Republic Wireless has announced some big changes to its network and phone selection, giving customers more options for high-end phones. The company is moving away from a custom firmware solution, and instead making use of a new technology, which it is calling RW 3.0. This will allow the carrier to push updates to its service and apps through Google Play for a quicker update process and better experience. It will also allow you to buy your phone unlocked from wherever you chose and still use it with their service.
From Republic Wireless' announcement of the changes:
It's because of these three truths that my teammates and I are so incredibly excited to share that we are adding seven (yes, SEVEN!) of the latest smartphones from four of the top five Android manufacturers to our portfolio (you can either buy them from us, aided by device financing if helpful, or you can bring your own new or used version of these seven devices as well). Furthermore, a second of the four national cellular carriers has agreed to join the Republic WiFi first party, and as a result these new devices will be available on our new GSM cellular network partner, who boasts the nation's fastest 4G LTE network. Finally, we've come up with a new approach for our technology that will allow us to offer more devices sooner and get software updates deployed quicker.
The new technology allows you to take an approved unlocked phone, like the Galaxy S6, and pop a Republic Wireless SIM card in it, download their app and have a great experience. You are no longer tied to needing the custom firmware that Republic was building on its own, as this is independent of that. The catch is that RW 3.0 only works on Marshmallow as well as future releases. Republic will not be able to port this technology to phones running on Lollipop or below.
Republic Wireless says the new phones will be available starting in July but you can also get unlocked phones from third party sites like Swappa. The carrier will also offer financing options for those who make their purchases directly from Republic.