We hope you’re as excited as we are for tomorrow’s launch. We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this project and it means a lot to us to share the final product with all of you. Tomorrow, we’ll be launching nine new phones and new plans. Unfortunately, we’re not quite ready to cross the finish line for our new Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) feature and we’ll be delaying the launch of this feature until August 11, 2016. This delay only affects the ability to purchase a SIM card kit specifically for the BYOP feature. New phones purchased from us will come with SIM cards preinstalled and will not be affected by this delay.
We’ve built a solid foundation for our 3.0 platform and have been driving and testing a multitude of different scenarios on it for the past six months, including BYOP. The experience our members have is important to us and when we began working on the 3.0 platform about a year ago, we knew we needed to be extremely thorough in ensuring that whether you purchase a phone directly from us or you purchase service from us, the experience would be the same. BYOP introduces complex use cases with SIM card removal and replacement that we’ve built experiences around and are continuing to refine and polish. It's this attention to detail and commitment to a great experience that resulted in a delay of our launch schedule.
While we’re pleased with how all of the components of 3.0 are working, due to the complex nature of BYOP and in good conscience, we don’t feel comfortable launching a feature that hasn’t been thoroughly vetted to our standards. We understand this will be a big disappointment for some and for that, we sincerely apologize. However, we would much rather delay the launch to ensure that we provide you with the highest quality experience than launch with a potentially subpar one.
In appreciation of your patience and understanding, you’ll be able to order a SIM card, free of charge, on August 11, 2016. All you have to pay is shipping, which will be a flat charge of $4. Additionally, with this little bit of extra time, we’ll be able to run a small beta group that will have early access to a SIM card. If interested, please fill out this survey and we’ll randomly select interested participants next week.
We hope you understand our reasons for delaying this feature and we appreciate your patience as we work to ensure the best possible experience for all of our products and services. Please feel free to leave your questions and comments here.
P.S. If you currently have an approved BYOP phone, beginning tomorrow (July 28) you’ll be able to download the new Republic Wireless app on your 3.0 phone to check for compatibility. To download and install the new app, go to the Play Store on your phone, and search for Republic Wireless. Here's a direct link as well.
Beginning on July 28, 2016, our Money Back Guarantee policy is changing to 14 days for all phone purchases. Although the new policy won’t go into effect until July 28, this change will be reflected throughout our website, Community, and the My Account portal beginning today. Any purchases made between now and 2:59 a.m. ET on July 28, 2016 will still be covered under the 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.
When we launched Republic in 2011, we decided to offer a 30-day guarantee because we knew we were asking our early adopters to take a pretty big risk switching to an unknown brand with an unproven product. We wanted to give everyone ample time to determine if Republic’s unique service was right for them. Since then, with your support, we’ve grown by leaps and bounds. By August 11, we’ll have added:
Bonded Calling for greatly improved call quality;
Nine unlocked GSM phones from the leading Android brands;
A new carrier option that gives members access to the fastest nationwide 4G LTE coverage available;
BYOP capability and Republic SIM cards;
Our patented calling software is no longer required to be specially built into a phone’s ROM, making possible faster updates and more phones.
We believe that a 14-day policy still gives our members ample time to make an informed decision. Of course, changing our policy will help us reduce our costs and we’re going to invest those savings in continuing to create innovative solutions to disrupt the telecomm industry, like the list above. We’ll keep working to eliminate the caveats that used to come with becoming a Republic member. And, we won’t stop looking for new ways to help people save money and connect with each other.
We’re very excited to be able to offer unlocked GSM phones - providing our members with even more flexibility of choice. As always, we appreciate your questions and feedback and are always here if you need us. If there is ever a problem, we will do whatever we can to give you the best experience possible. Thank you for being with us, we cannot wait for next week!
Thanks for your patience and if you have any questions, please let us know here.
In order to support all of these awesome new changes, we’re performing a complete overhaul of our current platform tomorrow, July 22, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET. During this time, the Republic Wireless website, My Account portal, and portions of the Republic app will be unavailable.
The Republic Wireless Community will be available, but in read only mode. If you need to contact Help during this time, Live Chat will still be available from the Maintenance Page and you will be able to send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience.
With this update, we’re one step closer to launch day.
In advance of our July 28th launch of nine awesome new phones from Samsung, LG, Huawei, and Motorola, we wanted to remind our current members that nothing is changing with your current plan, unless you want to upgrade to one of our new phones.
What’s new with 3.0:
Our nine new phones are part of our new Republic 3.0 experience, which comes with our new GSM carrier option and access to the fastest nationwide 4G LTE cellular network available. If you would like one of these phones, you’ll need to select one of our GSM compatible plan options below when you purchase your new phone. Or, if you already own one of our approved BYOP phones, you can purchase a GSM SIM card kit from Republic for $5 (plus shipping and taxes) beginning on August 11, 2016. Be sure to check out our one day sale on August 11 when you can order a SIM card for free, just pay a $4 shipping charge.
About new plans:
Our 3.0 Clear Choice plans are designed to be straightforward and affordable. What you see is what you get. The plan you sign up for will be what you’re charged month to month, plus standard taxes. No hidden fees or overages - just great service.
But what if I want to keep my plan? You also have the option to keep your Republic 1.0 plans and 2.0 Refund plans on your current phone. If you’re looking for a new phone on your current plan, you can purchase the Moto G (3rd Gen.) or Moto E (2nd Gen.), which are compatible with CDMA cell service. This chart will help you pick the phone and service plan that works best for you this July 28th.
(Please note: You cannot purchase a new 3.0 GSM compatible phone and put your current CDMA SIM card in it. It will not function properly).
Are there coverage maps I can check?
Yes. You can check your coverage for both CDMA and GSM cellular service on our coverage maps here: CDMA (2.0) and GSM (3.0).
For more info about our new Republic 3.0 Clear Choice plans and compatible phones. Check out our FAQ. We’re thrilled for the next evolution of Republic and are so happy you’re part of the journey.
If you still have questions, feel free to post them here.
Welcome back. Here’s the latest update on the Moto E (1st Gen.).
We have some great news to share. The Moto E (1st Gen.) Lollipop software build did indeed make it to the lab, if a couple of days late, on July 14th, and is enjoying it’s time in the luxurious Sprint lab. (I’m obviously trying to make it sound more glamorous than it is… it’s sitting on a shelf while waiting for tests to be run)
In these scenarios, no news is good news. We haven’t heard anything so far, so we expect to hear good news and a passing grade by the middle of next week, the 27th. Think good thoughts….
After that, we have a confluence of events….
As we said in our last update, we were working with our tech support teams to determine capacity for support as we are launching a plethora of new devices on July 28th and want to make sure that Moto E (1st Gen.) members get our full attention to make sure that if there are issues, we are on top of them and helping you out.
Based on that conversation, our current plan is to start the soak for the Moto E on August 18th. This test will run for a week and devices will be selected at random. The push of the build to all devices will start the week of August 25th.
We will publish another update on August 1st to confirm the details and rollout schedule. If, for whatever reason, the device doesn’t exit the lab this week, I will post an update to the blog with details of the changed schedule.
If you missed the update a couple of weeks ago, here's the link to that update.
A new version of the Republic Wireless app was released yesterday at 100%. This update included a fix for an MMS issue that some members were experiencing after version 188.8.131.527 was released on June 28, 2016. There are no other additions to this new version.
If you need help updating your Republic app, please follow the instructions here.
Today, we released an update to the Republic Wireless app, version 184.108.40.2067. The update began rolling out to the Play Store today and will be fully available for all users by Tuesday, July 5. The app update includes:
Voice roaming updates for Republic 1.0 plan members
Possible solution for number unreachable error
Various stability improvements
The voice roaming updates are related to the removal of data roaming on the Republic 1.0 plans that occurred on June 1, 2016. Members that are on 1.0 plans will need to make sure they update the Republic app. If they don’t, voicemail, MMS, and parts of the Republic app won’t work while in a roaming area.
If you need help updating your Republic app, please follow the instructions here.
Here’s the latest update on the Moto E (1st Gen.).
Some phones are just more challenging than others. During our dogfood process, we have discovered an issue related to our carrier partner network connectivity that we have had to fix.
This one is a little inside baseball, but hang with me. Let's get into the weeds...
The PRL file (Preferred Roaming List) basically contains the list of towers the phone can connect to. The carrier updates this file periodically when they add new roaming partners or change agreements. This file is compressed and then stored in a fixed memory space on the cellular modem. The latest file we received when compressed was 96 bytes too big for the allotted space in the modem. This caused issues when connecting to the cellular network, as the file checksum was incorrect, and the file was corrupt.
We have created a patch for this for the phone so that we won’t put the updated PRL in the modem if it is too big to fit in the allocated space. We are also working with the carrier to increase the compression to try to make the file smaller. Lastly, our carrier partner had to make a network side change to make sure that phones don’t get updated with a big fat PRL before the fix rolls out that will stop them from operating.
In addition, we have been working with Motorola to reduce the number of apps in the build to make sure that the install and pre-compile process introduced in Lollipop will run through successfully. This has worked, so we are confident that this process will make installation less of an issue with memory management. We outlined the majority of these issues in the last blog post.
Next steps are to do another round of regression tests, and prepare the build for the lab. When the phone enters Slate, we submit to Google certification as well, so we are preparing for this to happen shortly.
Our Lab Entry date is tentatively schedule for July 11th with 2 weeks for lab certification, then soak test, and a staggered rollout of the build.
We are working with our tech support teams to determine capacity for support as, surprise, surprise, we are launching a plethora of new devices on July 28th and want to make sure that Moto E 1st Gen members get our full attention to make sure that if there are issues, we are on top of them and helping you out.
Our latest estimate is that we will start a staggered rollout process for this in mid August (assuming nothing changes between now and then) to start updating your Moto E 1st Gen to Lollipop.
Thanks again for your patience, and we’ll publish another update in a couple of weeks. This has been, literally, the most difficult build process we have done, as there are a lot of technical challenges and physical limitations with this phone. We have considered at several points on the way whether this phone has been worth updating to Lollipop, but we made promises to you as customers that we would. It has taken a lot longer than we have anticipated, but we are in the home stretch.
Apologies for the full autopsy report on where we are, but we wanted to share full context into what is happening.
As always, here’s the full back catalog of past updates:
We just posted a blog over on PWK about two new phones coming to our lineup in July: the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus! These two phones, plus the seven we already announced, will all be available on July 28.
We hope you all had a relaxing weekend. Here’s the latest update on the Moto E (1st Gen.).
The internal dogfood on the phone is wrapping up, and we wanted to share the findings with you. We have seen some memory space issues with the Lollipop build on the phone. The Lollipop build is pretty big, and combined with the way that Lollipop optimizes all the apps to run when it starts up, creates some memory space challenges.
So, what does that mean for you?
If you are going to upgrade to Lollipop on the Moto E (1st Gen.), we would advise you get an SD card for your phone to move your media and apps to. This won’t completely solve the issue because some apps can’t run from the SD card, and when apps are updated from the Play Store, they move back to the phone, but it is a temporary fix for creating more storage on the phone. Another option (or as well) is to pare down the apps you really need on the phone. If you are like me, outside of my “go to” apps, I download a new app, look at it once or twice and then forget about it. So, now is a good time to take stock of the apps you have installed and need. Our advice is to uninstall the ones you don’t use as they will take up valuable space when Lollipop arrives.
This is not a Republic specific problem, but is an issue across the board for Lollipop. Lollipop has a larger footprint than KitKat, and there is a large increase in the size of Google Mobile Services apps. This is especially challenging with a small memory footprint such as the 4GB Moto E (1st. Gen). It hasn’t been as much of an issue on the other phones as they have more memory.
We still feel that the calling and texting performance of the phone has been significantly improved, and that’s why we are pushing ahead with the update, but we are going to make the update optional on launch and see how the update looks.
So, what are the next steps?
We have to incorporate one final round of Android Security patches. Android is releasing updates on a more frequent basis, and in order to make it through Google Certification, we have to include them. We will do a round of regression tests, and prepare the build for the lab. When the phone enters Slate, we submit to Google certification as well, so we are hammering to get this done in the next couple of weeks.
Ok, so when is Lollipop going to happen? We will go through the normal steps:
Integrating newer Android Security patches: About 2 weeks.
Regression Testing: A week or two.
Slate: One week for lab preparation
Lab Entry: 2 weeks for lab certification
Soak : 1 week for soak
Rollout will start the week following the soak. These are tentative timings, but we are pushing to accelerate them if we can.
We appreciate your patience, and we’ll publish another update in a couple of weeks. I hope this level of detail is useful.
As always, here’s the full back catalog of past updates:
Last week, we unveiled the largest range of new product improvements in the history of Republic Wireless: new phones, a second carrier partner, and an all new software architecture that enables fast updates to your phones. All of this runs on our patented Adaptive Coverage™ technology. Today we are announcing another piece of the Republic 3.0 puzzle - new plans. In this post we’ll lay out the details of our new plans and give you some context for how these plans came to be.
First off…we call them the Clear Choice Plans. These plans offer incredible savings, in a simple package...here they are:
We have plans up to 10GB, see the full lineup here.
Same Mission, New Plans
If you’ve been a customer for awhile, you know we’ve had a variety of plans over the years. We started with $19, moved to $10/$25/$40 (1.0 Plans) and last year introduced Refund Plans (2.0 Plans). If you’re wondering why we’re changing again, the answer is simple: At every turn we’re trying to create the best plans paired with the best service and technology Republic has to offer. The Clear Choice plans are the next evolution, and paired with our new phones and carrier partners, they push the savings even further for even more people.
How did you decide on these plans?
In our last update, we described all the feedback we’ve received regarding Refund Plans. Over the past year we’ve talked to hundreds of customers and surveyed thousands. We talked to members on Refund Plans and members who’d decided not to switch from our 1.0 Plans. We tried to understand what they liked, what they didn’t, and what they wanted us to add. We know everyone is different, but there were common threads in the feedback.
Refund plans were polarizing. We heard everything from “The Refund Plans are a stroke of genius.” to “$55 for 3GB is a joke!” Many of you told us you want something simple, something you didn’t really have to “figure out”, but still delivered incredible savings.
1.0 plan members didn’t resonate with Refunds. When talking to 1.0 members, the most common reason they didn’t switch to Refund Plans was they wanted access to more data at a lower rate. Others cited that they wanted the comfort of knowing their bill is going to be the same every month. As of today, only 38% of our Refund Plan customers are ones who’ve switched from 1.0 plans. This feedback was a driving force in evaluating and re-evaluating our plans for the next evolution of Republic.
We found a better way... We set out to build something more of our members would love. In our research discussions with members, we found that simpler options were strongly preferred to more complex ones. Specifically, when we tested the Clear Choice Plans 80% chose them over the existing Refund Plans. In the end we found the Clear Choice plans were more broadly appealing to members and prospects alike.
In summary, Republic 3.0 isn’t just new plans, it’s an entirely new service offer. We have a new carrier partner, a new technical foundation, and a broad selection of the best Android phones on the market. This is all great stuff - these are the keys that have unlocked all the cool things we announced last week, but they also have different technical and cost implications for us. All of these changes were factors in the design of our new Clear Choice plans, including moving the base price of $15 for unlimited talk and text.
We understand some of you would prefer we stay with a Moto only portfolio of devices, on the Sprint network, at the current $10 price point (that option will still be available on our current Moto E and G devices). However, based on all the discussions and feedback from our members, we decided the majority of our members would prefer the benefits of Republic 3.0 at a $15 price point vs. the more limited device/ network offerings at $10.
If you’re an existing member, you might have specific questions about your plan and your phone. We’ve put together an FAQ that should answer most your questions: Republic Wireless 3.0 FAQs.
How do these plans compare?
Each of our new plans includes Unlimited Talk & Text over WiFi and Cell - delivered via our Adaptive Coverage Technology that provides high quality coverage in more places.
With the Clear Choice plans, you can select a plan that includes as little as 1GB of LTE data (for only $20!), up to as much as 10GB of data. Or, stick with our popular unlimited Talk & Text only plan for $15/month, which is half the price of offers from the big carriers1. All plans include calling and text messaging to Canada and the US territories (and we are looking to add more soon). As always, there are no contracts, and you are free to change plans anytime. If you run out of data, there are no overage charges - you can upgrade your plan from your Republic App for the rest of the month.
The new plans are savings simplified. At 1GB, these plans are less than half the price of comparable offers in the market today from the big carriers. Best of all, they offer savings for people with a broad range of data needs - Clear Choice plans are 58% less than the average big carrier price for 1GB of data, and 35% less for 4GB and continue to provide savings up to 10GB. In case you are wondering which of these plans would fit best for you, our data shows that 85% of our members would be fine on our $20 1GB plan.
Prices based on Verizon & AT&T Postpaid Plans, May 2016
We could make more comparisons (to other MVNOs, etc), but, this blog is long enough already and we're happy to address any questions in the community dialog to come. We purposefully structured the Clear Choice plans to be easily comparable against the big carriers. We’re confident that you’ll see the savings that the Clear Choice plans offer, and of course they don’t come with any hidden fees that will surprise you when your bill arrives.
So this is how we’ve arrived at our new plans. In the end, we think the Clear Choice plans will be more appealing to more members, whether you have 1.0 plans, Refund Plans, or you haven’t joined Republic just yet. Please check them out, and join the conversation here.
As some of you know, we have anAmbassadors Program that empowers particularly helpful, knowledgeable members of the Republic Community to assist other members, answer questions, and help us build a stronger Community. You've probably seen them around here, and they are easily identifiable by the shield icon next to their usernames.
Today, I'm excited to share that we've recently added four new Ambassadors to the program. Please join me in welcoming:
You may notice that capt.carey and grandbobby aren't active here on the Community. Since the Republic Community extends beyond the community site, we have chosen to expand the Ambassador Program to also include members that are helpful and active on our social media channels. This is new for us, but I believe that a mutli-channel approach to the Ambassador Program is the right one, as it allows us to help more members, regardless of where they may be online.
With everything else going on last week, we haven’t forgotten about the Moto E update to Lollipop. The good news is that the build has gone through the QA process with no major issues. Next up, we are going to start the internal dogfood process. This process is usually takes about 2 weeks.
This is a big milestone. It means the phone has cleared the first set of tests (to make sure that the basic functions perform within tolerances) and we are now using this phone internally.
We had initial concerns about the performance of the device on Lollipop, but these have been alleviated, and we are pushing forward.
We are continuing to work as hard as possible to get this done. We want you to enjoy all the Adaptive Coverage goodness announced a couple of weeks ago.
We appreciate your patience, and we’ll publish another update in a couple of weeks.
As always, here’s the full back catalog of past updates: