About a year ago, a Republic Wireless rep. reached out to me to see if I had ever heard of them. At first, I thought it was some sort of scheme for ads, so I ignored. But I eventually found my way over to their site, and realized that they had created something awesome, at a price point NO ONE could ignore.
The Little Guy With A Big Idea
They kindly sent me a demo phone with which to try out, which I didn’t like much. It was old Android, and I owned a newer Windows Phone (don’t hate) from work. But I tried out the phone for what is was good at, and it performed well. They used your home WiFi to place and receive calls and text messages, and this phone did a fine job. Not to mention, the plan was only $19 a month! I was impressed, but stayed with my discounted family plan for the time being.
Republic Wireless had a compelling product at an AMAZING price point, enough to get the big carriers a bit nervous, me thinks. And over the past year, I noticed something amazing happening.
All over the radio and internet, the BIG FOUR (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile) started popping up with these “no-contract” phone plans and phones. There were TONS of ads everywhere, like they didn’t even want you to worry about their contract plans. They would offer things like “$50 per month unlimited plans and “Friends and family plans.” They started promoting “bring your own phone” and “we’ll pay you to switch” plans, and dropping their rates more and more.
And I credit Republic Wireless for blowing up the “no contract, unlimited plan” for the increased competition.
New Phones and Plans
Their $19 per month plan was still around, but they realized people absolutely LOVE their phones. So they came out with the Moto X phone for $299, and subsequent 3G & 4G phone plans to come with it:
- $5 per month unlimited Talk, Text and Data on WiFi
- $10 per month unlimited Talk, Text and Data with unlimited talk and text on the cell network
- $25 per month unlimited Talk, Text and Data on WiFi with unlimited talk, text and 3G data on the cell network
- $40 per month unlimited Talk, Text and Data on WiFi with unlimited talk, text and 4G data on the cell network
These plans were pretty awesome, especially the $10 per month plan. If you can avoid data usage OFF of WiFi, then you can save a RIDICULOUS amount of money!
But for me, the entry price was too much. Two phone was $600, and we’d also have to pay cancellation fees on our current plan, which would have been another $400+. I decided to wait again, but still recommend this plan to people dropping $80+ per phone per month for their iPlan.
Republic Wireless recently announced their new phone, and it piqued my interest more than any of the other ones. The downsides of 3G only and a 5MP camera (vs. the Moto X’s 10MP) were outweighed by the fact that it was HALF PRICE compared to the Moto X. It also has plans 1, 2 and 3 (above), which could make for an interesting cost comparison, even if you had to pay a contract cancellation fee.
The new phone is called the Moto G, and it looks pretty good.
But I Had To Run The Numbers
Like any good budgeter, I couldn’t jump at the new shiny thing on the internet. No, I needed to do a full ROI cost comparison with several scenarios and real world usage. Basically, I needed to see if it was worth it for MY PERSONAL SITUATION and see if I would save money. So here are the numbers.
Current Phone Plan: AT&T Family Mobile Share Plan
- $260 per month after taxes – shared with 3 other family members (5 total lines).
- $90 per month – our portion of the bill (cheaper because I don’t have a data plan)
- Free or heavily discounted phones every 18 months
New Phone Plan: Equivalent Republic Wireless Plan
- $298 for phones (2 Moto G phones)
- $35 per month + taxes (One $25 per month and one $10 per month plan) = $40 per month
- $400 cancellation fee, hopefully offset by selling AT&T phone
Based on the above, the up-front cost to get into Republic Wireless would be about $700. ICK! But let’s look at the savings:
From $90 per month down to $40 per month. With a $50 per month savings, it would take about 14 months to break even. But then the next few years we would be saving about $600 per year, which is awesome.
So Which Plan Did I Pick?
Well, the Republic Wireless option was starting to look pretty good. Yes, pay $700 up front would hurt, but I would make that money back in just over a year, and would be hitting cruise control on savings from there on out. WOOHOO!
But I didn’t pick Republic Wireless. I picked AT&T.
I had heard a few commercials about the “Mobile Share” plan, but ignored as I usually do from monopoly, money sucking large corporations that are designed to rip off the consumer and limit choice. But finally I logged into my AT&T account, and the numbers were presented directly to me. It showed my old plan with 5 lines, and my new plan with 5 lines. And the prices were crazy good!
For 5 lines, we were paying $260 per month (including a discount of 23%!), and with the new plan, the shared bill would be $135 per month + taxes. Even at 10% taxes, that’s only $150 per month for 5 lines! That works out to $40 per line for 4 lines, and $15 per line for my line (because no data). With taxes, our bill is now only $60 per month! Add in free phones every 2 years, and I’m sold!
Now, if we didn’t have the family share thing going, it’d be $130 for two phones. Even with a discount, that’s $100 per month, which makes the Republic Wireless option even more attractive!
Run The Numbers
It really is cut and dry. All you need to do is run the numbers to see if you can save a load of cash, or if there are other, better options out there. I still recommend Republic Wireless for couples and individuals looking to save a load of cash and get their smart phone fix. But make sure you get creative and see if there is an option to save even more money for YOUR SITUATION.
The key here is doing some research, getting creative and running the numbers. This goes for EVERY LINE ITEM IN YOUR BUDGET! There is always some way to save money on ANYTHING. But you need to run the numbers for you individual circumstances and weigh the pros/cons before making the choice. Anyone can save money, they just need to actually TRY!
If you want to check out the Moto G deal for yourself, you can check it out HERE and compare plans. Run the numbers and decide. If you can save money, why not?! 🙂
Comments: Have you run the numbers yet? What are you waiting for?
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