New Money-Saving Cell Service

How did we get along before cell phones? They've become part of everyday life. But that doesn't mean we're happy about the cost!

Consumer Reports says a new service provider, Republic, is offering an unlimited data plan for 19 dollars a month. It isn't for everybody, but it may be for you!

That means you can talk, text, and e-mail all you want, and surf the Web. Here's the concept behind Republic's money-saving plan.

David Toner of Consumer Reports says, "Republic Wireless makes it easy for you to make calls over Wi-Fi instead of cellular. Ultimately this saves them money, and you money."

But Consumer Reports' tester Dave Toner did find switching back and forth from Wi-Fi to cellular service is a bit tedious. If you're talking to someone, you have to have the person wait while you make a call to switch your service, then you continue the conversation.

Toner says, "Now we're talking on cellular."

Republic currently offers just one phone-the Motorola Defy XT, an Android smart phone that goes for 259 dollars.

That's pricey for a phone that's not top-of-the-line. It's only 3G, so when using cellular service, you won't get the fastest Internet connections. But this smart phone does have acceptable voice quality and a decent camera.

Toner says, "It's great if you're still carrying around an old flip phone and haven't upgraded because of high data costs. It's also good if you live in an area with spotty cellular coverage, or if you're a college student and have access to a Wi-Fi network all over campus."

If you can live with a fairly basic smart phone and service, Republic can be a real money saver.

Consumer Reports says that you can use Republic's tactics to save on your cell-phone bill no matter what carrier you use.

Switch to Wi-Fi coverage from cellular service when you are at home or the office to avoid going over your plan's allotment of data.

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