Want six months of free cellphone service? Republic Wireless hopes you do

republic wireless wireless2
What’s better than cheap wireless service? Cheaper wireless service. Republic Wireless, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) which delivers discounted cellphone coverage over a patchwork of Sprint, T-Mobile, and Wi-Fi towers, is launching a new promotion that will give new customers who sign up six months of free service.

The new Republic Wireless plan requires that you bring an approved Android device (running Marshmallow or later) and order a $5 SIM card — Republic Wireless will waive shipping. But once you check those two boxes, it’s downhill from there — unlimited talk and text service, plus 2GB of 4G LTE data, is free for six months. That’s a $30 per month value.

You’re not limited to the free 2GB data bucket option, of course. You can opt for 1GB of data and have it free, or upgrade to a 10GB, $90-per-month talk and text plan.

You’ll have to activate your SIM card before June 7 in order to take advantage of the promotion.

Republic Wireless’s plans aren’t perfect, of course. If you don’t opt for the limited-time promotional line, you’re stuck choosing from one of the devices in the carrier’s storefront. This past summer, Republic Wireless stopped issuing refunds on monthly data its subscribers didn’t use. And unlike Google Fi, where the phones switch between T-Mobile and Sprint at will, Republic Wireless customers have to choose between Sprint or “GSM” (T-Mobile) phones based on whichever carrier has the best service near them.

republic wireless bring your own phone head

But its rates are undeniably cheap — especially compared to the competition. After Republic Wireless spun off from parent company Bandwidth in December, it launched a $15 per month plan for unlimited Wi-Fi calling and texting. AT&T’s least expensive equivalent starts at $45 a month.

“The past five years have been an incredible ride as we’ve worked hard to save our customers tens of millions of dollars off their cell phone bills,” Republic CEO Chris Chaung said in a statement. “However, the best days are still ahead of us. With this extraordinarily talented [staff] and all the benefits this spin-off provides, we will accelerate our mission to provide remarkably simple and affordable ways for people to stay in touch.”

The MVNO market has seen a substantial uptick in recent years. US Mobile, an MVNO founded in the beginning of this year, expects to grow from an initial 20,000 subscribers to 100,000 by the end of this year, representing an annual rate of 30 percent. TracFone, another MVNO, added more customers in June 2016 than in any other month in the last two years.

Home Theater

Not chill: Netflix is hiking prices across all its tiers

Netflix has to get the billions of dollars it's spending on new content from somewhere. The streaming giant announced price hikes across the board, raising its monthly rates between $1 and $2 per tier in the next few months.
Mobile

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
Mobile

Google Fi is getting support for the next-gen messaging standard, RCS Chat

Google has been pushing the development of the RCS Chat standard, and now it's finally bringing that new standard to its own carrier -- Google Fi. With Chat, customers will get features like read receipts, better group messaging, and more.
Mobile

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Mobile

Join the Apple club with our complete guide to switching from Android to iOS

If Android simply isn’t cutting it for you anymore, then you might be considering Apple’s warm embrace. Here’s how to make the switch from Android to iOS without losing your contacts, sleep, or hair!
Mobile

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Mobile

Want more power, but faster? This new charging tech claims it can deliver

Chunky power bricks and slow charging could be a thing of the past with GaNFast technology from Navitas Semiconductors. By using an alternative to silicon, GaNFast reduces power consumption and boosts output.
Mobile

Huawei in for a rough year as feds investigate alleged trade secrets theft

Huawei is also facing issues in the U.S., but it doesn't seem like that will end any time soon. According to a new report, the company is facing a federal investigation in the U.S. for allegedly stealing trade secrets.
Mobile

Android Q: Everything we know so far about Google’s next mobile OS

Android Pie recently rolled out, but it's already time to look ahead to Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile OS. We've seen a number of rumors and leaks come out about the operating system -- here's everything we know so far.
Mobile

Turn to these apps to help you in your next hunt for a job

Looking for a job can be a stressful experience, but these days, a simple mobile app can help you to find and apply for jobs all over the country -- here are some of the best job search apps for iOS and Android.
Mobile

Sony is showing something off at MWC -- will it be the Xperia XZ4?

Sony may have released the Xperia XZ3 in the past few months, but already it's preparing to release a follow-up, the Xperia XZ4. We're learning plenty about the phone now some details have started to leak out, and it's getting exciting.
Mobile

Is this the first image of a Galaxy S10 being used in real life?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

Do these Geekbench results accurately represent the Moto G7?

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Wearables

Omron HeartGuide brings blood pressure monitoring to your wrist

High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, and many other health problems, so it's important to keep an eye on. Omron's HeartGuide is a fitness tracking watch that can also monitor your blood pressure from your wrist.