH.

DISH is also acquiring “other assets” from Republic that may very well include Republic’s patented and proprietary blended or hybrid WiFi/cell calling and text messaging. DISH may continue to offer Republic’s proprietary technology or it may choose to use the WiFi calling and text messaging offered by its wireless network partner (currently T-Mobile). DISH intends to build out its own standalone 5G cellular network. It’s unclear, what role Republic’s proprietary blended WiFi/cell technology might play in that.

Wireless carrier calling and text messaging has come a long way since Republic pioneered its own technology in 2011. T-Mobile’s WiFi calling and text messaging once terrible is now very good. For me, wireless carrier based calling and text messaging though good suffers from the fact it is cellular rather than WiFi first (the opposite of Republic’s technology). In my experience, wireless carrier based WiFi calling and text messaging, at times, tries too hard to hold onto a weak cellular signal rather than switching to WiFi when indoors.

On the other hand, Republic’s proprietary technology is why, to date, Republic has chosen not to support iPhones. It’s also why the pain point (for some Republic members) noted here exists: Your phone number was rejected by Venmo, Twitter, a bank, or other third party service. Why?.

Time will tell whether a DISH owned Republic chooses to move away from its current blended WiFi/cell technology or, perhaps, whether DISH finds a way to integrate that technology in a way that makes iPhone support possible and relieves the pain point of some services refusing VoIP numbers. Until further notice, it’s status quo.

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Cool, thanks for the detailed reply.

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As a DISH subscriber of over 20 years, I can say that DISH actually did more to keep their prices down than any of the other big players like Comcast, Direct TV, etc.

The problem was that they were being squeezed for higher payments by their content providers and DISH was constantly at war with them, pushing back on them, blacking their services out due to not wanting to pay their higher prices.

Yeah, Dish did raise their prices but much less than a lot of the other providers. That’s a brutal market which is in the process of imploding due to the large numbers of people “cutting the cord” from the never ending price increases.

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There was a reason Bandwidth spun RW off. Once that happened, I started waiting for the other shoe to drop. It probably wasn’t so much a matter of if Republic would get sold as when and to whom. But when I thought about which companies might be prospective buyers, DISH never once crossed my mind. Maybe it could start to make sense, but all the smoke needs to clear first.

Totally, totally agree. The Community Forum, the help that comes through this part of the site is a huge part of the reason we came to RW and why we stay. If this were to go away, we would go away. DISH, if you’re reading this, don’t mess with the community. Also, if DISH changes policies and puts in contracts and cancellation fees, that too will make us leave.

DISH, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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Rats, and I just bought a Moto One Ace from y’all. Oh, well. I’m guessing future phones from R/D will include Dish bloatware, so there’s that.

The Motorola One 5G Ace you bought at Republic’s online store is U.S. factory unlocked. In addition to Republic, it may be activated with any service provider (domestic or international) willing to do so. There’s no reason to believe a DISH owned Republic won’t be among those.

Time will tell but, for what it’s worth, DISH has previously acquired Boost and Ting. I know, like Republic, Ting continues to sell factory unlocked phones with no DISH added bloatware.

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Well yes, I agree from the heart. But there is a lot we don’t know since Republic is private. Could be that operationally and financially they had taken the company as far as possible without more cash. We don’t know the balance sheet, the margins, etc. It’s may be that changes are necessary. Then again, maybe not.

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I’ve been here since the beginning, I was in the Bata group. Thank You Republic Wireless for the service I miss you already…

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Ting is looking strong…Great pricing and 5G already running.
Now its also owned by the same company so no holds barred…Ting is in the mix when my year is up in May!

Very disappointed in this news. One of the reasons we switched from AT&T was because we live in an area with bad cell tower reception in our neighborhood. Republic’s hybrid WIFI/cell calling and texting not only solved our home connection problem but also is why we also usually never go over 1 GB of data usage. If DISH does not retain Republic’s hybrid WIFI/cell technology, we go back to poor or no cell connectivity at home. We also have come to rely on Republic’s Extend Home and I would hate to lose that capability.

While none of us know exactly what is going to be done by Dish with the acquisition once approved by the FCC, I highly doubt they will completely go away from the Hybrid/WiFi calling and texting implementation that Republic is founded on. I truly hope that doesn’t happen as well.

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Ting has precisely the same 5G Republic does. 5G NSA. If you have a Republic GSM (T-Mobile) SIM, and use it in a compatible 5G phone, you’ll get 5G service where T-Mobile has 5G NSA. Exactly the same as Ting.

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And both are owned by the same company now so I guess its down to best hardware package/plan price and of course NO contracts.

WiFi calling is now a common feature available with a lot of cell carriers so you need not worry about losing that capability even if Dish/Republic makes changes.

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