So you’ve been thinking about signing up for Republic Wireless due to the mobile carrier’s relatively low-cost phone plans… but you’ve been disappointed in the selection of phones available from the company.
Good news: now you can bring your own phone.
Bad news: That’s only true if you have one of the nine devices that are currently supported.
In a rather odd move, Republic Wireless is now selling SIM cards for $5. But in order to use one, you’ll need a Moto G4, Moto G4 Plus, Moto X Pure Edition, Google Nexus 5X or 6P, Samsung Galaxy J3, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S7, or Galaxy S Edge.
It’s possible the list could get longer in the future: Republic Wireless is asking users to fill out a survey to let the carrier know which phones you’d like to see supported.
Still, if you do already have a supported device and weren’t looking forward to paying full price for a new phone just so you could switch carriers, it’s nice to have the option of spending $5 instead of $400.
Republic Wireless, by the way, was one of the first companies to combine WiFi and cellular data in order to offer low-cost phone plans. When you’re connected to WiFi your calls will be routed over that network instead of a cellular network. If you move out of WiFi range while you’re still talking, the call should be seamlessly transferred to a mobile network.
Prices start at $20 per month for 1GB of cellular data plus unlimited talking and texting (or just $15 if you don’t need any mobile data).
Google’s Project Fi network works similarly… but it supports even fewer phones. Only the Google Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P currently qualify for Google’s wireless service.