UPDATE: The maintenance will take place on November 20, 2014 from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. EST. Please follow along here for the latest updates, during and after the maintenance.

 

This post is primarily for our amazingly loyal, dedicated, members still rocking our BETA device - the DEFY XT - on Republic service. But it’s important, so we wanted everyone to be aware of what’s happening.

 

During the week of November 17th, we'll be doing some server-side maintenance that will move DEFY XT phones from their old legacy servers onto the newer server infrastructure as all our other Republic devices like the Moto X, Moto G, and Moto E.  Keep an eye out for an email from us announcing the actual date and time of the maintenance.

 

But first, we encourage all DEFY XT members to install the latest version of our software to ensure the best possible experience. If you aren't able to update, that's okay. We've ensured that your phone will still work even after the migration to the new server.

 

How do I know if I am on the latest software version?

The latest version of the software is Build Number 1_65K_1027.  If you have this version, then you don't need to do anything.

 

You can find out what version you are currently running by looking at your device settings:

 

From the main screen, tap the hamburger-looking Menu icon (the one that looks like three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other- you like our super-technical description?), choose Settings, choose About Phone, then scroll down to the bottom, where you'll see Build Number.

 

How do I get on the right version of the software?

If you aren’t running the version listed above, you'll need to do a software update. You MUST be on WiFi to download the update.



Here’s how you do that:

 

Detail Images

(click to enlarge)

  Follow the step-by-step tutorial below
menu-1-128.png

1.

Tap the “hamburger” Menu icon (looks like three lines - again, real technical) on the bottom left of your phone.

clicksettings.png

2.

Tap Settings.

settings.png

3.

Tap About phone.

about.png

4.

Tap Phone updates.
phoneupdate.png5.Tap System updates.
device-2014-10-20-094106.png6.An Update available pop-up will appear. Tap Download.

 

Note: The download will take some time.
updateinstall.png7.

Tap Install now.

 

Your phone will restart once installation is complete.

complete.png8.Once the update is complete, your screen will display the message "The software update was successful!"

 




Reasons the latest version might not install for you:

 

  • Out of Memory
    Older builds may need to uninstall Facebook updates and other apps in order to have enough space to download the update.  Once the update is done you can simply re-install these app updates.

 

  • Already on the latest version
    If this is the case, you are already prepared and ready for the move. Way to be ahead of the curve!

 

 

Why is Republic doing maintenance?

Better service! There are a number of updates that we've made to calling performance since launching the DEFY XT on the new infrastructure that we want you to be able to take advantage of.  Additionally, we're replacing parts of the infrastructure that have been in place since we originally launched with the LG Optimus (RIP dear friend) in 2011 that need to be taken outside and “Office Spaced.”

 

We also want to make sure that you're getting the latest updates on the server for your DEFY XT, like short codes.

 

What is the maintenance going to fix?

Stability, call quality, and a longer life for the DEFY XT devices! Oh, and short codes for SMS will be available for you. Neat, huh!?

 

What is the maintenance NOT going to fix?

This will have NO impact on handover and MMS.  As we have mentioned in prior posts, these are things that can only be fixed with new software on the device.  This is not new device software.  This is just to ensure that as many of the DEFY XT phones as possible are on the latest version.

 

What happens after I update my DEFY XT software?

Look out for an email from us outlining exactly WHEN the maintenance will be happening, and some additional instructions about what to do AFTER the maintenance has completed, to make sure that your phones are fully operational on the new infrastructure.

 

Thanks! We look forward to those DEFY XTs move into their new homes as smoothly as possible next week. As always, leave any comments or questions you might have.

 

Stay WiFi my friends,

 

The Product Guy

We’ve talked a lot this week about collaboration, either in other companies we admire or within Republic. Working together as a team to come up with a creative solution is a way of life for us. It’s in our DNA. It’s for this reason that we created the Community and the Think Tank. We want to extend our spirit of collaboration with our members. Just like ajmaphone pointed out earlier this week in his blog about Tesla, sharing an idea with many can only improve it for the greater good.

 

DSC03004wtmk.jpgWe fully recognize that we have some pretty smart and knowledgeable members in our Community. Some of them spend large amounts of their time helping other members, just because they want to. They embrace the same collaborative philosophy that we do and want to help make Republic even better for everyone. It’s for this reason that we’ve given some of our members their own personal blog. It’s a way for them to share with the rest of Community what they’ve learned and how it can improve your experience with Republic.

 

In time, we’ll share all of our member’s personal blogs with you, but today, we’d like to highlight carlh's most recent blog about an offline navigation app that doesn’t use any cell data. With our recent Data Roaming Policy change, and the cost of cellular data rising in general, this couldn’t have come at a better time. When we announced the policy change, navigation was one of your biggest concerns. Nobody wants to feel lost or helpless while out traveling, including myself.

 

Carlh has tested several different types of offline navigations apps, but strongly recommends a new one offered through Nokia called HERE. While still in Beta, carlh explains that it’s already better than most of the other free or inexpensive offline navigation apps out there. It includes turn-by-turn directions and you can search for an address or a point of interest. And, the best part about this app is it’s free! So, check it out, give it a try and let us know what you think. Or, tell us about other offline navigation apps that you’ve tried. I know I’m going to give it a try the next time I travel.

 

Thanks for reading!


This is a big one! We are pleased to officially announce that MMS text messages over Google Hangouts are now supported on Republic Wireless. Tons of you have asked for this capability in our Think Tank and we get a little kick every time we’re able to cross another member suggested feature off the list. It’s collaboration at it’s finest. But allow us to gloat for a minute, because this was no small feat!

 

 

MMS+Hangouts.pngYou see, being able to send MMS over 3rd party apps is not as straightforward as it is with SMS in the Android OS. It simply wasn’t designed to easily send an MMS using an Android API. We were unable to modify any 3rd party apps accordingly, but you wanted it. Heck, we wanted it—we use the same phones and service you do, afterall. So, with determination, and our amazing devs and engineers being who they are, we created a solution from the ground up that will work for a majority of 3rd party messaging apps. How awesome is that!?

 

What does this mean for you? Well, for now we are just starting with Hangouts. You can now have a truly unified interface to send and receive Hangout messages, SMS, and MMS all in one place! To get this going, follow the Hangouts instructions here. However, just like with Hangouts, there is opportunity over time to get other 3rd party messaging apps enabled too. Use the Think Tank to vote for your favorite app.

 

So go! Get to texting pics and videos to your friends and family over Hangouts. It’s a cool new feature we’re proud to offer. You asked for it. It didn’t seem possible. We created it anyway.   We will never settle. If a solution doesn’t exist, we’ll invent one to get us there. For you, and for us.

 

 

 

Enjoy, and feel free to leave us any comments here.


If anyone is a fan of the show “Silicon Valley” on HBO (and if not, why?!, it’s flippin’ great), there is a scene mid-season where the main characters go to a TED Talk conference to present their new, disruptive tech idea. Every. Single. Company at the event gets up on stage and says with a note of self-inflated importance: “Our mission is to make the world a better place.”  It is a simple thing to say, and the joke of the scene is just how many companies recite that line. Some companies actually even mean it, but how many actually act on it? And if they succeed, how? We have some ideas of our own at Republic, but also always have our eye on other companies we think are getting it right. We draw inspiration from those that seem to hold similar beliefs to our own and what they do to actually make their mission happen.

 

One of our favorite examples is Tesla Motors. Here’s a company that perfectly fits into the “make the world a better place” mission statement with their take on electric cars. How they proved they meant it was a masterstroke of business strategy. Tesla started with a product that was good. Like really good. Their Model S car actually broke the crash test machine, making it the safest car ever made. And at every turn, they have overcome litigation that kept them from selling their cars to people because they believed in what they were doing. Then, in a moment of pure brilliance, they opened all their patents to the public.

 

 

Oh, to be at the table when that decision was made. How do you beat the game the big guys are throwing at you? Don’t play. By releasing all their patents to the world, Tesla definitively proved they are out to make the world a better place and they don’t care who helps. Now the big car companies like Ford and BMW are experimenting with their own Tesla units and are figuring out ways to implement Tesla tech into their cars (sound familiar?).


-1.jpg

Their office is nerdy like ours too!


And what is Tesla’s response at the end of the day? Neat! “This is actually good for Tesla and the electric vehicle industry,” says Chief Executive Elon Musk. “You want to be innovating so fast [that] you invalidate your prior patents."  Essentially, they’re saying what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. And we feel the same way about WiFi + Cell. As the big guys start catching up with WiFi + Cell plans of their own, we thinks it’s great! It means more people can stay better connected and enjoy the value that you have been this whole time. It also means we get to go after the next industry head-scratcher and fix that too (more on that to come...).

 

Meanwhile, we love what Tesla has done to collaborate with their customers and even their competitors. They innovate, not for just the sake of a profit margin, but to actually, in fact, make the world a better place. What companies stand out in your mind as a cut above the rest? Tell us about them or just let us hear from you, here. Thanks!

Happy Halloween!

 

Before we start, here’s a photo of some adorable children from our annual Halloween kids bash for all the little Republic team members.

 

 



 

 

Now, onto the good stuff! October’s Republic Recap covers what you might have missed in the month of October.  Our biggest news was the launch of our newest device, the fantastic $99 Moto E.  Feedback on the Moto E has been great and our game changing $10 Voice & Text monthly plan reigns as the most popular choice for this device.  Cellular data?  Nah, we’ll get by with WiFi and love it all the way to the bank

 

 

NEW IN OCTOBER:

 

Phone and Service Related:


Support Enhancements:

  • A Welcome Campaign for All New RW members
  • Member Service Tools (Internal)


Other Improvements and Releases


IN PROGRESS ITEMS THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR EXPERIENCE:


Smaller scope items:

  • Device Trade-in Trial Program
  • New Shipping Options


Larger scope items:

  • WiFi Sharing & WiFi Login Features
  • Open WiFi Notifications
  • Web-Based Calling
  • Email to SMS
  • Cell to WiFi Handover
  • Website Cart & Checkout Redesign
  • Maintenance Releases for Moto X & Moto G for Android 4.4.4

 

As always, please feel free to leave your questions and comments here.

 

P.S. The Think Tank is a great spot to participate and get updates on.


JW 14.jpeg




 

As some of you know, Jive is the software platform we use to run this very Community. Last week, seanr and I had the opportunity to attend the JiveWorld conference in Las Vegas. In spite of the famous saying, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” I’ll share our experiences with you today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, let’s get you a little more familiar with Jive and what they do:

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you that didn’t (or couldn’t) watch the video, the spirit of Jive is to get people to work better together by connecting, communicating and collaborating. They accomplish this by providing a full suite of their own products, plus partner with technology corporations such as Cisco, Okta, Totango and Bunchball in order to provide seamless integration with the latest and greatest features.

 

Now that you’re a little more familiar with Jive, I’d like to share with you my experiences and takeaways from the JiveWorld conference.

 

 

OK Go!

OK Go.jpg

Nothing like a rock show to get your blood pumping at 8:15 in the morning—which for me is usually 20oz of coffee, but this seemed to do the trick as well. In case you don’t know, OK Go is a quirky alternative rock band best known for their elaborate music videos, such as the treadmill video. It’s because of their elaborate videos that attracted Jive to them. By connecting, communicating and collaborating, they were able to create these highly imaginative and incredible videos.

 

 

 

As a demonstration, Adam Sadowsky, CEO & Founder of Synn Labs had the opportunity to work with OK Go on a large scale Rube Goldberg machine. For those of you that don’t know, a Rube Goldberg machine is some sort of contraption or device that is set up to perform a simple task in a complicated way, usually in a chain reaction. After three months of building, 85 takes, over 100 Home Depot runs, a broken high heel, and destroying more than 10 TV’s and two pianos, this was the outcome:

 

 

 

 

 


JiveWorld Sessions

JiveWorld wasn’t just about OK Go and Rube Goldberg machines, although they were quite entertaining and their spirit of working together really resonated with me. But, as with any conference, there were lots and lots of sessions to attend. Depending on where youWhy attend JiveWorld.jpg fit in your organization, there are different tracks to follow. I hunkered down mostly in the external and internal community tracks for obvious reasons, but there were also advanced, developer and product tracks. I attended sessions like: Increasing and Managing Engagement with Gamification and Analytics, Building Communities that Engage and Delight and the JiveX Product Roadmap.

 




So how does all of this correlate with Republic?

Being able to connect, communicate and collaborate with other Jivers (yes, that’s what we call ourselves) really opened up the floodgates to what is possible with Jive. It isn’t just a software platform, it’s a better way to work together and to remind ourselves that you aren’t just our customers and this isn’t just my job, but that we are all members of something much bigger than that, a Community.

 

 

JiveX Cloud.png

 

 

I, myself, am looking forward to some of the enhancements available with our next upgrade to JiveX in the coming months. With the upgrade to JiveX, we’ll be able to integrate with our ticketing system and Google Drive. We’ll also be able to introduce a gamification module and new features for discussions and documents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hoped you enjoyed reading about JiveWorld ‘14, please feel free to share your thoughts here.

 

P.S. For those interested, here are some pics I took while in Vegas. And for the curious, I did get a chance to gamble a little and ended the trip $40 up, woohoo I’m rich!

 

 

Vegas Day.jpgVegas Night.jpgVegas Pool.jpg

 

Vegas Sean.jpgVegas Shoe.jpgVegas Chewbacca .jpgVegas Eiffel .jpg

 


mk.a

200 Miles Down, Much Tuna Eaten

Posted by mk.a Oct 27, 2014

Hey everyone,

 

MK here from the Marketing team, reporting back on the Tuna Run 200.

 

The Tuna Run is an annual two-day 200 mile relay race from Raleigh, NC to Atlantic Beach, NC. The course started in Garner, North Carolina, just outside of Raleigh and continued east and south of Goldsboro, NC and Kinston, NC until it reached Emerald Isle, North Carolina on the Crystal Coast, just south of the Outer Banks. The last 20 miles of the race ran up the island to finish on the boardwalk at Atlantic Beach. There were a total of 69 teams that participated and we made up four of those teams with about 60 employees participating.

 

This was truly one of the more memorable experiences of my life (PSST… If there are any HR peeps out there reading this, this sort of team-building experience blows the roof off ice breakers and trust falls any day of the week). It was an amazing experience to go through a challenge like this with people in the company that I don’t often have the opportunity to work with on a day-to-day basis. It was also pretty sweet to see the people that I do get to work with regularly in a different environment and to work together to solve problems and achieve goals in different ways than we’re used to doing.

 

With all that said, let’s get to it.

 

Many of the runners kicked off the day bright and early at 6am:

 

15555155905_8b2e95f87e_z.jpg

 

Fortunately, my van wasn’t scheduled to start until about 11am, so we got a bit more rest before beginning the challenge. This is me finishing up my first leg:

 

14934054964_36637e01b0_z.jpg

 

Most of us ran three legs spread out over the 200 mile journey and we each had temporary tattoos with the directional turns listed out for us:

 

15369129077_935315532f_z.jpg

 

With this being a relay race, we used snap bracelets (what’s up 1992?) as the batons. Check out that sweet handoff:

 

15369538800_7844a4f48c_z.jpg

 

This handoff? Not so much.

 

15555889772_0bfefd267a_z.jpg

15369034767_a0af3e1a4e_z (1).jpg

15552366361_909e40fc7e_z (2).jpg

14934857303_5b266b71b7_z.jpg

 

On the right is our CEO. I know, right? There’s seriously an amazing company culture around here. I mean, he’s right down in the trenches with us and we’re all having a blast pushing through this challenge together.

 

15552801311_f17cca9294_z.jpg

 

From sweetpotato fields to cotton fields, we certainly weren’t lacking any beautiful scenery running through eastern North Carolina:

 

14935268283_942b52455b_z.jpg

 

15552518981_c5b074f9c4_z.jpg

 

14934557914_97dfbbb79b_z.jpg

 

There were a few comical moments, like this schoolbus-turned-sweet-potato-hauler:

 

14934331334_4d2d649193_z.jpg

 

Lots of time spent stretching:

 

15529553571_61b7433908_z.jpg

 

Lots of time spent beast-moding it:

 

15368581559_054cda9341_z.jpg

 

Oh, and just an FYI: when you’re running over a period of 30 hours, you’ll sleep just about anywhere:

 

14934254134_a79bfcc16b_z.jpg

 

Case in point:

 

14934400604_c742ee6727_z.jpg

 

One of our teams embraced the porta-potty reality to the fullest, naming their team the North Carolina Porta Potty Tour.

 

15552477191_0fddf25cd9_z.jpg

 

#PottyInTheUSA

 

14934442154_1a90eea604_z.jpg

 

#WhereDaPottyAt

 

15556112952_91f682bf4f_z.jpg

 

Word.

 

15533089212_4e9ef17762_z.jpg

 

Complete with t-shirts and all:

 

15531451866_a36aaec9b6_z.jpg

 

I unfortunately was assigned the leg that covered the Emerald Isle Bridge...70 foot elevation climb on about 3 hours of sleep = not so fun.

 

14934331814_806a0cacbf_z.jpg

 

Hard to keep your eyes on the road with that gorgeous view of the Intracoastal Waterway:

 

15346034238_f3a027101d_z.jpg

 

And the view at the top of the bridge was even more distracting:

 

15552412321_6f62538c56_z.jpg

 

Once we were on Emerald Isle, we started catching glimpses of the ocean. After 200 miles, this is pretty much the sweetest sight one could possibly see:

 

15555528322_b089975616_z.jpg

 

When we saw the Atlantic Beach water tower, we knew the end was in sight:

 

15369821290_f21283b4a7_z.jpg

 

Oh heeeeeeeey finish line!

 

15346140107_21ee833014_z.jpg

 

Only one of our teams was a “competitive” team so the other three teams were made up of a wide variety of people with varying fitness levels and the overall feeling was a bit looser and more about simply enjoying the challenge. This competitive team was serious though. With an average pace of 7:07, they covered over 200 miles in just 23 hours, 50 minutes and 27 seconds, shattering the course record. Big round of applause for these guys! #Legit

 

15346447420_037d5fb99b_z.jpg

 

Killer pass count guys...

 

15369457227_9b9079612e_z.jpg

 

Here’s my team at the finish line. We came in a few hours after the competitive team :-)

 

14934933243_dd6c3139f6_z.jpg

 

Making it to the beach = priceless.

 

14934263694_e67d801a0e_z.jpg

 

The best.

 

14934378584_9243fb6fc4_z.jpg

 

Totally worth it.

 

15555949272_f0c823cf49_z.jpg

 

Seared ahi tuna, beachside:

 

15555094355_f8431ce269_z.jpg

 

View from the beach house:

 

14934957683_9883a4f6d7_z.jpg

 

Annnnnnd that about wraps it up! All in all, this was an incredible experience and I can’t wait to do it again next year. Tell us, what do you think of the Tuna Run? Have you ever done a long relay race like this? What were some of the logistical challenges you experienced? Would you ever consider doing something like this with your coworkers?

 

PS: At risk of fully exposing our level of crazy, I’m happy to share that just a few days later, 15 of us decided on a whim to run the Half Marathon at the Bull City Race Fest. Every single person finished and we’re now immensely enjoying showing our medals off :-)

Here at Republic, our reward for our work is helping add value to our members’ lives and making them happy while we do it. But it’s always nice to see positive press as well! There’s been so much lately, in fact, (what a good problem to have!) that we figured we should just put it all in one place.

republiclove.png

(image via Budgets are Sexy)

 

Check out what some of our favorite bloggers and tech sites are saying, and poke around a bit while you’re visiting them too. You might find other handy money-saving tips or even a chance to win a Moto E!

 

 

Clark Howard has featured Republic’s phones and services before, but his latest post about us is a great reminder for anyone starting their holiday shopping early:

Republic Wireless is the best deal out there if your budget matters [...] In the years since they’ve been providing service, however, the newest versions of Republic Wireless smartphones have improved and are better at seamlessly moving from Wi-Fi to cellular service and data.

 

 

The College Investor recently reviewed Republic and declared us the winner of their Best Cell Phone Plans for College Students, ranking us above the Big Three when comparing phone cost, monthly cost, and coverage options. With many US college and university campuses offering students WiFi, a Republic phone is a great, affordable option:

For someone living on a college campus or medium to large city (where WiFi is everywhere) then the price and perks of Republic Wireless cannot be beat!

 

 

Forbes Magazine also thinks Republic is a great fit for students:

Republic is a very different kind of carrier – they eliminate all the things that drive people nutty about the big carriers such as contracts, counting minutes, texts and how much data you use [...] a great fit for teachers and students – 99% of college campuses are WiFi enabled as are many secondary schools.

 

 

We’re calling our new Moto E the flip phone killer, but Living on the Cheap recommends Republic as a reliable alternative to traditional landline service too:

[I]f you walk out the door while you are on a WiFi call, the phone will switch to the cellular network and allow you to continue talking. This kind of flexibility makes for a lot of peace of mind...Republic hits the sweetest spot in cost and ease of use.

 

 

Bible Money Matters’s review of Republic shares a little of our company history and the gives a detailed breakdown of our phones and service plans. They also made an unboxing video that shows off our super-cool green box and even goes through the Moto X’s activation.

It ends up being cheaper than most of the other services that I’ve looked into, and if you have good WiFi coverage like I do, it can be considerably cheaper.  I’d definitely recommend checking it out if you’re looking to cut an out of control cell phone bill.

 

It’s a perfect marriage of frugality and reliable cell service! [...] A match made in heaven!

 

 

And lastly (this is a fun one), Budgets are Sexy declared that we’re their new favorite wireless carrier! (Woo hoo!)

I feel like I’ve stumbled across a gem here...

 

They’re also giving away two new Republic Moto E smartphones with 3 months of free service - head over to their blog to learn more and enter to possibly win one!

 

 

So, there you have it - here’s what all the cool kids are saying about us. If you know someone you think might be a good fit too, but is still on the fence, send ‘em this blog to do the trick! And as always, share your thoughts over in the comments!

A question we get asked a lot is:  “Hey Republic, which data speed is right for me? 4G is the fastest right? I need that!” Wrong! Well, maybe not entirely wrong... To really answer the question, we need to take a closer look at where and how you use your phone.

 

The “G” in 3G and 4G stands for “generation.” Simply put, it means the generation of the network that is being used. Before 3G, there was a 2G network, and a 1G network before that (think huge analog briefcase phones). As more and more people use any of these networks, and more and more bandwidth is required to service all those new people, new networks need to be built with a broader servicing capacity. That said, just because 4G is the newest, doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be the best for you. You see, there are multiple kinds of 4G networks. Some are only currently offered in certain areas of the US. And, as more people move from one network - lets say 3G to 4G - then it frees up that 3G network so that many times, you’ll see a bump in speed and efficiency there because there are suddenly fewer people using it (this is what happened to the old 2G Edge network when 3G first started becoming mainstream back in 2007). It’s much like a lane of traffic opening up on the freeway and moving over lanes so you can go faster.

 

As mentioned, 4G comes in different flavors. Primarily:  4G LTE (which stands for “Long Term Evolution”) and 4G WiMAX (which is an older version of 4G designed to deliver wireless broadband to homes and businesses without running expensive cables to every building). WiMax was the first 4G network to be rolled out. It was even backed by Intel but is typically shied away from, even though a number of carriers still offer it for 4G capability. While WiMax was gaining momentum back in 2006, the whole of the cell phone industry shifted focus to LTE, which promised much better compatibility with existing cell phone equipment. The LTE standard was approved in December 2008, with America's first LTE network coming from MetroPCS in October 2010. Sprint announced this year it will be shutting down its remaining WiMax network as of November 2015 in favor of shifting to its own expanding LTE network.

 

So - the “4G” label really means nothing when it comes to speed (sort of) and everything to do with it being the newest lane open on the freeway.  Everyone is merging into 4G because it appears to be moving faster, but as soon as everyone does, the 3G lane picks up (sort of).  So then, how do you know which network or “lane” to pick?

 

3G vs. WiMAX vs. LTE: Performance

 

On paper - 3G has a peak data transfer rate of just 200 Kbps. Yeah, that’s slow. Real slow. The standard was established in 2003 and most 3G networks offer speeds 10-12 times that fast these days. WiMax has download speeds of around 30-40Mbps, while LTE delivers up to about 100Mbps. In the real world, though, these networks achieve nothing like these speeds. That's because a network's performance depends much more on how it's built than on the specs of the underlying technology.  Furthermore, if you live in an area where a solid 4G infrastructure hasn’t been put in place, you may find much better coverage sticking to 3G.  Our coverage map can help.  And, you can change your plans from your phone on Republic to test which network gives you the best experience overall.

 

And what about WiFi?

 

Ah yes, and let’s not forget about WiFi. The best of the best. The largest, fastest network you already use. Every. Single. Day. More and more free WiFi networks pop up (a simple Google news search will confirm it). Our research shows that the average person is around WiFi between work and home about 64% of their day. That’s a lot of offload potential for more coverage, in more places, for less money! The speed of any given WiFi connection greatly depends on the signal provided, but for the most part, you’re going to experience the fastest data speeds around a theoretical maximum of 1,300 Mbps, if using the latest 802.11ac signal (more like 50Mbps in real life).  Just like 3G and 4G networks, however, several factors impact overall speed such as distance to the wireless source and how many people are using the same signal/sharing the same bandwidth (lanes of freeway traffic).

 

BUT! The super cool thing about your Republic phone though, is it’s designed to use WiFi when it is there for calls, texts, and data, and seamlessly switch over to either 3G or 4G whenever you’re not. Idea being, you don’t have to worry about when you’re switching. Your phone takes care of optimizing your experience for you. And, for extra customization, you can manage handover in the Republic app.

 

So, which is better 3G, 4G, or WiFi?

 

The answer is:  It depends! Keeping up the "traffic on the freeway" analogy, at short distances, with an 802.11a or better WiFi network connection, WiFi comes out ahead. Outside of WiFi, 4G LTE offers the best connection, but it’s still pretty new and limited in terms of where it is available across the US, and more and more people are “merging into the 4G LTE lane.”  So, 3G becomes a lot like the tortoise versus the hare here - 3G can be slower, but more steady and reliable. Either way, we’ve designed our service and devices to make any network, 3G, 4G, or WiFi the most easily accessible to fit your life’s plans whenever they might change.

 

Thanks, and let us know if you have any questions or feedback in the comments.

sarahd

Entrepreneur Week 2014

Posted by sarahd Oct 17, 2014

Entrepreneur: noun, a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

 

Republic and Bandwidth (Republic’s parent company) were founded in the spirit of entrepreneurship. It’s in the very core of each and every one of us, and is how we’ve gotten to where we are today.

 

This week, Bandwidth and Republic celebrated this entrepreneurial spirit by holding our annual charity event benefiting HOPE International – a non-profit organization that provides financial literacy training, savings services, and investment assistance for families living in poverty across 17 countries.

 

We particularly like to focus on the the micro-finance loans program HOPE International provides to families, which helps them grow a business for themselves and benefits their entire community.

 

 

HOPE Marilyn.jpg

Marilyn Ciprian stands outside her store called La Gran Comision or “The Great Commission”—in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic. Picture provided by HOPE International.


 

For Entrepreneur Week, we wanted to create the same type of atmosphere by hosting our own Micro Marketplace, where Bandwidth/Republic employees sell handmade goods and services with all proceeds benefiting HOPE International’s microfinance loans department. This year, we had everything from used monitors to baked goods and handmade coasters to knitted headbands.

 

Homemade Bread.jpg Handmade Headbands .jpgHomemade Sugar Scrubs.jpg

 

In addition to the Micro Marketplace, we also held a silent auction with items donated by local businesses. Items included a four pack of Hurricane’s tickets, professional photo shoots, handmade holiday wreaths, 48 hours in an ELF (donated by Organic Transit) and much more.

 

Holiday Wreath.jpgPhoto Shoot.jpg Body Shop.jpg

 

The final item offered at Entrepreneur Week was a Big Trip Raffle where the winner chooses from one of seven destinations. The trip includes hotel for three nights, flight and a $300 gift card for two. The trip was donated by Bandwidth using our frequent flyer miles. The winner gets to choose from: Nassau, Cancun, New York City, New Orleans, San Francisco, Key West  or Las Vegas.

 

One of the things that I love so much about Entrepreneur Week is that we get a chance to celebrate all of the benefits that come from entrepreneurship. With just one idea, perseverance and a whole lot of dedication, you can build something from the ground up that influences an entire community. HOPE gets this very basic understanding and instead of just donating money to the cause, they actually go out there and give communities the opportunity to get themselves out of poverty. How rewarding is that?

 

Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs or charities? Tell us here.

 

Thanks for reading!


rwproductteam

Moto E is Here!

Posted by rwproductteam Oct 15, 2014

Moto E.png

 

 

Say “bye bye” to your old flip phone and hello to an affordable smartphone with polish. The new Moto E is here and it’s just $99 (plus tax)!

 

From the very beginning, our members have wanted an affordable smartphone that doesn’t sacrifice performance for price. Well, here it is. Available right now, today, the Moto E is that smartphone. Priced just right and able to use Republic’s awesome, money-saving WiFi + Cell Network for more coverage, in more places, for even more savings.

 

Moto E is a fantastic first smartphone for kids, grandparents, or even as a home phone replacement with our $5/month plan (get rid of that cable/phone bundle!).  It’s been tested on thousands of hands, and designed so it just feels good to hold.  It comes with many of Motorola’s excellent features like Moto Assist, which knows when you’re driving and will read texts out loud to you. And the new Moto Alert will actually auto-text parents when kids get to school. How cool is that?!

 

Moto E is great for replacing not only flip phones, but older smartphones too. Moto Migrate makes getting set up a snap by moving over all your pics, contacts, music and more from an iPhone or Android. And, if you ever feel like you need even more space for all your stuff, you can expand the memory of your Moto E up to 32GB with its microSD card slot.

 

Moto E is the smartphone that proves low cost doesn’t have to mean low quality. Many of the features normally reserved for a high-end device are loaded into a $99 price. Handle all your emails, phone calls, and texts without a hiccup. It’s compact, lightweight, and comfortable to hold. Come get your Moto E with polish at the right price now.

 

Leave us your (excited) comments right here.


jared_c

Market Disruptors: Harry's

Posted by jared_c Oct 14, 2014

Jared here, back with another edition of the Market Disruptor series.  The Market Disruptors series takes a look at like-minded companies that are changing their industries for the better. Last time we checked out branding expert, Warby Parker, and their omni-channel approach to the saturated eyeglass industry.  Round two of Market Disruptors features Harry's.  Harry’s is a web-based startup in the business of selling men’s razors.

 

The $2.4 billion shaving industry is dominated by giants like Gillette and Schick who, through lack of competition, have created a market full of overpriced razors.  Since being founded in 2013, Harry’s has been on a mission to bring change to this stagnant industry one razor at a time.  Its secret weapon in this uphill battle?  Storytelling.

 

Any brand can relay a message, but a great brand tells a story.  And if storytelling is the name of the game then Harry’s is Shakespeare.  At its core, Harry’s story is a simple one: “We knew there had to be a better way, so we created Harry’s as a return to the essential: a great shave at a fair price.” The way they tell this story is the special part.  After following Harry’s for the past several months and using their products, I believe there are two main reasons why their storytelling is so effective: authenticity and relevance.

 


harry's.jpg


Authenticity

 

Harry’s promises their customers a great shave at a fair price, but in order to deliver on that promise they’d have to put their money where their mouth was.  In order to provide quality blades while maintaining low costs to the customer, the Harry’s co-founders knew they would need to control the supply chain process.  After months of research and over $100 million in funding raised, the two purchased a German razor factory.

 


razors.jpg



Owning the razor factory not only gives Harry’s the credibility as a razor expert, but also allows them to deliver on their promise.  By inserting themselves into the blade production process, Harry’s isn’t just telling you you’ll get a better shave, they're ensuring you’ll get a better shave.  The authenticity behind Harry’s story differentiates them from the jargon of the industry giants.

 

Relevance

 

Let’s be honest, shaving isn’t the most fun thing to do in the world. If anything, it’s a nuisance in the daily routine.  Instead of taking this as a negative, Harry’s has crafted a brilliant campaign around the morning routine called #OwnYourAM.  #OwnYourAM is based around the morning routine of the everyday guy, and Harry’s features just about everything but shaving - from coffee drinking habits to breakfast choices.  Their emphasis on the morning routine relates to nearly every guy and makes shaving just another part of owning your day.


own.jpg

Another way Harry’s story stays relevant is with their magazine, Five O’ Clock.  Five O’ Clock magazine features stories about the morning routines of men around America.  The stories aren’t focusing on celebrities, they’re on the stories of people just like their target market - the everyday men of the world.  Everyone from a bike builder, to a novelist, to a consultant.  Harry’s Five O’ Clock publication shows that they identify with their target market, making you believe that when Harry’s says: “Like most of you, we’ve long had to choose between over-priced, over-marketed razors that disrespect your intelligence, and low quality, cheap razors that disrespect your face.” they really have been there.

 

It’s one thing to tell a story, but it’s another to live it.  Harry’s does a fantastic job of telling their story in an authentic and relevant way.  Their strong branding has led to major disruption in just over a year, and with over $130 million in funding, there’s no sign in them slowing down.


There are a lot of great takeaways from a brand like Harry’s.  They are a great example of a brand that is living out their mission statement and keeping a finger on the pulse of what their customer base wants.  Here at Republic, we also strive to be a brand that delivers on our mission, and listens to our customers.  What’re some ways in which you think we are living out our story?  Where can we improve?  As always, leave your comments here.

rwproductteam

Short Codes are live!

Posted by rwproductteam Oct 10, 2014

You’ve been requesting them for days. Weeks. Months.  Years! We’ve navigated through a maze of partner agreements and technicalities. And today, we are thrilled to announce Short Codes are live for the Moto X, Moto G, and Moto E!

 

If you’re not one of the folks who has been excitedly asking for this feature, Short Codes are 4-6 digit texts you can send to enter contests, subscribe to organizations for information (Cat Facts anyone?), or verify your identity for certain services and apps on the fly. But instead of telling you about all of the different uses of short codes, we'd rather show you.

 

This past week two of our employees, Katelyn and Brittain, went on a short code adventure.  Documenting their fun with their Republic Moto X.

short1.jpg

 

Katelyn and Brittain were interested in testing out our newest feature, and did a little research to see which brands used short codes.  During their research they discovered that Redbox uses short codes to send updates and deals to members of their mobile text club.  Katelyn loves Redbox, so she wanted to get in on the action and decided to sign up.

 

short2.jpg

 

To become a part of the club, Katelyn had to text FREEBIES to the (727-272) number that they provided.  Immediately after signing up, she received a text message confirming her subscription.  All of this Redbox fun reminded Katelyn that she had an overdue movie (whomp, whomp), so she and Brittain decided they would catch a ride with Uber to the nearest Redbox.

 

First, our two adventurers needed to set up an Uber account.  They downloaded the app, entered in their account info and shortly after received another short code to confirm their account!  This is one of the most common ways businesses use short codes to verify your identity.

 

short3.png

 

After requesting their ride, Brittain and Katelyn followed their driver's route to the office.

 

 

uber4.jpg

 

Minutes later their driver and new friend, Lhou, arrived and the three headed off to the nearest Redbox...  `

 

uber5.jpg

 

Katelyn returned her movie (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Brittain went for his first Uber ride, and the two saw how useful short codes could be!

 

Tons of work went into coordinating with the right industry partners to make this possible as well as the work and testing needed with our engineering team to make it fully functional and accessible for our callers. Suffice it to say, this is a big win for us, and we’re incredibly happy to be able to cross one more top customer request off the list.

 

So! With that, go!  Embark on a short code adventure of your own, texting codes to all your favorite businesses, organizations, and services. Enjoy, and leave us any questions or comments here.


The Refer a Friend program is very near and dear to many of you. It was highly requested, and, like anytime our members want something, we’re inclined to give it to you. We rolled out an initial program and it just wasn’t good enough. So, we did what we always do; asked ourselves and asked you if we could make it better.  We could, and we did.

RaF People.jpg

 

Fast forward to where the Refer a Friend program is today and how it aligns with the program’s goals:

 

  • Participation is low–both in regard to the number of members actually participating, and the number of referrals those members make. The vast majority of folks refer just one person. Ever.
    • This tells us that the current program may not be the best value to you, our members.
    • We want the next iteration to inspire more participation and make it easier to spread the word to others in a more meaningful way.

 

  • We aren’t rewarding the right kind of behavior.
    • With the current program, we are only incentivizing online, transactional-focused activities (i.e. sharing links).
    • We’ve found that a lot of the times people talk about Republic is because of genuine excitement. Our strongest evangelists really do want to help reduce their cellular footprint, use WiFi to the fullest for calls, texts, and data, and keep costs down for our entire Community.  We want to strengthen that experience and help you bring in even more like-minded people who’d be a great fit for Republic too.

  • Today’s Refer a Friend program isn’t flexible. 
    • It only offers one type of incentive: financial.  For many of you, an extra $20 credit is nice, but we could offer so much more to make your time with Republic better in a variety of ways. 
    • For example:  Wouldn’t it be cool if you could save points for products, coveted RW swag, a grand prize trip to Republic HQ, or free service? Or what if we could pool points together and donate to a non-profit?  We would love to have your input on what these incentives could be. 

 

We’ve been big picture thinkers since 2011 – always willing to try new things, but focused on giving people the power to improve the quality of their lives.  We believe that word of mouth is our best asset, and we’re on a mission to identify the right ways to reward our strongest brand advocates that are more relevant and meaningful.

 

RaF Sunset.png


So where do we go from here?

At the end of the day we have two options:  Keep the current program running and potentially confuse everyone with a separate, competing program. Or, we focus all our energy into working with you to test and try new ideas. We’re choosing the latter. Really, it’s all about you and how we can develop the best program possible. We rely on you, just as we always have, to make our unique model and services work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So with that, our current Refer a Friend program will be coming to a close on October 31, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST.  Any and all credits you’ve earned up until October 31st will still be processed and will of course still remain in your account.  And, you will still be able to refer friends through the launch of our new Moto E smartphone (through 10/31/14), so you both still receive $20 credit towards service. For more questions regarding this change, please visit our FAQ.

 

As always, thank you for being such great members.  We look forward to bringing you an even bigger, better Republic experience as we continue to disrupt the mobile industry. Please leave us any feedback you might have and please start leaving us any ideas for perks you’d enjoy for participating in referrals in our Think Tank. Thank you.


rwproductteam

Mark Your Calendar!

Posted by rwproductteam Oct 7, 2014

Moto E Announce.png

 

It’s official, the Moto E will be available for purchase on October 15, 2014. The Moto E will be priced at just $99 (plus taxes) and includes a ton of cool features like Moto Alert, Moto Assist, the Republic App and much more. Pair that with our unique WiFi + Cell Hybrid Calling and you’ve got yourself a flip phone killer.

 

Additionally, we wanted some of our existing members to have the opportunity to get their hands on the Moto E first. Starting tomorrow, October 8, a select group of existing members that signed up to receive news about the Moto E will be able to purchase the Moto E early. How do you know if you’re one of the lucky members? Check your email. If you received an email yesterday from Republic with the following message, you’re in!



We hope you’re as excited as we are about the Moto E. Let us know what you think here.


Filter Blog

By date:
By tag: