Cellular Network Connection


What phone do you have?
Moto X4
What plan are you on?
Does your plan include data, or just talk & text?
Talk & Text

Issue Description

I have had an open help ticket with Republic Wireless for sometime attempting to resolve a problem with the Cellular Connection that I’m experiencing with my GSM Moto X4. I have checked the battery optimization, Republic Cellular Connection, and attempted to reset the phone multiple times. The only remaining solution that Republic is offering is to change the SIM card to CDMA. The coverage for either network is spotty in my area however, I prefer to stay with GSM if possible.
My issue only concerns the inability to send and receive text messages. I have discovered that if I turn off my Wifi connection and keep the screen from going to sleep my phone will stay connected to the GSM cellular network. However, once the phone goes to sleep, it will lose its cellular connection within 3-4 minutes. The phone will not let me reestablish a connection with the cellular network for messages and voicemail unless I reboot the phone and start over. If anyone has a suggestion of how to resolve this issue, it would be most appreciated.


Hi @bryank.cbt1qi,

Candidly, what you describe are classic symptoms of a weak cellular connection (particularly indoors). I’m curious as to why you wouldn’t at least want to try the CDMA option? It’s not a one-way thing. If CDMA doesn’t work out, you can go back to GSM. So long as the GSM SIM is deactivated for less than 20 days, it may be reused.


The issue I’m having with the cellular connection occurs when I have full signal strength. Nevertheless, I am roaming when this occurs. If I’m in LTE coverage this doesn’t occur. I know that I’m roaming on AT&T cell towers which prompted me to ask Republic if they have a roaming agreement with AT&T thru T-Mobile. Republic would not answer that question. I have three Republic Wireless phones, one of which is a CDMA phone. In the area where I live and work CDMA coverage is non-existent. AT&T has a better presence and much stronger signal.


Yeah, Republic isn’t going to comment on any potential roaming agreements in a specific area because they are between network owners and may change from time to time.

Since you know CDMA to be inadequate and AT&T to have better presence as much as it pains me to say this, perhaps, it’s time to consider whether Republic’s coverage is the right choice in your area at all. Candidly, as much as I like Republic, I wouldn’t rely on roaming as my primary coverage with any service provider.


I understand and agree completely. However, I’ve had this phone for about 3 months and it performed flawlessly until the last week of last December. The only thing I haven’t tried is switching the SIM card with my other GSM phone to see if it reoccurs. It would seem unlikely to me that the SIM card is the problem. Perhaps an update occurred that caused this issue but if that be case, Republic didn’t admit to that.


Thanks for the screenshot. What it tells me is you’re on HSPA (GSM 3G), roaming and have no access to cellular data (the H, R and X respectively). Your other GSM phone is also on Republic? If so, would you be able to post a screenshot from that phone presuming both are in the same location.

A problem with the SIM is theoretically possible but so is a change in roaming coverage agreements as previously mentioned.


I plan to compare the two Republic GMS phones in different locations to see if they have the same issue and can provide screenshots accordingly. However, this is a screenshot of my phone after I rebooted it. It will stay connected to the cellular network as long as the screen stays on. I kept it on for 35 minutes and it stayed connected the entire time

. Once it shut off I lost the cellular connection within 3 to 4 minutes. After that I cannot force the phone to reconnect without rebooting it.


Despite the more friendly Republic app notification, nothing’s actually changed in the cellular indicator. Things work as expected?


As long as the phone says “connected to the cellular network” it work fine. However, once the phone goes to sleep it loses the connection and say “no access to messages and voicemail”. It will not send or receive texts without access although I can make and receive phone calls.


I have two GSM phones, one of which I just updated to Android 9.0 Pie. The other had been updated to Pie several weeks ago. Attached is a picture of both phones in the same location at the same time. The phone on the left was just updated and connected to the GSM cellular network when it rebooted. Th

e phone on the right is not connected to the GSM cellular network. The last remaining test is to switch out the SIM cards and see if that resolves the problem.


Hi @bryank.cbt1qi,

I’ll admit it’s interesting the Republic app notification differs on the two phones. That said, both are connected to HSPA roaming coverage, indicated by both showing the H and R symbols in the cellular strength indicator. The X indicates neither phone has access to cell data but is otherwise connected.

With the cellular indicator reading as it does, in theory, both phones should be able to make and receive calls. Neither should be able to send and receive text messages or connect to voicemail as both of those things use cell data (included in the “talk & text” portions of all Republic plans). We’re charged only for cell data used for Internet access. I appreciate what I just described hasn’t been your experience, I’m explaining the way it’s supposed to work.

One thought would be to reset the network settings but one would want to do that in an area of native rather than roaming coverage. Do you have access to native GSM coverage relatively nearby?


Yes, native GSM service is close by. Both phones were initially activated there. I reset the network connection at that location and it did not resolve the issue. My thought is to swap out the SIM cards while in native GSM coverage and see if that will allow the phone to work properly. If so, that would indicate that the issue is with the SIM card. I understand that neither phone has cell data as both are on the “Talk & Text” plan. However, I’ve been on that plan for 5 years and have never had an issue texting in an area of adequate cell service while not connected to WiFi.


Hi @bryank.cbt1qi,

I get all that. Please know, however, Republic’s newer phones unlike legacy Republic phones (Moto E1, E2, G1, G3, X1 or X2) completely bypass the cellular partner’s text messaging infrastructure. Text messaging on newer Republic phones relies solely on IP (Internet) data and, therefore, requires a data connection (WiFi or cell). Again, we don’t pay extra for cell data used for text messaging.

According to the cellular strength indicators on both phones, you have no data access. Republic doesn’t restrict access to roaming data for text messaging but the network owner might. Lack of any control over what a network owner does for customers roaming on its network is among the reasons Republic (and others) makes no guarantees about the suitability of roaming coverage.

In any event, trying a new Republic SIM in one or both phones is inexpensive enough should you decide to go that route.


I understand your explanation. But the point I’m trying to make given all that we’ve discussed is that my Moto X4 running on Android 9.0 will text just fine while connected to HSPA roaming until the screen shuts off. Regardless of the HSPA roaming, as long as my phone says that it is “Connected to the cellular network” it will send and receive text messages. Once the phone goes into sleep mode upon awaking it says “Calls over cell. No access to messages or voicemails. Check your network connection.” I now strongly suspect that the Android 9.0 Pie update is the culprit. My other GSM phone performed fine when it was running on Android 8.1.0. However, once it updated to Android 9.0 it also has the same issue.


Do you have the “Adaptive Battery” setting turned on? I don’t know that turning it off will affect your issue, but it’s an experiment you could try.


I do have the adaptive battery turned on. When it’s turned on and the phone is rebooted it will connect to the cellular network and stay that way until the phone goes into sleep mode. When the adaptive battery is turned off upon reboot the phone says “Calls over cell. No access to messages or voicemails. Check your network connection.”


Does the phone actually receive text messages when either of the messages is on the screen? Can you share your ZIP code?


Sorry, I don’t have any solution for you (other than trying CDMA or switching to Verizon or AT&T).


Hi All. Thanks for trying to help troubleshoot this issue. I work with @bryank.cbt1qi so I am looking at his phone also. Maybe another point of view of the same problem will be helpful. The subject Moto X4 was bought around October and a GSM SIM card purchased from RW. Plan is Talk & Text only. Both calls and texts work over cell (when purchased). The coverage has not changed. However, around the last week of December, first of January, text messages were no longer able to be sent or received over cell.

In answer to @louisdi, if you will look at the picture of the two phones side by side, the RW notification on the left phone shows “Connected to the cellular network.” As long as that message shows, the phone can send/receive text messages. When the RW notification on the right appears, only calls over cell can be sent/received.

I understand what @rolandh is saying about the “H”, “R”, & “X”, in that the text messages travel over a data connection, which obviously isn’t present. However, on a reboot of the phone, the same letters appear but the phone can send/receive text messages until it “sleeps.”

Ultimately, the questions are, why did the phone work without incident until recently? What changed that it no longer is able to send/receive text messages? Also, why does it work on reboot until the phone sleeps, then looses the ability to send/receive texts even though it could less than 5 minutes earlier? Is there something in the Pie update that made this change?

Edit: Current zip code is 26301


The RW Notification ‘Calls over cell. No access to messages or voicemails’ as defined in What are the Connectivity Status Notifications? – Republic Help indicates the following (and provides a couple of causes for #5) … note the difference in #6 No access to cell data that I highlighted

  1. On Cell: Calls over cell. No access to messages or voicemails. Check your network connection.
    Device reports to have a cell data connection but Republic is not able to use it. Possibly connected to a Vpn or has a data blocking app such as Datally.
    Empty gray arc
  2. On Cell: Calls over cell. No access to cell data, messages, or voicemails. Check your network connection.
    Device reports to have no cell data connection but is able to receive calls over the cell network.
    Empty gray arc