Republic Wireless is already a pretty awesome alternative to the bigger mobile carriers, but the upstart company may have just outdone itself. The firm recently announced plans to buy back its customers' unused data, along with a handful of other service improvements.

The data buyback program is rolling out now in beta for Republic Labs testers. The offer seems pretty straightforward, with Republic Wireless promising to pay you back "penny for penny" for every bit of data you don't use. The company notes that over 80 percent of its customers use less than 1GB of data per month, meaning plenty of people should be able to take advantage of the deal.

Republic Wireless is also rolling out the ability to jump from a cellular signal to Wi-Fi during a phone call, making it even easier to save data. You'll also eventually be able to check your calls and messages from any device, including a tablet or desktop computer, and the company says it's adding a second carrier partner later this year for even better cellular support.

Finally, customers will have a hand in picking which new phone becomes available on Republic Wireless next. The company has never offered a huge range of handsets, but hopefully this means better options moving forward.

To test out the latest features as soon as possible you can sign up for Republic Labs via the link below, though hopefully it won't be too long before everything announced today becomes available to all customers.


Republic Wireless Announces Industry First: Plans That Pay Customers for Unused Cellular Data

WiFi calling leader Republic Wireless raises the bar again: Beta testing new plans that will repay consumers for their unused cellular data each month.

Republic also announces a second cellular carrier partner joining in 2015, rollout of seamless in-call handover from cellular-to-WiFi, as well as additional smartphones and seamless multi-device communications, in Republic Labs over the next nine months.

April 20, 2015 – Raleigh, NC – Republic Wireless, the WiFi calling service provider recognized as PC Magazine's 2015 Readers' Choice for mobile carriers, today announced a new initiative designed to help customers purchase just the amount of cellular data they truly need. In an industry first, Republic is launching beta plans that repay Republic Labs participants for all unused cellular data.

Having pioneered seamless WiFi-to-cellular handoff, Republic is now "completing the circle" by rolling out reverse handover of calls from cellular to WiFi without interruption. Republic is launching customer betas for next generation smartphones, seamless communications across multiple devices and support for multiple cellular carrier partners in the coming months. The company will roll these programs out to all customers after working with its Republic Labs test groups.

"One of the coolest things here at Republic is collaborating together with our Customers to solve the biggest industry pain points in Republic Labs. It helps us keep one step ahead. Customers told us they wanted control over how much cellular data they buy – with today's announcement, we are delivering," Bandwidth and Republic Wireless CEO, David Morken said. "Over eighty percent of our customers use less than a gigabyte of cellular data a month. It's been estimated that current industry plans cause consumers to waste an average of  $200 per year in unused cellular data. We think that's ridiculous. So we've devised a way to pay customers back penny for penny for unused cellular data every month."

"Four years ago Republic became the first US carrier to build a business model based on WiFi calling, with cellular as a backup network. The market and the industry has reacted to our moves, but not enough, so we decided it was time to up the ante once again," Morken adds.

Along with paying customers back for their unused cellular data, Republic is also working with customers to tee up several other industry-changing products. Over the next 9 months, Republic will begin customer-driven beta tests of new features and products including:

  • Cellular-to-WiFi handover – Republic has refined seamless WiFi to Cell handover over the last couple years so calls don't drop. In the reverse, the company has begun real-world trials with customers on seamless cellular to WiFi handover.
  • Next-gen mobile phones – Customers will test which phone Republic launches next.
  • Seamless multi-device communications – Republic will begin testing the ability for customers to access calls and messages from any device including tablets as well as laptops and desktops.
  • Multiple carrier cellular networks – Republic will also be adding a second cellular carrier partner joining later this year.

"This story is about more than technology and cost savings – it's really about a company wholly dedicated to improving the entire consumer wireless experience – leveraging all of things that consumers have wanted from a wireless company, while changing the things that aren't customer friendly. Contracts and early termination fees are dinosaurs from the past. As of today, cellular-first approaches and overpaying for data will be as well," Morken adds.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.