Disappointment with reception

My disappointment is with reception. I did open a help ticket. Republic did their best to help. Changed sim cards. Just not the same. I had a 3g cell booster that helped for awhile. 3g no longer supported in my area anymore.

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Unfortunately 3G networks are going away. That’s not a Republic thing, it’s a network owner thing. The major carrier generally don’t activate 3G devices any longer. It’s actually an exception that Republic still allows it.

Hi @bejazee,

I took a look at your coverage, and the data we have suggests it would be good on either of our partner networks. I don’t say this to argue with your experience, clearly real-life experience is far more reliable than any data. But I bring it up because I’d like to see if there’s something here that could be fixed.

Would you have any interest in talking to us a bit more about the reception problems you’re having? How do they manifest themselves? Are the problems the same on Wi-Fi and cell? Do you have trouble all around town, or just at your home primarily?

Did you have similar trouble with any previous phones?

If you’d like to troubleshoot with us, reply with some more details. I’ll move the conversation into its own topic so we can have a focused conversation on your experience.

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Yes. Thanks. I did not have this problem with my previous phones. It only happens in fringe areas. We were camping last weekend and my daughter had 2 bars. Slow but had data. She has a fancy Samsung on T-Mobile. I had 0 to 1 bar with very spotty data.

We’re assured by our network partners of the same coverage as their own customers. (Some MVNOs are deprioritized under their contracts with the networks.) So if you’re seeing a difference in the same location on the same carrier, it might be a difference in the capabilities of the phones themselves.

Do you know exactly which fancy Samsung phone model your daughter carries, and do you mind if I name your phone model here? I’d like to see if there’s a difference in the bands they each have (hardware allowing the reception of service on different frequencies). Even with the same bands, there could also be a difference in the phone models’ reception potential. I asked @louisdi to help me better explain this concept, and these are his words:

Not all phones have the exact same reception profile. Because of what the phone is made of, the size of the internal antenna, even how the phone is being held, reception can vary from device to device. This is especially true at the edges of coverage where even a slight variation can cause one phone to have a usable signal, while the other does not.

It might have been interesting to slip your RW SIM card into your daughter’s phone and see if the signal strength changed. If so, we need to have a serious heart-to-heart with our carrier partner. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Very interesting about reception profile. I don’t think phone companies list that. Makes it difficult to compare.
I don’t mind sharing my phone model.

I will ask my daughter the model of her phone.

It may be a few weeks before we could do the Sim swap as an experiment.

Thanks

One other thought, if you’re in that location again, look to see if her phone indicates it is roaming. Her plan may include roaming data. Our plan does not.

Typically both of our network partners focus coverage on populated areas. If you spend a lot of time camping in remote areas, you might want study coverage maps a bit and look into a portable hotspot.

I thought the whole idea of camping was to get away from it all, though! What are you doing staring at your phones?!? :confused:

Daughters phone is a Galaxy Note 9

Thanks, @bejazee,

And so some of our more hardware-knowledgeable Community members can compare, would you let the Community know what phone model you carry?

Moto E4

Hi @bejazee,

In addition to the general reception profile mentioned by my fellow Ambassador @louisdi by way of @southpaw, there is something else that may explain the difference between your coverage experience on your Moto E4 and your daughter’s fancy Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

Cellular phones are essentially radios. In cellular network terminology, radio frequencies are often referred to as bands. T-Mobile’s towers operate on Bands, 2, 4, 12, 66 and 71.

Your daughter’s Samsung Galaxy Note 9 supports all of T-Mobile’s Bands. Yout Moto E4 supports Bands, 2, 4, 12 and 66 but not Band 71. Particularly in fringe or rural areas T-Mobile uses Band 71 and sometimes only Band 71. This might very well explain why your daughter had some coverage while you did not.

Would you be willing to share some additional information? May we know the zip code where the camping area is located?

Might we also trouble you for your Moto E4’s SIm type: Here’s how to find that:

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  • In addition to the information provided by @louisdi & @rolandh, you may want to download this free app from Google Play Network Cell Info Lite
    • It will provide you a direct readout of the ‘Band’ the device links to as well as the signal attributes that looks something like this (from my X4 … marginal GSM connection on band 25)

Sim type GSM. Tried CDMA with no advantage. Band 2. Zip code 30680. Use data mostly for weather. Did I miss anything?

As we are comparing your daughters phone with yours, it would be necessary to install same app and check her phone (+ screenshots of both will provide a good look at the signals and save a bunch of typing :slight_smile:

Hi @bejazee,

Republic’s GSM coverage is supplied via a partnership with T-Mobile. Much of T-Mobile’s coverage in and around the zip code you were kind enough to share is rated as “fair” signal strength. To confirm, the zip you shared is the zip where the camping area is located, correct? Or, are you also having coverage issues when at home?

CDMA (Sprint network) coverage is indeed also spotty in and around the shared zip. Much of what CDMA coverage is available is roaming and Republic does not offer roaming data for Internet access, so I see why trying CDMA wasn’t a solution.

When at the camping area, were you able to make and receive calls and/or send and receive text messages though unable to access the Internet?

There’s a possibility a newer Republic compatible phone (it doesn’t need to be a fancy Samsung), that supports Band 71 on GSM might improve things at the camping area. The current generation Moto E6, for example does support Band 71. Republic offers a 14-day money back guarantee when purchasing a new phone, if giving that a shot was of interest.

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Wow. What an education. Is there a way to tell for sure which band T-Mobile is using in that area or any area I happen to be in?

Sometimes can text and talk but no data. Sometimes I lose it all. Best chance of a good signal is at night and very early morning.

Hi @bejazee,

The app referenced by @jben provides that information, however, you won’t see Band 71 on your E4 as it lacks a radio that receives Band 71. If, on the other hand, your daughter sees Band 71 when in these areas on her fancy Samsung, that would be a good indicator a phone capable of receiving Band 71 might improve your experience.

5 posts were split to a new topic: Coverage thoughts while upgrading, 03256

I installed the app. While at the park and watching the app it went from band 2 to band 12. Band 12 allowed data even though I had a weak signal of -113. It switches between bands 2,12 and 66. 12 allowing most dats with 2 being the worst. Unable to compare daughters phone as we are camping solo per social distancing.

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