Republic Wireless Unlimited Data-Only SIM


A recent and IMPORTANT addition to the RW Forums Tips & Tricks by @rolandh


I had to look up OTT. I would like to do this. Not sure how to find or compare. I will buy the chip now


Yea Google voice also. There is phone access beside Gmail it’s a little simpler than voice


Hin @wingnut,

My apologies for the OTT jargon. As you know, it’s shorthand for over the top, which in turn, generally, is used to reference a service that leverages Internet data. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone services are one example. Netflix is another example.

If it were me, I’d use Google Voice for testing largely because it’s free for domestic calls and messaging. Google has reworked the Voice app. I find it works well on my Republic phone using either WiFi or cell for Internet data. I don’t use Google Voice as a replacement for Republic voice and messaging service but like to keep my Republic number private for the most part (to keep away the spammers). Family and friends get my Republic number, those who fall outside those categories get the Google Voice number. There are other OTT VoIP services I dabble with as well, however, these have some cost (modest).

If you have additional questions, please let us know.


Just a quick update, I bought the RW Sim and the NetGear Explorer a few days ago, so far they have worked perfectly. I get great speed and service for data, even on the road at places were WIFI was; spoty at best. They are simple to use and in my opinion worth every cent. At this point I could not be happier. Hope this helps anyone debating about getting the RW SIM for data.

Long-Term Savings: Planning for Retirement

So I took the plunge and gave this card a shot. Here are my observations (YMMV):

  • I first tried to use this in an old Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that I originally purchased from Verizon. I use it now mostly as a mini-tablet, and only on wireless. I put the RW data SIM into the Note 4, and after adding the Republic network to the network list, I got a 4G data signal! I was surprised at this, because the specs on the Note 4 indicated it was only compatible with the 3G Band 2 1900 MHz frequency, but the 4G LTE indicator was lighting up, and the speed seemed to be at 4G. So I was pleased at the possibility that I would have a resuscitated phablet I could use in the wild.

  • I then took the Note 4 out on a test run, a drive from home across the Buffalo/Rochester/Syracuse corridor on the NY State Thruway. Alas, no reception anywhere outside of the urban/suburban regions. Once I hit open country, I was at best getting “E” reception, which I think is somewhere between 2G and 3G (i.e.useless). A disappointment in terms of using it as a travelling companion.

  • Lastly, I decided to see how it work in my Moto G4 Play, which is my RW-compatible phone. I took a ride across a rural area over to Jamestown NY. I kept it in the Note 4 at first (after tweaking a few settings), but had the same result, although in some smaller towns I got surprisingly good reception that did not last too long. On the way back I placed the data SIM in the G4 Play, and the data reception along the same route back was much stronger and more consistent. Of course, the G4 has far more bands in the 4G LTE spectrum, and this provided much better rural coverage. I only lost a signal once, and only for about 5 minutes or less. So it appears the data SIM works best with phones that have most of the bands specified in this post. I should note here that the process of exchanging the SIM cards in the G4 was tricky, and every time I took out the data SIM and put in the phone SIM, the phone went through the activation process via the Republic app. An annoyance, but ultimately a minor one.

My conclusion from all this is that, from a financial point of view, it is probably more practical for me simply to purchase data on my current RW Moto G4 Play phone than use a data SIM on any other device. For the equivalent $30 I can get 6GB of data, with the best part being that I can buy that data as I need it. I do not have high data needs, as I am not a very large consumer of video or other high-rate media (web, email, mapping, and streaming audio are my greatest needs), so 6GB can pretty much cover that for a month. When travelling I use the RW phone for tethering so as not to eat into the family data plan I share with my children on VZW. In short, I like the concept, but from a need and financial basis, buying data as needed through my RW phone plan is a better way to go. I presume coverage for the data SIM is exactly the same as coverage for phone data.

I would also agree with those who criticize the plan’s activation method of being on the date of delivery rather than on inserting into the device. I might have a slightly different opinion if I knew I could active the SIM when I needed to, and if I knew I could buy two or three and use them as needed. It would really be exciting if I could buy the 30 GB of data and be able to use those 30GB until they were used up rather than within a set period of days/months, but that’s probably a pipe dream. To me, buying data should be like buying a box of cookies: once I buy the 30 cookies in the box, they should be mine to eat when and how I want, rather than be regulated as to how and when and how fast I should eat them.

Lastly, I would recommend to anyone looking to use this card to consider buying a cheap-ish compatible cell phone rather than a tablet or mobile WiFi Hotspot for its use. A Nokia 3.1/6.1 or a Moto G4/G5 on sale might make the best-use scenario. I don’t have a portable WiFi hotspot device such as the Netgear, but based on my limited tests, I think the portability and multiple uses of a smartphone, plus the tethering capability, gives it a much greater advantage over a MiFi hotspot device, which is basically designed to stay in one place and simply broadcast the signal.

For what they’re worth, those are my observations. I’ll probably use the data in the Note 4 until the card expires. It’s nice to have the Note 4 up and running again, if only for a limited time in limited areas. My apologies for the length of this post. -twl


A very nice very through review. I have just one observation. Cookies go stale if not eaten soon enough. Data expires if not used soon enough. :slightly_smiling_face:


HaHaHa! But I can freeze my cookies before they go stale. Data, on the other hand, is digital, and never really, truly “expires” unless artificially throttled or cut off. :wink: PS thanks for the kind comment.


Agreed. Great review. Disagree with cookie analogy :if properly kept, sealed, airtight plastic/container, or in refrigerator, or in freezer (all sealed well after each use), should last a loooooooooooong time!


I was being facetious on the cookie analogy, hence the use of emoji. More seriously, at $30 for 1 month and $25 for 3 months, that translates to $1.50 and $1.25 per GB if it’s all used. In my opinion, that would be unsustainable pricing and there’s a breakage model involved here. One doesn’t have to like breakage models, however, one does need to be realistic. When Republic used a non-breakage model with its refund plans, cell data was priced at $15. If one wants all one can eat without breakage one can expect to pay closer to that price point.


In your scenario, granted RW has to be profitable, hence why not go back to the drawing boards and analyze the demand over time vs cost over time, possibly 6/9/12 month scenarios. Preferably a year as a minimum. Offer a plan basically that can be used for longer period of time providing RW with some profit while providing a a user friendly system for the consumer.

PS while you are at it, why not additionally analyze swapping CDMA with GSM cards and vice versa interchangeably with minimal cost increase and zero or very little time wasted on reconfiguration. There are companies out there that offer the swap with no issues. Just a thought.

Have a great New Year.


Republic’s reasonably up front in the FAQ in the Original post. This is an experimental product. The current iteration isn’t necessarily the final one. We’ll see. For now, it is what it is and I’m happy they’ve introduced it. I’m not a believer in making the perfect the enemy of good. A product or service may not perfectly meet my wants or needs but may still be good.

I’m really not certain what you’re asking for. Republic swaps GSM for CDMA SIMs and vice versa to address coverage issues when appropriate and does not charge for doing so. In fact, it’s relatively easy to swap back and forth manually in the same phone. I don’t see it as something a typical user would want to do but is possible. If you’re talking about Google Fi like on the fly switching using the same SIM, that’s another matter.

You too!


You got it. Switching on the fly. I travel remote areas away from the city where for most part GSM doesn’t work. However in the city where I live, it is preferred. Since due to my travels in the countryside, I am stuck with CDMA Sim system. Thanks for listening.


I have often complained to RW about the shelf life of the cookies. If I am low on cookies and hungry near the end of my billing cycle, the cookies have a shelf life of only a day or two. $10 Gb for 30 days is good, but for two days then RW grabs the box from me and says that I don’t need them and sells them to another hungry user.
RW should get out ahead of this cookie monster before the competition.


It’s actually $5/GB. And Republic tried to non-expiring cookie model. It was $15/GB and consumers didn’t buy it.


Opps yes, $5 is better, doesn’t hurt as much when they take the bag back and sell it to another customer.


Of course, this is an entirely different brand of cookies as the $5 per GB price point is the My Choice cookies not to be confused with data only cookies.


Right, the data only cookies cost significantly less but are just as delicious.


I hereby disavow the cookie analogy! I feel like I created a “Cookie Monster.” :crazy_face::cookie::cookie::cookie:


Okay then, a box of donuts!
Dozen ears of corn

Red plastic can of gasoline, need to get home, twenty miles, they only sell ten gallon containers the next day they take the left over nine gallons back and charge you to fill your tank.