Republic Wireless to launch first retail outlet next week

Republic Wireless's first retail outlet will open its doors Monday. Image: Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless will launch a pop-up store in its home state of North Carolina next week, making good on last month’s promise to establish its first physical retail presence for consumers.

The store, which will open its doors Monday in downtown Raleigh, is designed to highlight typical “connectivity experiences” in the home, highlighting the service provider’s Wi-Fi first strategy. Republic will use the location to host one-on-one and “small group learning and support sessions” and to tout products offered by the company and its partners.

“Republic is about ‘people first’ and we felt the time was right to take on a fresh and literally face-to-face approach to truly connecting with our customers,” said Republic CEO Chris Chuang in a press release. “We want to stand for celebrating people and the ‘real’ moments we have with each other—people experiencing life to its fullest while still staying smartly connected. Our pop-up shop, staffed entirely be employees from our headquarters, allows us to start this deeper conversation. While this is a beta concept, if all goes as we are hoping, it is conceivable we could expand upon the concept.”

The company unveiled plans to open the retail outlet last month in a blog post.

One of the first MVNOs in the U.S. market to focus on Wi-Fi calling, Republic launched with Sprint six years ago and last year added an unnamed nationwide GSM service provider "with the fastest nationwide 4G LTE network." The unnamed carrier partner is likely T-Mobile, enabling Republic to sell its services into the rural and suburban markets into which T-Mobile is expanding.

Republic Wireless last December received a $30 million cash infusion from its parent company Bandwidth as it spun off into a standalone organization. Republic had been a division of Bandwidth, a Cary, North Carolina-based VoIP and broadband service provider.

The MVNO has claimed to generate $100 million in annual revenue and said it has reached profitability.

Three months ago, Republic Wireless launched a weeklong promotion enabling new Android users to access 2 GB of LTE data a month free for six months. That promotion was limited to Republic’s unnamed GSM network partner.

The MVNO has begun to target users who don’t want to pay the price of unlimited data plans. Plans start at $15 a month for unlimited talk, text and Wi-Fi data, and top out at $90 a month for an additional 10 GB of cellular data.

Republic sells phones ranging from Motorola’s $99 Moto E4 to the $599 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. It also markets its services to users looking to bring their own phones.