RW vs. New T-Mobile unlimited plan


#1

I am faced with purchasing a new phone. Presently, I have the Republic Refund plan. I see it is no longer offered. If I go with a new phone and new plan, I can choose 1GB for 20$ + tax or 2GB for 30$ + tax. T-Mobile is offering 2 phones for 60$, 50GB, each phone, taxes, fees and Netflix included for those of us 55+. Is Republic going to match this? I mean, for 30$ per phone, I get 50GB and Netflix. And yes, I know they have a throttle back provision once you pass 50GB but I live in a rural state where I doubt it would be possible to load one cell with enough traffic to cause a throttle back if the whole state were on at the same time.

So, my question are, is Republic going to get competitive? Is it possible to keep my Refund plan if I have to buy a new phone? If the answer to both of these is no, why should I, or anyone, remain with Republic?


#2

The simple answer is no, Republic is unlikely to do anything to match the plan. Republic is, and always has been, for low data users and because they don’t own the network, it is impossible for them to compete purely on price with those that do.

Just a point of clarification, not that it makes a big difference, the 55+ plan does not quality for free Netflix, or any other T-Mobile promotion because it is considered a promotional plan. From the very fine print: " Not eligible for Kickback, Insider Hookup, Free Netflix or any other discounts."


#3

It depends on one’s wants and needs. If one wants or needs unlimited, then arguably Republic (and many other MVNOs) are not competitive. I neither want or need unlimited, so, for me, Republic remains quite competitive.

The direct answer is no.

I’m not 55, I don’t need two lines and neither want or need unlimited data. Therefore, Republic continues to be an attractive option for my use case. I recognize that may not be true for other use cases.


#4

I’m not 55+ yet, but I’m not that far behind it.

I agree with @rolandh, the fact is that in the world of “unlimited” type plans, it’s going to be the big boys who are most competitive. However, what’s great about many MVNO’s like Republic is that they have a sweet spot where they’re quite competitive. And for low cell data users, Republic is quite competitive, and works great for me and my family.

As my kids get older and start needing cell phones that may change… but with a picky dad not wanting them all over the web whenever they’re out, it might just be that the Talk + Text plans are way to go.


#5

That’s what we did in my family until they became teens. Worked really well and was at a great price!


#6

I’ll add one other things there… If Unlimited Data is attractive, the last thing you should be worried about is losing the Refund Plan. It has the least attractive data pricing for anything but the smallest users. With anything other than nearly no data, you’ll save with the Clear Choice Plan.


#7

Others have covered most of your questions, but I figured I would answer this question:

You will have to determine if Republic is right for you still in the new market. Why should you stay? This is why I stay.

  1. Price: Still the best price for my families needs. I have recently priced shopped Cricket, Sprint, T Mobile and some others and for my three lines Republic is still the best price.

  2. Bonded calling: I live in a town population around 800. Cell signal in my area is pretty poor except for Sprint. WiFi calling with Bonded calling (RW is the only carrier that does this that I am aware of) is great for me.

  3. Loyalty: I find myself having a certain amount of brand loyalty to RW. I have made friends here (as much as one can be over the internet on a Community board) and am proud that I have been Republic since the beta days. RW has come along way and has saved me a lot of money.


#8

Those are good questions. As others have mentioned the answers depend on more than just the price for data.

There are quite a few choices for carriers and they all have their pros and cons. Here is my perception about what RW’s strengths and weaknesses are:

Strengths:
low cost for low data usage
fair and honest business practices
blended wifi-cell (this has come in real handy in my experience)
no surprise/add-on fees
possible to use CDMA or GSM depending on where you live
Republic Anywhere is extremely helpful

Weaknesses:
limited phones supported (slow to get new Android, no iPhone, for instance.)
limited phones for sale (currently only budget phones and phablets)
expensive for higher cell data usage
confusing coverage (CDMA vs. GSM) (major carriers have only one)

My wife uses native T-Mobile and I’d say here is my perception of their pros and cons:

Strengths:
all the best phones available quickly
they have wifi calling but it’s not as good as RW’s
good prices for high data usage and family plans

Weaknesses:
expensive for low data usage (especially for a single line)
prices and promotions change a lot and their sales agents are often less than ethical
taxes and fees change and add significantly to the total cost
coverage for calls can be very spotty, even in metro areas

Others might have different perceptions than I do, but the point is that the decision depends on much more than just the headline price for cell data.


#9

I am indeed one of the smallest data users, probably, on Republic. I have wifi at home and most all locations I visit on a regular basis have free wifi. Perhaps my plans for the future include increased data. Maybe not. I see only four (4) plans offered. 0GB 15$, 1GB 20$, 2GB 30$, 4GB 45$.

The purpose of my post and subsequent questions were to compare “apples to apples”, not to address my specific needs or requirements nor inquire of one’s opinion, just to deal with facts. One being that I need a new phone. What is a new plan going to cost once I activate a new phone? It all comes down to COST, BENEFITS and SERVICE. Why should I pay 30$ for 2GB when 50GB for 30$ is available elsewhere? Staying with Republic for loyalty’s sake makes no sense.

Some responses have stated personal preferences and opinions, of which I am not interested, no rudeness intended. I am merely on a fact finding quest to determine if Republic is competitive or not, intends to become competitive and ascertain if the benefits of remaining a Republic customer override obvious cost benefits of switching.

Sincere thanks to you all for the candid and timely responses!


#10

Wouldn’t one’s personal preferences and opinions regarding what’s competitive for them be the appropriate deciding factor? You did ask why anyone would remain with Republic?


#11

I don’t mean to be argumentative, but the reason that people are answering with ‘preferences and opinions’ is because the carriers try to differentiate themselves. One carrier will excel in an area where another will not. None are going to be the best in every area. So doing an ‘apples to apples’ comparison will always depend on your specific needs.


#12

Why should I pay 30$ for 2GB when 50GB for 30$ is available elsewhere? Staying with Republic for loyalty’s sake makes no sense.

If you don’t use more than 2GB of cell data monthly, then even if the $30 plan includes a zillion GB of data, it’s not a better deal for you.

Keep in mind, too, that many users prefer a plan with NO cell data (including many people over 55). And, Republic’s unlimited talk and text plan for $15/month is very difficult to beat.

In all my years with Republic (since 2012), I believe that I’ve only gone over 2GB twice, in both cases when my home internet service was out (if it’s been more than twice, it’s still been very rare). So, for someone like me, having a $20/month 1GB plan is ideal and more cost efficient than even an unlimited plan at $30.

Although I’m in the age demographic targeted by the T-Mobile plan, I also don’t need more than one line. So, Republic remains a much better deal for someone like me than a $60 plan with two lines…

Clearly, the T-Mobile plan is better for some families, though, and if it’s a better plan for yours, then go for it. Republic has never tried to be the best carrier for everyone, but they do try to be the best carrier for lower cell data users. If they are no longer the best option for you, then perhaps they will be again in the future and you’ll want to switch back.


#13

I’ll chime in, although this may come in under personal preferences. I am (way) over 55. My wife and I have been on RW 4+ years and don’t use much data. The T mobile plan is attractive. It includes (2g) data abroad at no extra cost, texting on flights with GOGO in flight, one hour of internet with GOGO in flight. It also includes 200 mb roaming data while RW has none. It also includes free calling from abroad to the U.S. via cell or wifi and inexpensive calling within countries abroad. It would be a convenience to have these features, but I don’t know how much I would use them.

To me it would involve a change in mind set. It fits my nature to be frugal and stay under the 0.5 GB. With T Mobile being “frugal” would mean “getting my money’s worth” by using data more freely. :wink:

My plan, once my and my wife’s Moto X’s die is to get phones that will be compatible with T Mobile, see what the 1.0 gb plan with RW feels like, then consider T Mobile later. Right now 1 gb would feel like a huge amount of data but that could change. That would also give me a chance to see how the T Mobile GSM works around here before considering switching later. RW would definitely keep me if they would have a shared data plan.


#14

No iPhone support is a strength in my book.


#15

Hehe. I wondered if that comment would stir up anti-iPhone comments! :wink:


#16

Actually, I can see why someone would stay with Republic for loyalty’s sake.

RW has made a lot of improvements since I’ve been with them 2.5+ years ago, and I, along with many others, have given feedback to RW over the years. We have been thankful for RW for saving us so much money, and we want to continue to see the company improve.

Though we’re not employees, we’re very grateful customers, which makes many of us loyal to RW.


#17

I looked at the T-Mobile prices and their new plan is a ridiculous price if you live by yourself (like I do).


#18

Taxes and fees are included in the TMobile 55 plan. For those of us in a high cell phone tax state, that adds up and makes it a bit harder to stay with Republic when it’s time to replace old phones.

For me, I would pay about $5.35 in taxes and fees per phone on the Republic’s 1GB plan and around $7.20 in taxes and fees for their 2GB plan.


#19

And, for those of us in lower tax states, would mean subsidizing folks in higher tax states were Republic to pursue a similar strategy. :slightly_smiling_face: Anyway, I think we’d agree, there is no perfect service provider for all use cases. The best one can do is choose the best service provider for their use case.


#20

And the same argument is made for the breakage model and many, many other taxes, fees and other expenses, nothing new.

Heck, I’m probably paying for other’s excessive cell usage since over 90% of our usage is on WiFi. I remember that argument a while back