Republic Wireless and International Travel


About My Service

Member Since: Many years ago
Phone: Moto X Pure
Plan: Republic 3.0

My Review

Long ago, when I traveled to far off lands, there was not much I could do. I had a Verizon phone that I could use but it would be dollars to the minute. I had a prepaid pay phone card and maybe if I’m lucky, borrowed a local flip phone from my extended family in China.

Republic Wireless
However, now I’m with Republic and times have changed, a lot more is possible! Since Republic’s service works over wifi wherever you go, all I had to do is connect my phone to the local wifi service and I could call anyone back in the US. This is great for the Republic 1.0 and 2.0 plans.

With Republic Wireless 3.0, our new phones are now unlocked and we can swap the SIM cards. This year, I was not only able to take my phone with me but also pop in a local SIM card so I can still use my own customized to how I use it phone. For $25, similar to what we pay with Republic, I got some calling and texting credits but more importantly, 1GB of data to use while on my trip.

This meant that I was able to browse and look up food places but also use the local apps. Notably, I was able to use the Chinese equivalent to Uber called DiDi and also a bike sharing app for one of the popular services MoBike.

Republic Anywhere
New this year is the Republic Anywhere service which is the real reason I’m writing this post. While Republic does work on wifi, you must still be on Republic’s SIM and service to actually call and text. This means that while I can switch SIM cards to use data via the local carrier, I loose Republic’s service. With Republic Anywhere, I (and you) can continue to stay in contact with anyone in the US via text message even when using a different local SIM card. With the Republic Anywhere app, your text messages are not constrained to the Republic SIM card and can be sent and received from Anywhere (pun not intended but works).

On a more useful note from my own trip, I realized that I could sign up for the MoBike service using my US number. I would only need to verify my number with a code (sent via text message) and it would sign me up for a “foreign” account. The account I would use had a more limited feature set (not eligible for promotions as compared to local China accounts), but on the flip side, I didn’t have to pay a deposit and they collected the charges in US dollars via a credit card.

End of Review
I may have rambled a bit so I’m going to end it here but for those skipping to the end:
Republic Anywhere is awesome for travel because you can use a local SIM card for local communication and data, and still be able to stay in contact with the US via text messages at the same time.

I can’t wait for Republic Wireless to improve even more and perhaps add voice calling into the Anywhere toolbox.

Calling From China

I spent 8 days in Tokyo recently and rented a pocket WiFi. My Moto X Pure worked like I was home in San Diego. No need to change SIM card or add any apps. Just connected to the WiFi as usual and when everywhere with Google maps, full internet and Cellphone access.