I am in the market for a new phone and am leaning towards a BYOP option that I think is GSM only. I live near Chicago with excellent coverage for both CDMA and GSM Republic partners - Sprint and T-Mobile, respectively. But I travel to Iowa all the time. And Iowa was (at least a year ago) a GIANT hole in the middle of the country with virtually no GSM data coverage for Republic. I’ve heard that T-Mobile’s relationship with iWireless has changed recently and that MVNO’s like Republic may now have data coverage in the state.
Can anyone confirm FIRST HAND that there is now at least “respectable” GSM data coverage in Iowa and maybe point me to a coverage map with a reasonable representation of expected data coverage?
Note: When I use the coverage checker tool on the Republic website with my IL zip (60016) and then click “shop phones,” no restrictions are shown. When I enter an Iowa zip (52726) though, some phones in the list have the restriction “phone is not optimal in 52726.” Presumably, the coverage checker guides me to GSM service through T-Mobile for the Illinois zip and CDMA coverage through Sprint for the Iowa zip. The strange thing is, when I click “see nationwide coverage map,” the exact same coverage is shown for BOTH the Illinois and Iowa zips. Therefore, I do not trust the nationwide coverage map one bit. If the suggested phones are different, the coverage should not be identical. Something isn’t right…
Thank you as always to awesome Republic community for your feedback!