First activating a 3.0 phone overseas using a local carrier and second on RW?

Can I send my relative overseas (Pakistan) an unlocked ReWi 3.0 phone so they can activate it using a local carrier in Pakistan first?

Then when they come to the U.S. in 2020 can I switch their carrier over to ReWi second?

Or do I need to activate the phone on ReWi first and then send it to them?

Since ReWi calls and data won’t work overseas there’s no point paying the $15 to $30 ReWi monthly bill until they come to the U.S. next year.

Or maybe I can activate the phone on ReWi first and then when they get the phone I can cancel the ReWi monthly bill and reactivate it once they are in the U.S.?

Any help ASAP would be very much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

There is no requirement for a phone purchased though Republic be activated on Republic
the Phones Republic uses are all North American Factory unlock models and can be used any any carrier willing to active (no carrier unlocking is needed)

Good Morning @furqanc and welcome to the Community!



No, however, if purchasing from Republic, I suggest powering on the phone to be certain it’s functional. There’s no reason to believe it wouldn’t be, however, I’d hate to see it you ship the phone all the way to Pakistan then find out it doesn’t work.

I also suggest you or your relative verify the specific phone purchased for eventual use on Republic will work well with the Pakistani provider of choice. Generally, phones sold for use in the U.S. work with overseas providers, however, there are sometimes limitations (no 4G LTE as one example).

The one potential advantage to activating and paying $15 per month is the ability to use Republic service on WiFi to call back to the U.S. and Canada. This might be useful depending upon the cost for international calling from Pakistan to the U.S. Presuming you’re a Republic member, it would also allow you to call your relatives in Pakistan for no additional cost beyond what you already pay Republic.

There’s another potential downside, the being using Republic service on WiFi in Pakistan requires the Republic SIM to be resident in the phone. In turn, this would mean swapping SIMs in and out when your relatives wished to switch between Republic service on WiFi and Pakistani cellular service.

You’re most welcome!


Thank you so much Rolandh for the quick and detailed reply to all of my questions. :slight_smile:

Yes my father, mother, and I have been ReWi customers for over 5 years now.

I will take your advice and activate the Moto G7 I am sending on the $15 per month plan just to be safe.

One last question if you don’t mind. If everything goes correctly with the local carrier in Pakistan, can I cancel my relatives $15 per month plan, and then reactivate it on a later date?

Example: I plan to activate the G7 for June and July then send it overseas. If the local carrier in Pakistan works out, I’ll cancel ReWi service for the G7 in August but keep the same phone number. After 6-10 months later can I reactivate ReWi services for my relative’s G7 even though the phone will still be in Pakistan?

To be clear, I’m not advising doing so and certainly not to be safe. I’m pointing out a possible beneficial reason to do so, which is the ability to exchange calls between yourself and relatives in Pakistan as if you were both in the U.S. albeit with the phone in Pakistan limited to WiFi coverage. If you’re already using other means of staying in touch and those are cost-effective for you, there’s no reason to change that.

What you propose is quite possible but one would lose the number unless one moved it elsewhere first. A parking service like NumberBarn is an option for that.

This is not feasible as the activation process requires access to both WiFi and Cellular Data.
The Cellular connection has to be on one of RW’s partners either Tmobile for RW’s GSM SIM card
or Sprint for RW’s CDMA SIM card.

That isn’t correct. As long as you have wifi (and a valid SIM), the phone can be reactivated. The cellular activation will not complete until you get to the cellular network, but the wifi portion will work just fine.

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For the sake of clarity, I tested this for myself today. I activated a spare Republic compatible phone using a Republic GSM SIM while in Airplane mode with WiFi manually enabled (no cellular connectivity). The phone activated and is fully operational on WiFi.

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Have you actually tried activating a phone outside the country?

Out of a sample size of one… I can tell you that it failed miserably…kept looking for cellular signal and wouldn’t let me do anything useful…YMMV.

I would not recommend anyone to activate their phone outside the country…unless something has changed in the activation flow in the past couple of years.

Hi @furqanc,

Thank you. This means a lot to us.

While there’s some uncertainty as to what might happen if someone tries to activate a phone with no cellular connectivity, I can tell you for certain that you cannot reactivate the service for someone while the phone is out of the country, if you are here. Activation is accomplished on the phone itself.

I’m thinking a workaround might be that you could activate a GSM SIM card on another phone, then mail the active SIM card to the relative to have it installed in the phone. The only downside would be that you’d be paying for service while the active SIM card is in transit.

Not since I had to do it with a Moto G1, which worked fine. Perhaps there is a difference on the 3.0 phones between a GSM SIM, and a CDMA SIM, but I, like @rolandh am able to activate a 3.0 phone, on airplane mode (with wifi turned back on) with a GSM SIM without error message. Perhaps what you were experiencing is the CDMA death loop that is known to occur when there is no signal. I have not seen, nor experienced that sort of issue with a GSM SIM.

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