Coverage map for GSM-only Moto e4? Coverage "optimized for my area" when I travel?

#1

I switched from T-Mobile to Google Project Fi, and I’ve been amazed at the coverage I get as I travel. (It uses three networks: T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular. An app I got shows that I’m getting Sprint when I go outside T-Mobile areas.)

I read on non-RW sites that the Moto e4 uses GSM and CDMA. Now I read here that the Moto e4 on RW only has GSM until sometime later. Losing Sprint coverage will make my decision to switch to RW harder. :thinking:

I’ve heard that non-T-Mobile customers get “lower priority” for data than customers. Maybe that’s wrong. Anyway, it’s calls that I care about. So here are my two questions, thanks:

  1. I read on the forum that, back in August '17 at least, the RW coverage map shows only GSM. I don’t see any indication on the map, today, whether it’s GSM-only. Since the Moto e4 only does GSM now, does this map show roughly what coverage I’ll get? BTW, I usually use my phone outdoors or in my car, so things like building walls blocking high-frequency GSM won’t matter much. (Thanks to the member who posted about that somewhere.)

  2. I’ve found mentions here about RW coverage “optimized for my area”. Because I travel a lot, usually in a car, what is “my area” and what do I get if I’m outside of it?

#2

Hi again, @jp.rw,

While RW does not offer multi-carrier support the way Fi does, the E4 is now available for either GSM or CDMA coverage.

  1. What does the map show?
    This map shows GSM coverage:
    Coverage Check | Republic Wireless

This map shows CDMA coverage:
https://republicwireless.com/tools/coverage-map-cdma/

Keep in mind that coverage maps are a best-effort indication of coverage.

  1. “Your area” is based on the zip code is represented when you visit our “coverage” page:
    4G LTE + WiFi for the Best Cell Phone Coverage | Republic Wireless
    It should say, right in the middle of the page what area it is evaluating for you. The idea behind “optimized for your area” is that our system will select GSM or CDMA based on the area you live in. It doesn’t mean we’ve done anything to make coverage better in one place and worse in another. When you travel, your coverage will be roughly what the map indicates for the area where you travel.
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#3

Thanks for your quick advice, southpaw. Now that I look at the GSM and CDMA maps, I see that GSM seems to offer much more 4G data but CDMA has more talk+text. Since Sprint coverage where I live is (according to the Fi app that shows what network the phone chose) sometimes worse than T-Mobile, it’s going to be tough to decide.

As the saying goes, “to whom it may concern”: I think I read carefully, but this (that I choose one kind of network and stick with it unless I manually switch) is one of the things I haven’t understood after reading pages all over the RW site for an hour or so. I followed a link on the site to “coverage map” with no indication that there are two different maps. I also checked the map I got from following the link “4G LTE + WiFi for the Best Cell Phone Coverage | Republic Wireless”, then clicking on “See nationwide coverage”. It looks like this:

I’m glad I asked – and that you gave such a thorough answer. I’m not complaining! I’m just mentioning that neither map seems to say anything about GSM vs. CDMA. (I’m not showing the CDMA map, but it has the same problem.) Also, the note “We utilize two of the largest nationwide networks, along with WiFi – so you can stay confident in your coverage” seems to imply – to me, at least :grinning: – that the map shows coverage for my RW phone, without my having to do anything to be “confident in my coverage” – that is, no need to make any choices of network. Now that you point out the difference between the two networks, I can see how big the difference is!

Finally, again “to whom…”: When I click the link for the Moto e4 at $99, it goes to a page with a price of $129. It’s still a great price! Now, with all of this info, I’ll decide whether it’s worth a phone that’s less than half the price of Project Fi’s Moto x4 – which is on sale the next two days – is worth some loss of coverage (and a replaceable battery). Thanks a lot.

#4

Hi @jp.rw,

And this is where you’ll notice that I said:

Our system decides. We’ve found that very few people invest the time into understanding all this the way you have done, and when presented with a choice, do not want to have to make that choice. We put a lot of work into a system that selects the best carrier, and if we get it wrong, we’ll work with you to make it right.

(Cue a chorus of members who, like you, prefer to investigate carefully and make their own decisions - it’s a legitimate concern from a vocal group here in our Community, and I understand, but for now this is how we’re handling the complexity of two carrier partners.)

So that’s why there’s not a lot of evidence on the maps as to which carrier is what, it’s by design. Those who investigate and understand our service will most likely go to the carriers’ own maps, anyway.

That’s exactly our goal.

Please show me where you’re still seeing the E4 for $99, it may be something that needs updating.

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#5

you called :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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#6

Please show me where you’re still seeing the E4 for $99, it may be something that needs updating.

Sorry, I didn’t see it on the RW site for $99. I thought that was the price on a link I saw in an earlier forum post. Here’s a screen shot of the total price I’m paying (still cheap!):

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#7

afik … carrier coverage maps are derived from engineering models, based on tower locations, normal line of site rf penetrations etc. the granularity of a zip code can be very misleading. Republic uses their carrier maps, then augment them with feedback from users that find that carrier A doesn’t work in their particular calling area, but Carrier B does. To see what you might have in your particular travel paths you might consider looking at
RootMetrics, they have teams driving cars outfitted with a test kit of phones and constantly calling using the various major carriers. Their maps are built from analysis of the data gathered, as well as users that install their app on phones.
Select the network, then provide your address and drill down … performance is shown in cells and can further be defined by selecting a Layer and selecting Call performance/fastest speed/best technology

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#8

RootMetrics looks like a great resource for travelers. If I’m gong along a particular route and want the best chance of coverage, it could help. And I’m glad to know that Republic’s coverage maps include user input. I’ll look into installing their app to help contribute data. I try to take back roads when I have time, so I might be able to help fill in some gaps on their (and Republic’s?) maps.

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#9

The App would help RootMetrics and their user … on the Republic side afik. adjustments are made to the Coverage checker based Tickets requesting change from GSM to CDMA

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