Republic Wireless announced today that it has launched a data only SIM plan. The announcement comes roughly two weeks after the company first stated that it was working on a new data only SIM plan. Republic Wireless is offering the plan to customers for $60 and it includes 10GB of 4G LTE data. However, as part of a launch special, it is being sold at a 50% off discount. Subscribers can get it for $30. The plan operates using Republic Wireless's GSM network partner, which is T-Mobile.
In late December of 2018, Republic Wireless launched a data only plan that was part of a short-lived pilot program. That plan gave subscribers 20GB of 4G LTE data each month for $29.99 or 90 days of service for $74.99. It was a much better offer than what Republic Wireless just rolled out today and it also used T-Mobile's network.
Both the old offering and the new one share a disappointing feature in common. The data only SIM plans are and were designed to be used just one time and for one billing cycle. Like before, once the billing cycle ends, customers must purchase a new data only SIM if they'd like to continue on with the plan.
This seems like a disappointing offering from Republic Wireless. First off, if a subscriber wishes to renew their plan they have to purchase a new SIM card. That seems like a totally unnecessary waste of material resources. Second of all, when a provider goes "back to the labs" to build upon a previous offering, you'd hope they'd come out with something better. Instead, Republic Wireless has come out with a significantly worse offering compared to their initial pilot plan. And last, if a customer needs a renewable plan, there are simply better options available, particularly if Republic Wireless ever actually tries to sell the plan for $60. If they keep the plan at $30, it will at least competitively priced compared to other data only plans on the T-Mobile network.
In terms of better values being available, Ting offers a 30GB of data hotspot plan for $25/month. Although the Ting plan does require customers to purchase a hotspot device. However, the hotspot device is currently going for just $25 for a refurbished one or $40 for a new one.