Friday, December 20, 2013


I had jobs that provided the latest technology as soon as it was available, paid for it and paid for me to use it. The rationale was always that the increased connectivity was worth it.

So I had an iPhone pretty early on. A smart phone has served me well, and with the transition to fulltime farming, the iPhone was still important to keep in contact, take photos, process credit card payments from a field or a parking lot, answer phone calls no matter where, get directions and calculate totals.

And Homer had one too. Because he communicates with our suppliers, other farmers, and lots of technical, keep every piece of equipment running kinds of contacts. 

But the monthly costs have eaten at me. When I worked for other companies and had plan coverage for phones, matching plans for investments, medical insurance, a company car that cost little from my pocket and a salary and bonus...I needed it. That's all there was. 

But now, as we tighten up tracking every dime that this farm business brings in and sends out, the spend annually is looking ridiculous. Just too much on the phone and the wi/fi each month. TV has only the local channels so how to reduce the phone too?

Now available from Republic Wireless is the Motox. No contract...although the phone is setup so it can't really be used on another network without some fiddling so its like having a contract. 

Here's the thing. We have had them a few days now. We've talked on the phone, processed credit card charges, email, text, surfed the net, taken pictures...and there is no noticeable difference. 

Wait. There is a difference. We can actually have phone conversations now. The call ends when the conversation ends, not when the satellite drops it.

The phone uses the WiFi for calls, texts, email and internet access. For me the plan has additional access to phone, text and internet when away from WiFi so that I can still conduct business. For Homer he has cell phone service when away from WiFi.

The crazy thing is that we were paying $157 a month for our iPhone, which did not include a text plan for Homer. So it was always a bit more based on how many were sent or received. Now the two of us pay $35 per month. Total. There is tax on that, so our total savings might only be $120 per month.

The phones themselves cost a bit more than if we had gotten new iphones. About $100 each. So by March we will have, based on the totals we were paying, made up the difference. We have the same numbers we have had for decades. And the $1,400 per year savings that will happen by March of 2015? Will pay our business insurance.

Thanks Republic Wireless. These savings are important to running a business like ours. Appreciate using a technology we already pay for: WiFi, to offset our cost of something else we need: cell phones that are smart. Well done.

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