Republic Wireless ranked tops by Consumer Reports

Raleigh-based Republic Wireless is the top-rated prepaid cellphone provider in the latest rankings published by Consumer Reports.

Republic vaulted over TracFone, which previously ranked No. 1 among prepaid carriers. Prepaid carriers bill in advance and don’t require a contract.

The rankings are based on a survey of 63,352 Consumer Reports subscribers. Consumer Reports accepts no advertising and is renowned for its objectivity.

“Smaller providers like Ting, Consumer Cellular and Republic have excellent satisfaction ratings because they’re designing innovative strategies to keep plan costs down for their customers and simplify their service options,” Glenn Derene, electronics editor for Consumer Reports, stated in the publication’s announcement of the latest ratings.

Ting and Consumer Cellular ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, among traditional service plans.

Republic was the only prepaid service to receive Consumer Reports’ highest rating for value.

“We're humbled by the vast and loyal army of supporters we've attracted at Republic Wireless – their enthusiasm keeps all of us here fired up and looking for more ways to innovate,” Bandwidth CEO David Morken said in a statement. Morken also is founder and CEO of Republic’s corporate parent, Bandwidth, which also is based in Raleigh.

Republic’s corporate parent, Bandwidth, also is based in Raleigh.

Republic offers a hybrid service that uses Wi-Fi as its primary network and cellular service as a backup.

Its plans range from as low as $5 a month to as high as $40 a month for unlimited voice, text and data with 4G cellular. Republic’s phones range from $99 for a Motorola Moto E to $299 for a Moto X.