You know, if you save $80 here, $100 there, EVERY MONTH, it starts to add up. For us, we have monthly subscriptions for cable, mobile phones & yes still a landline at home (for safety). At work, we have the phones along with several software service subscriptions including up loaders, order management, accounting & gallery services, among others.
So when I get a chance to slash one of those bills, I do it! For example, we were using QuickBase from Intuit, which is an online database tool. It lets you create custom applications. We needed a custom app to manage our orders because, hey, we were the first people to do what we do, with nothing out there to help us. Well, Qbase cost $250 a month. We’ve since discovered Zoho Creator. Yea, it’s only $30 for all the functionality we need. Of course Quickbase was more than we needed, but not at first. That’s the problem with subscriptions, they have a lot of inertia, and suck a lot of money.
Well the chance has come up again. Republic Wireless aims to change the mobile telephony game. They sell you a top-notch smart phone, subsidized by half, with no contract AND a 30 day money back guarantee. The phone has special hardware so it uses WiFi when available, instead of a cell network. In other words, your mobile phone becomes a VOIP phone whenever it can. Turns out many/most of us are within range of good wifi for most of the day. So by cutting out the cost of renting time on the cell network during those periods, they can offer a much lower price.
They offer four simple monthly plans. The cheapest is only $5 per month! But that’s for WiFi talk only, no cell service at all. Their tippy top service sets you back just $40/month, which gets you 4G unlimited text & data, when not in wifi range. In between are a $10 plan & a $25 plan. The $25 & $40 plans are the ones we’re most likely to use, as they allow for mobile data at 3G & 4G respectively.
But wait, that’s not all! You can change your plan up to twice a month. So if you know you’ll be on the road a lot, just bump yourself up to 4G. Sticking near the office & home? Hang out at $25 or even $10 (cell-talk but no cell-data).
Here I am holding my new nifty Moto X (designed & assembled in the US by the way). It’s been great all day today. Justin & I tested the claim of “seamless transition” from wifi to cell within a call. Sure enough, it worked flawlessly. This handoff issue was apparently a big problem when RW first launched. You’d start a call in a wifi range, and then lose the call if you moved out of range.
Day One’s only glitch: my wife & I only had one of the two needed circuits going, when I was at the Safeway. I could hear her, but she couldn’t hear me. (She’d tell you “That’s not a bug, it’s a feature!”) The problem may have been my wife’s own mobile provider coverage. But my Republic phone had found an open public network at the shopping center, of unknown quality. Since then, I’ve found a setting within the Android OS (all new to me btw) which tells the phone to only connect to stronger wifi signals.
By the way, the phone feels great, looks great, has a great camera, and I like the Android camera software & editing features MUCH more than my iPhone, even in iOS 7.
Stay tuned to see if I make it to the 30 days without returning this thing. Based on today’s auspicious start, I’m hoping to cut over $100/month out of our bills. Not the most gigantic amount of money, but hey, it will make me feel better!