Definitive answer on using RW phones in the Virgin Islands?

My husband and I are going to St Thomas in the Virgin Islands in July for a job interview. I’ve seen several posts, with the latest being that our phones will work there but we could be charged .50 a minute. Is this still correct?

Will we have to do anything to our phones in order for them to work over cell service? Course, over wifi there wouldn’t/shouldn’t be a charge, but wifi could be spotty.

If he takes the job, what changes should he make to his phone in order to continue to be a RW client? He currently uses a Moto E 1st Gen phone on the Talk & Text plan. We haven’t decided if he’ll step into the next generation and a real phone :snicker: However, with the weather being what it is down there, having access to cell service (if its up) and not relying on Wifi signal would be a good thing. If we do this, what phone should he get, and how to avoid the charges every minute if he’d like to call back to the states instead of folks in the states calling him? Or if he’s living there should he leave RW and switch to another carrier?

If anyone’s had experience with taking their phones down there I’d love to hear it. When we went to Alaska last year my daughters phone (a Moto E 2nd Gen) was the only one who could get service for some odd reason and I don’t want to run into another situation like that again.

Based purely on the cdma coverage map, your phones should work there. I have not been there myself so I don’t know how good the coverage is.

Here is some info:

I don’t think St. Thomas would be considered international since it’s a US Territory similar to Puerto Rico.

## International service

Republic does not consider calls or texts to Canadian numbers to be international calling (including MMS for supported carriers). This means you can make outbound calls and texts to the 50 U.S. states and Canada under Republic’s plan.

In addition, you can make outbound cellular calls to Per Call Countries/Territories. Per Call Countries/Territories include Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Johnston Atoll, Midway Atoll, and the Wake Island. Republic currently includes outbound calls to Per Call Countries/Territories as part of our monthly calling plans but reserves the right to charge up to $0.50 per minute. For Republic Wireless phones with Android OS versions prior to 5.1, Per Call Countries/Territories outbound cellular calling will not work if caller ID is blocked.

Your Republic Wireless phone can place or receive calls and texts (including MMS for supported carriers) over WiFi from anywhere in the world to any U.S., Canadian or Per Call Country/Territory phone number.

You can also use an international phone card to place calls using your Republic Wireless phone.

You are correct, the U.S. Virgin Islands are not considered to be international. Both of Republic’s cellular network partners have some coverage in the USVI and that coverage is available to Republic members. As for the $0.50 per minute fee, Republic reserves the right to charge this to prevent abuse as calls to and from U.S. territories such as the USVI and Puerto Rico are more expensive. That said, to the best of my knowledge, Republic has yet to find circumstances that warranted imposing this fee on anyone.

Candidly, I don’t know that the cellular coverage available in the USVI would warrant remaining a Republic customer if living there (travel is different). @sherih, if you and your husband will be traveling to the USVI prior to a decision on relocating there, I suggest giving whatever coverage is available a good workout to determine if it will meet your needs.

My most recent trip to the USVI (St. Thomas and St. John) was late March 2021, and I’ll add what I experienced with Republic Wireless. The short answer to the poster’s question is, “Yes, Republic works just fine in the major towns.” The longer answer requires the, “…but there are areas where either the partner network is unavailable, or you’ll have full bars with the “Roaming” symbol.” For reference, I’m using a Moto G6 XT1925-6.

  • Phone worked just fine in and around the airport and the city of Charlotte Amalie.
  • As elevation changed with mountains hills, I found that anything west of Drake’s Seat, e.g., Hull Bay was a dead zone and certain areas of Magen’s Bay Rd. were also a dead zone. My data was just fine at sea level at Magen’s Bay Beach.
  • Anything east of Charlotte Amelie either to the north or to the south were a mix of a deadzone OR a signal could be picked up with the roaming symbol, which Republic Wireless customers can’t (seem to?) use until Red Hook, when my signal was fine again.
  • On St. John, the area around Cruz Bay was fine. Once I started traveling east on Shore or Centerline, I was met with a deadzone or the roaming signal, including at the beaches in the north part of St. John. Anything past Colombo’s Smoothies is a deadzone, including Coral Bay and Concordia.

Hope this helps!

Message an
Expert customer