Once more, we’re starting to see anecdotal reports of Republic members being unable to use Viber with their phones. In the past, Republic members have had varying degrees of success getting Viber to whitelist their numbers. Some detail and a new potential means of convincing Viber to do so follow.
Due to a recent policy change at Viber, Republic members (and others) are finding it not possible to register or reregister their phone numbers with Viber. The policy change in question is Viber no longer accepts Voice over Internet Protocol (VoiP) numbers for registration purposes.
Republic numbers are indeed VoIP numbers. Republic’s use of VoIP is part of the nature of its blended WiFi/cell service. According to Viber support, they believe; “VoIP numbers are a significant tool in the hands of spammers”. The reality is some services using VoIP based numbers do, more or less, hand out phone numbers to anyone that asks. As we know, Republic does not do so. Obtaining a Republic number requires acquisition of a compatible phone and activating that phone on Republic’s network. Sadly, Viber is not yet making this distinction.
Here’s the new workaround that allowed me to convince Viber to register my Republic number. To start, after installing Viber’s app on my Republic phone, I attempted to register my Republic number. I received the following error (you’ll want to grab a screenshot of this screen on your phone):
Next, I installed WhatsInSIM (a/k/a Sim Card Details) on my phone. Once installed, I opened WhatsInSIM and captured a screenshot of those details.
In order to make this work, it is necessary to raise a ticket with Viber support here: https://support.viber.com/customer/portal/emails/new. After completing Viber’s requested information (for the required Viber phone number use the Republic number you wish to register), I uploaded screenshots of both the VoIP error and the information from WhatsInSIM. When communicating with Viber support, I suggest not mentioning VoIP outside of the Viber error message. In other words, do not acknowledge your Republic number is VoIP (even though it is Viber need not know that). In fact, I didn’t even mention Republic. For the carrier information requested on Viber’s support ticket creation page, I used the “OperatorName” as shown in WhatsInSIM.
Viber support, replied asking me to try again and my Republic number successfully registered.