Republic Labs: Maestro

Please note Project Maestro Completed 7/18/15 and is no longer accepting signups.

 

“People will feel more in control when they can fully customize their data plan. We already customize our experience with WiFi and our calling area so why not customize our data to our current needs on the fly.” – member fasteddiesrt

“We shouldn’t be concerned with this ancient technical detail in 2014…It’s all the same data; the connection speed is pointless. We should be billed based on the amount of data we use, not the speed.” – member emperordahc


It is an exciting time to be with Republic, not just as a member, but as someone who works here too. We live to help people stay better connected and the very first project in Republic Labs is a big, giant, leap in that direction. Like, “BIG” big. Together, with our members, we’ve figured out a way to make Republic more fair, flexible, and even less expensive than ever. We’re doing this by putting you in control of exactly what data you need and when, to usher in a wholly new era on what phone service could be for today’s callers.

Our members share comments with us like the ones quoted above all the time. Part of what makes Republic different, and keeps us (and you) a step ahead of the other guys, is that we listen. If there’s an opportunity to make things better, we’re sure gonna try. It’s in our very DNA to continue hunting down opportunities to give our members the best service experience possible. So! We’re going to proactively test new ways to save you even more off each monthly bill – especially if you use more WiFi. But here’s the really fun part, thousands of our members are gonna help us do the testing, starting May 18th.

Like emperordahc calls out above, we’re curious what would happen if we stopped measuring you by cell data speeds, and measured you by how much cell data you use instead. What if you had total control over your plans and could appropriately size them for what best fits your needs? What if we built a bunch of new tools on our site and in our app to help guide you along the way and make it as easy as possible to know how you stack up? And, what if you could get paid back each month for whatever cell data you didn’t use? Like, in money. Actual dollars credited back to your account.

Fact:  Our members want access to LTE coverage, but only 4% were willing to pay extra for an LTE plan.

Fact: On average, every single smartphone user is overpaying about $16/month for service they never use.

Fact: Because of this “wireless waste,” if you want any data with the big carriers, even if you only need 1MB, you’re stuck paying a minimum of $30 from having to go “all-in”.

If you signed up and were selected for Lab 1: Maestro, then having total control over your plan and the ability to get paid back for what you don’t use is exactly what you’ll be helping us test and figure out, this May. A seamless WiFi + Cell Network was just the beginning. If all goes well, you may very well help us change the entire mobile industry all over again…

But that’s not everything. We told you 2015 was going to be big and we’re just getting going. If you missed the signup period or weren’t selected for this particular project, no worries, this is the first of many massively important projects slated for Republic Labs. In the next nine months, here are the projects that you could help us on:

Maestro: Data Refund
Pay for the data you use. Get paid back for what you don’t.
Salsa: Cell to WiFi Handover
We’ve nailed seamless WiFi to Cell Handover, but what if your phone could switch back to WiFi whenever you’re on cell? Like when you’re out and about and get back home. Coming Soon…

Hi-Hat: Next-gen Mobile Phone
We’ve got a great lineup of phones today, good for anyone’s price range, but we’re always working to make it even better. You could help test which phone we launch next! Coming Soon…

Bridge: Multi-Device Experience
What if you could access your phone and messages from any device like your tablet or your desktop? This one changes everything. Coming Soon…

Tempo: Multiple Carrier Cellular Network Experience
We’ve heard you. WiFi is awesome and creates incredible savings for you, our members. But in those times when you’re away from WiFi, you need a phone that’ll keep you better connected, no matter what you’re doing or where you might be. Help us test an extended cellular coverage experience. Coming Soon…

So, we’re excited. We hope you’re excited too, because we aren’t settling for the status quo and don’t believe you should have to either. Think of this as your golden green ticket to what’s next in the wireless industry. Our chance to actually put people first and treat them fairly. Get paid for using more WiFi. Have options and a fairly sized plan at the right price. No funky math. What you pay in, is what you get paid back. Dollar for dollar. Fair is fair.

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  • BmoreHuntr

    Gah! Want!

  • Jeremy Amaismeier

    Wow. These sounds like some pretty amazing labs and could really address a number of caveats and rough spots with the service. I’m particularly intrigued by the multi-carrier cellular network experience. That sounds super-tricky to implement. I’ll look forward to hearing more.

    Thanks for listening to your customers!

  • afitphud

    I also appreciate the inclusive nature and customer focus of your product development. Can’t wait to get started…

  • Fox

    I thought Republic already used unlimited data. I chose to go with republic because I use a lot if it and I think that being confined to 2 or 5 GB/month is absurd in the present age. Most broadband connections could download that much data in an hour. What do you do for the rest of the month once you’ve used everything up?
    I actually don’t care if my data is slow. I use WiFi for better speeds at home most of the time anyways. I just care if I’m away from home and it stops or if I get throttled to the point where I can’t do anything! Can you do anything for customers like me?

    • William Wilson

      Honestly? I think if you’re using that much mobile data per month, you’re not their target market.

      • Fox

        You may be right. =( I don’t feel the love from many carriers.

        • aenews

          If you are fine with data-only plans, FreedomPop has a $15 1.5GB LTE, Unlimited 3G plan that might work for you.

      • Nathan Fletcher

        It really isn’t that bad. They have been able to work around those restrictions for the past two years, and so far I can only forsee the data becoming cheaper as they attract more people. I also liked the whole idea of unlimited, even if it was speed capped at five gigs. I never came close to using that much data, but I liked knowing that it was available when I wanted it.

  • Nathan Fletcher

    I just don’t want the current pricing model to change. If this data bucket option opens up the possibility of buying more data, than have at it, but I would like to not lose the 25 dollars/ 5gigs of data plan.

    • Jen

      Totally agree. I will have to leave republicwireless if this plan goes into effect as it will more than double my bill. The plan is great for those who barely use data but for those of us who do use more than 1 gig of data a month, it’s a massive price increase.

  • Nathan Fletcher

    I just don’t want the current pricing model to change. If this data bucket option opens up the possibility of buying more data, than have at it, but I would like to not lose the 25 dollars/ 5gigs of data plan.

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  • http://knightofscorpio.tumblr.com/ DtheArtist

    I am definitely going to have you all again. Ugh……………..The perfection. Guess I’m going to have two carriers, and maybe eventually just one, guess who… =O

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  • Alejandro Torres

    Can’t wait to try this out!

  • Don Koch

    This could really tick off the competition if done correctly. RW has the potential to be the number one carrier if they do it right and don’t get greedy.

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  • Mindy

    I simply love REPUBLIC. Inventiveness, and enabling customers to participate in invention. And of course, helping us save money, and be fair about costs and usage. Perfect plan for me.

  • Josh Schechter

    How can we know if we’re going to be able to participate?

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  • John Guarino

    Isn’t multi-carrier coverage another name for free roaming, which you guys just axed?

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  • Mike | Homeless On Wheels

    Tempo looks promising for those of us in places where Sprint is, um, “less than ideal”.
    Will Hi-Hat be a prerequisite to Tempo?

  • Daniele Navarre

    I love republic but I definitely don’t have seamless changeover when I leave my house and move to cell. I always have to call whomever back. Not sure why.

    • Fred

      Is your phone set up to not allow it to transition off your home WiFi? Mine is because cell coverage is garbage in my hometown so I don’t want it pushing off WiFi when I’m home. If that’s the case for you you can turn that off from within the republic app

  • Based Alpaca

    Proud to be a part of the RW family! We’re doing big things right now, and we’re just getting started!

  • Based Alpaca

    Proud to be a part of the RW family! We’re doing big things right now, and we’re just getting started!

  • Michael Meyers

    How do you sign up for Maestro? Looks pretty awesome to me.. I usually only use about 250mb data on my phone.

  • Michael Meyers

    How do you sign up for Maestro? Looks pretty awesome to me.. I usually only use about 250mb data on my phone.

  • Puremagiclive

    I don’t use that much data.

    And to be honest, I literally could care less about getting a refund for the data I’m not using! I like paying $25/month. I like knowing that I’ll have data available to me. I like knowing that if I do happen to use alot of data in a particular period, for whatever reason, that the data will be there. And that I won’t get hit with a big bill.

    RW says that the average data customer is overpaying $16 per month for their data. Well, if u take into account that some people are paying 4 or 5 times more than us, that puts us way way down the bell curve, and wouldn’t that mean we as RW customers are not overpaying at all?

    If RW wants to be the #1 carrier (I really don’t know if that’s their ultimate goal?) they certainly won’t get there with a muddled marketing message. They will get there by providing good service at a great price. But they also need an easy marketing strategy: “pay $25 for cell/data” . Not “pay $25 for cell and data, but if u don’t use alot of data you will get some money back, but if you use more data, you will have to pay more”. That is not a clear and easy marketing message! Keep it simple!

    And think about how this is going to play out in the real world. Even the most frugal of data users, will pay their $25 monthly bill, and will get a couple bucks credited back to their account?

    I literally don’t look at RW and think, I have to pay my $25 bill this month. I look at RW and think, wow I still can’t believe I am saving $100 every month! (which is actually $300 savings every month because I pay for 3 phones!) I don’t care that I have problems texting photos. I don’t care that I sometimes lose calls. I don’t care that sometimes my sprint coverage and reception is not as good as my old carrier. I care that I am saving a ton of money every month! I care that I get what I would consider good service! (but when considering the price, I would consider the service a great value! Even better than great.) simply put, when considering everything, price, service, etc…. RW is the best carrier. Period.

    RW, don’t mess with a great product.

    • Jen

      Totally agree. I knew it was only a matter of time before the “too good to be true” would kick in. Guess this is it.

      • Nathan Fletcher

        I’m starting to feel the same. While I signed up for the program to see what it would eventually cost in the long run, if the bill ends up going up, I think it will be time to reconsider.

  • Michelle Moore

    Definitely love the idea of across-device messages. I hope this one comes out soon. Also please keep the 25 dollars plan with unlimited data.

  • dm777

    Thanks for great service at great prices!

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