Is it necessary for me to start using the Republic Wireless network on the phone I purchase from them? Or I can just simply purchase the phone and then use my own current network?
You can use the phone on any network that will accept it. If you are are sent a CDMA phone, however, it will be partially activated with Sprint when you receive it and that can create a problem.
Thanks for the reply! I was thinking of buying the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge as that has $200 off currently until the 28th. Seems like a good offer to me, but then will I get a CDMA Galaxy S7 edge or the one that is both GSM and CDMA.?
check coverage here Coverage Check | Republic Wireless
if BYOD is not available then you will be sent a CDMA configured phone (partially activated on CDMA network)
all Republic phones have GSM radios there are some that are GSM only
I see @drm186 has explained how to tell which way your S7 Edge will be configured. The S7 Edge RW sells is the 935U, the unlocked universal model that works on either CDMA or GSM with most carriers. RW ships it with a SIM for their service. Typically the CDMA SIM comes pre-installed but the GSM SIM is packaged separately. They charge your credit card for the phone when it is shipped to you and they charge for your Plan when the phone is activated with RW.
As others have noted, Republic sells the factory unlocked Samsung Galaxy S7 edge designated model SM-G935U. Generally, it may be activated on the network of any service provider (GSM or CDMA) willing to do so.
The potential issue one might run into with an S7 edge purchased from Republic and provisioned for CDMA is the phone's MEID is entered in Sprint's database as being a valid phone for use on their network. Likely, if you were to take such a provisioned phone to Sprint or another service provider using Sprint's network, there would be little issue activating it. If on the other hand one wanted to take the phone to Verizon or a service provider using Verizon's network, one would probably first need to ask Republic to have Sprint release the phone's MEID from its' database before being able to activate with Verizon. All of this is because CDMA ties service to the phone not the SIM.
Activating a phone purchased from Republic on alternative GSM networks should not be an issue. I've swapped GSM SIMs from multiple alternate providers (domestic and international). GSM unlike CDMA ties service to the SIM's ICCID rather than the phone's MEID, therefore no need to track the MEID in a database.
Thanks for the detailed response. Appreciate the help