Difference in coverage between two phones with the newer carrier (T-Mobile, I assume)

What phone do you have? I have a Moto Z Play and my partner has a Moto g.

What plan are you on? Choice

Does your plan include data, or just talk & text? Includes data (3 GB and 1 GB respectively)

Issue Description

When traveling from PA to AZ, I noticed that my partner's phone has much better coverage. Sometime I have no coverage and he has 3 bars. I really noticed in in December 2017 and March 2018 while traveling. We are on the same plan, just with different amounts of data. Why does his phone (Moto g) get such good coverage when mine (Moto Z Play) does not? We both have the latest software installed. I noticed his phone has different options in the "Cellular Network" settings and I am thinking that might be the difference. It isn't as much of a difference in PA, except in some remote areas. But in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, the difference is huge! I have tried all the different options in preferred network type on my phone (LTE, 3G and 2 G) but they make no difference in the dead zones I have but he doesn't. Do I need to get a new phone if I want coverage? I am actually thinking of switching carriers because my phone was expensive and I would like to continue to use it and it's Moto Mods.

What Gen of Moto Z play and Moto G?
My guess your partners Moto G is on the CDMA partner and your Moto Z play is on the GSM partner

The Moto Z Play (1st Gen) is a GSM only phone and will be on Republic GSM partner (T-Mobile)
the Moto Z2 Play will as a BYOD be on the GSM partner but a support ticket can move it to the CDMA partner
the Moto G 1st gen and 3rd Gen would be on the CDMA Partner (Sprint) as that was the only options when they where made
the Moto G4, G4 Play, G4 Plus, G5 Plus, and G5 Plus can be on either Partner depending on Republic Wireless coverage checker for the Zip code when ordered from Republic


My wife and I have the same phones (Moto G5+) and hers is on the CDMA (Sprint) carrier and mine is on the GSM carrier. Coverage is mostly the same in metro areas but differs as we travel across the country, especially in rural areas. In our case, that’s okay because either phone can become Wi-Fi hotspot for the other phone. So when we have Sprint coverage, we switch her hotspot feature on and my phone will continue to work on Wi-Fi (even though it’s a GSM phone) and vice versa.


The Moto Z Play is gen 1 and is on the My Choice Plan with 3 GB data
The Moto G a Moto G4 and is on the My Choice Plan with 1 GB data

Both are on the GSM partner as far as I know. His zip code is 17350.

can you have your partner dial *#*#786#*#* and reports what happens?

if they get a Sprint DM menu then they are on the CDMA partner network

from that ZIP both cell network partners have coverage but it do look like Sprint edges out T-Mobile (Sprint is reporting strong signal while T-Mobile reports good to fair)

the Moto Z Play can only be on the GSM partner .

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You are right, he is on Sprint. I did not know there was an option to stay on Sprint with the new plans. I also had no idea that I was limiting myself by getting a Moto Z play since Verizon also uses the Moto Z play. Is this something that was mentioned in the literature when you were bringing out the new plans with the new carrier? I cannot remember reading anything that indicated there was a choice. So my choice is to either buy a new phone or switch carriers. Is that the bottom line?

Verizon has a CDMA exclusive on the Moto Z 1st Gen line which included the play version[these where branded as Moto Z droid] the unlocked version that Republic uses does not have CDMA radios in it, Republic does only list the GSM in the tech specs Moto Z Play Tech Specs – Republic Help.
Most phones when introduce are usually limited to GSM while Republic works with the CDMA partner [Sprint] to properly activate on their network, all BYOD start as GSM but if the phone has CDMA radios and Republic can activate on CDMA then a support ticket can convert it to CDMA with a new SIM being sent out.

As your Moto Z play is GSM only your options are to live with your covetage [like @davidw.ctd2jy says in his post Difference in coverage between two phones with the newer carrier (T-Mobile, I assume), or sell it and get a phone that is capable of CDMA, or try a different carrier [your other option is AT&T based networks with that phone]

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I also bought the Moto mods camera, so it is not just a phone with an incredible battery life I would have to give up. I will have to think hard as I have been with Republic since the beta days.

The Moto mods would also work on the BYOD Moto Z2 Play which after activating on GSM can be moved to CDMA [this is my current phone and I’m using CDMA with it]

RW could do a better job in educating members of the GSM only phone’s limitations. Good luck deciding which direction to take.


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