US mobile carrier Republic Wireless has unveiled a new plan that starts out with $15 for unlimited talk and text and then piles on the data for only $5 per GB, dubbed the "My Choice Plan." This is a big step for the normally Wi-Fi-first carrier, who has not only opened the floodgates for heavy data users to join its network with this move, but has even undercut some competitors in price, for some customers. Google's Project Fi, for example, has been underpriced completely by this deal; its $20 basic price and $10 per GB data price are both more expensive than what Republic Wireless has on offer here. This deal is a vastly cheaper option for customers who typically use very little data, following in the carrier's normal spirit of putting Wi-Fi usage first.
Republic Wireless' new plan is made with flexibility in mind. Customers can purchase data as often or as seldom as they like, and it rolls over indefinitely. Customers can sign up for an automatic monthly top-up, or even use the basic talk and text plan without any data if they so choose. Data can be added to an account or subtracted from it at any time with no penalty or limit. According to Republic Wireless' data, most of its users eat up less than 2GB of data per month, which means that they would be paying at most $25 per month, along with the usual taxes and regulatory fees.
Customers who want to use more are welcome to do so, and will find that they break even against a traditional unlimited plan in all but the most extreme usage scenarios. To hit $60, the price of a T-Mobile ONE unlimited plan, you would have to use 9GB in a month, a number that's hard for the average user to reach unless they often stream HD video, download large apps over a cellular connection, or engage in other power user behaviors. This new plan enables Republic Wireless to offer far more flexibility than it has in the past, but the savings remain the greatest for those who spend a lot of time around Wi-Fi, as has always been the case with this carrier.