Can I activate CDMA S7 first using GSM sim and, if desired, de-activate GSM and activate with never-used CDMA?



I spend a lot of time in a few different zip codes, 47203, 47274, 47454. I currently have RW 2.0 plan with CDMA carrier and use moto x 2nd gen. The coverage is good in 47203, but is lacking in some areas around 47274 and is roaming with poor/no data almost always in 47454.
Per RW coverage checker, 47203 would result in GSM carrier. Both 47274 and 47454 would result in CDMA carrier. I would very much like to try the GSM carrier as I expect the coverage could be similar to CDMA in the areas I frequent and where I get good coverage, the GSM carrier should provide faster data speeds.
I just ordered Samsung S7 from RW based on 47274 (CDMA) AND a sim card kit with the intent to do the following:

  1. Receive order and immediately swap the CDMA sim card in the S7 with the GSM sim card I ordered (never activating the CDMA card on my end)
  2. Activate the S7 with GSM card
  3. Within a couple of days, travel to each of the zip codes I frequent and compare my experience in coverage before with coverage on GSM carrier
  4. IF my general experience across the zip codes on GSM is worse than my experience with CDMA provider then I will deactivate GSM sim card, reinstall CDMA sim card, and active phone with CDMA sim card and proceed forward without ever using the GSM card again.

The question: Can I follow this plan, particularly the part about activating the never-used CDMA card if I had to?

I have read a lot on the forums here and the topic has had some excellent Q&A, but I didn’t feel like I understood enough from the huge flurry of information to answer this very specific question. (As a note… the information by SouthPaw@rw here is extremely helpful, but I still didn’t feel like it answered my question: )
Some have said that once you de-activate CDMA, you cannot re-use that sim card, BUT I do not intend to activate the CDMA card at all unless GSM does not work out.


Hi @davida.cq8zwt!

I don’t think this is such a good idea. You are going to run into issues. For one, once a SIM is deactivated, it can’t be reactivated. That goes for GSM and CDMA. To be honest with you, it probably would have been better to do it the other way around. If you ever switch from CDMA to GSM (which you indicated you would do to see how it is), you could. However, if you ever wanted to go back to CDMA, you are going to run into some problems. First off, there is no gurantee they could switch it back. If they can, it would require a support ticket for some work on Republic’s end and a new SIM card. It’s important to understand that BYOP CDMA is still in testing and, thus, not widely available. I hope that helps!



Good technical question and believe you explained/put in word well. Looking forward to the official response.

To be honest with you, it probably would have been better to do it the other way around.

Good idea to me, depending upon results it may be a good way of avoiding having to open another ticket and get Support involve thus saving RW bucks…


In theory it would be safer that way ;). Thanks for the kind and encouraging words!


Thanks, likely undeserved, should have stated original idea good not to do other way around.

If the idea did work it’s something RW may want to incorporate into the process to reduce costs for folks in similar situations.


The original idea makes sense, but it isn’t as feasible as the other way around. Just to be clear, I don’t really think this is a good idea at all-no matter which way you do it. It’s best to let Republic experiment with stuff like this as opposed to doing it and running into a bunch of issues. That being said, there are some limitations to re-activating CDMA. Let me explain a little.

Going from CDMA to GSM is possible and can be done. Switching back is a problem. There is no gurantee they will be able to move it back to CDMA. The odds are high (very high) that he may end up stuck on GSM.

On the other hand, if you move from GSM to CDMA and dislike the CDMA coverage, you can move back to GSM.

In both cases, it would require support it become involved and new SIM cards to be shipped.

Again, BYOP CDMA is still undergoing testing and is not generally available yet. This is probably one of the many reasons why that is the case.


Ouch, brutality ;).


CDMA provisioned phones go through additional steps before they are shipped out. I don’t recommend doing your proposed swap prior to activation.

Easiest way forward is to go ahead and activate your CDMA provisioned S7, check the reality on the ground in all the zip codes of interest. If that doesn’t work optimal, submit a help ticket and they should be able to review your coverage and let you know if a switch to GSM SIM card would improve your coverage. They will ask you to provide all the zip codes of interest at that time.


Please see the following:


@littletoucan, I think this may be the answer to my question! You managed to generally ask the question I tried to ask yet you did it succinctly without all the specifics I threw in. I think @southpaw’s answer may be it! The 90 day expiration on CDMA is perfectly fine because I expect that my proposed experiment would be complete within 5 days.

@mb2x, Thank you for your feedback and details! What you said makes sense, except that it seems written assuming I activate on CDMA first. I want to do what @littletoucan describes in the linked post and remove the CDMA card before ever activating it. For any sort of switching plan (good idea or not) I had to order a CDMA phone, however, so that the pre-shipping CDMA prep that @amitl described could be done to the phone to make it CDMA-ready in the event it were to be used. I wanted to try GSM first too because I am already familiar with the CDMA network through my RW 2.0 plan. (Although I know the S7 will likely have better reception in general than my moto x 2nd gen).

Thank you all for this help! I’ll see if any more input pops up before I get the phone tomorrow and decide on a path.


Hi @davida.cq8zwt,

A lot has changed around here, and I apologize that you’re getting so many different explanations that may not all add up to the same story.

We don’t officially support swapping back and forth between SIM cards. It’s not something we’ve tested for quality assurance, and we can’t guarantee it will be a good user experience. However, if your situation mandates that what you’ve described will provide you the best coverage, I would like to suggest that you first activate the phone with the CDMA SIM card that is sent with the phone. If you read through that link @littletoucan posted, further down you’ll see that the information I was given ended up being wrong, and we had to help her get activated on CDMA. When we ship a phone outfitted for CDMA, we expect it to be activated on CDMA, and the results if it is first activated on GSM may change as our developers make needed adjustments to the service as a whole. What I might tell you today as far as expected results could be different tomorrow.

So go ahead and activate the phone with the SIM card that was shipped with it.

If you reach an area where you find that GSM is superior, swap the cards and activate the GSM card.

As you swap back and forth, please keep in mind that each card will expire 20 days after it is last de-activated.


For your convenience, here is a quick link to open a ticket when you need to make the switch:


@southpaw Thank you for this clarification and for it being such a quick response! I really appreciate it! I understand the challenges that come with maintaining and answer these community forums that have many technical-answer-hungry users in them. I think you and your team have done a good job providing answers best you can.

To make one clarification to my original intent: I was not originally thinking of swapping sims back and forth on an as-needed basis. Because I am already familiar with the CDMA network through RW 2.0, I only wanted to trial the GSM network. If the GSM experience on 3.0 was superior to my CDMA experience on 2.0 the nI would stay GSM. If the GSM network experience was less than CDMA, I would make a single switch without intent of going back to GSM.

I do understand that any sort of switching is not officially supported at this time. However, I still may take the risk of requiring technical support so that I can test out the GSM network. If I’m going to do a trial at all, I feel this approach minimizes the risk of needing to do a return. If I had ordered an S7 based on a GSM-preferred zip code and I was not satisfied, I believe I would have had to do a phone return in order to get a CDMA compatible device rather than just being able to work with technical support on a switch.

@littletoucan thank you for the quick link!


Hi @davida.cq8zwt,

I’m going to suggest a possible alternative approach. If you wish to test the coverage of Republic’s GSM partner in areas you frequent, you might consider activating a SIM for that GSM partner proper. This could be done in addition to activating your Republic CDMA SIM as the phone shipped to you was intended to be.

In other words, you’d temporarily have service with two providers on the same phone. Republic via the CDMA SIM shipped with your phone and a SIM for Republic’s GSM partner. Said partner offers prepaid plans for as little as $3/month (enough for some testing) albeit the minimum online top up is $10. You would switch between Republic service and service on Republic’s GSM network partner proper by swapping SIMs. This way you could compare between the two. If the GSM partner’s network is a better match for your needs, you could then activate your Republic GSM SIM in place of the CDMA SIM and discontinue the prepaid plan with Republic’s GSM partner proper.

If you’re willing to trust a stranger on the Internet, I’d be willing to provide the SIM for Republic’s GSM partner’s network proper as I have a few spares. If interested, please indicate here and with your permission I’ll follow up via direct message.


Unless I’m failing to understand the scenario, there should be no need for a ticket.


Thank you for the kind words.

Even for your trial, I’d suggest activating first with whichever SIM comes in the phone, especially if it’s the CDMA SIM. Once the phone is activated on our service, switching to the GSM card, and then back to the CDMA card, while not an ideal experience, should work as long as neither card reaches that 20-day expiration.

This is no longer the case. If coverage is not good and the phone is compatible with both carrier partners, we will evaluate whether a different SIM card would improve coverage, and if so, provide that SIM card.


Just encase the customer runs into trouble, I provided the link.


@southpaw, Thank you again! Even if it isn’t always what a user wants, this communication happening right here in this thread is part of the reason I want to stay with RW. I appreciate the company’s growth-perspective and goals for continuous improvement.

@rolandh, that is a phenomenal idea! I am interested in your proposal and you have my permission to reach out to me through direct message.


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