Important Notice: End of Legacy Phone Activations

Effective immediately, Republic Wireless is no longer allowing activation of our 1.0/2.0 phones (listed below), all of which were sold in our online store in or before 2016. Phones that are currently activated are not affected by this change.

  • Moto E 1st Gen
  • Moto E 2nd Gen
  • Moto G 1st Gen
  • Moto G 3rd Gen
  • Moto X 1st Gen
  • Moto X 2nd Gen

What does this mean?

  • As of 9/29/21 the above phones can no longer be activated for service
  • The “Unlimited” and “Republic Refund” plans associated with these phones are not available on newer phones
  • These phones were built for Republic Wireless and will not work on other networks
  • If you are currently using one of the above phones for your Republic Wireless service, this announcement does not impact your use of the phone

Why has Republic Wireless made this decision?

Coming changes to the cellular network that serves these phones will impact the useability of these phones in the future, making it necessary for us to begin a gradual process of “sunsetting” these phones. There is no immediate change for our members who are currently using these phones, and we will be in touch with our members who are using these phones before any service-impacting changes occur.

Where can members learn more?

We understand that this announcement may bring questions to mind for our current users of these phones. To stay informed, we encourage you to take the following actions:

  • Reply below to let us know of your concerns or questions
  • Make sure you are able to receive e-mail at the e-mail address listed on your Republic Wireless account
  • Keep watching this #news Category of our Community for future announcements

Please understand that our Help Team does not have any additional dates or information regarding the future of these phones.

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Doesn’t sound very gradual for members with legacy phones that were not activated yesterday.

The lack of warning is not appreciated.

:flight_departure:

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While I too would have preferred some advance warning, there’s a harsh reality those with legacy Republic phones need to be aware of if they’re not already aware of it.

T-Mobile says it intends to shut down the legacy Sprint CDMA network it acquired by virtue of its merger with Sprint on January 1, 2022. Presuming T-Mobile sticks to that, at best, a Republic legacy phone activated yesterday or after would have a three-month life span.

Note, the scheduled shutdown of Sprint’s legacy CDMA network on January 1, 2022 does not necessarily impact those using a newer Republic 3.0 phone provisioned with a CDMA SIM. T-Mobile says it intends to keep Sprint’s LTE network up and running until June 30, 2022.

For those with already active Republic legacy phones, there’s no need to act precipitously, however, it’s certainly time to begin thinking about one’s next phone.

9 Likes

How does this affect changing plans?

I was going to move my phone to the WiFi only plan. (To keep as a backup)
Is it too late to do that?

It does not impact changing plans. The only change is phones that are not active can not be activated.

Please do note the important part of the announcement:

At the present time T-Mobile is saying that it will be shutting down the network that supports these phones on 1/1/2022.

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Unless I’m mistaken, WiFI doesn’t require cellular connectivity.

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Of course not, but I made an assumption that when the network goes away, so will all related products because is Republic going to maintain a platform to sell a $5 wifi only plan that runs only on devices between 5-8 years old, that could just as easily be Google Voice for free to the customer. I have NO idea what Republic will do but I can tell you if I were them, I sure as heck wouldn’t (and I have no idea why a customer would want that product).

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I have an old phone on 1.0 that has always been on wifi only. I planned to keep it that way and assumed republic could keep this service going since it’s not linked to cell. But, if it is in fact shutting down, customers should be given at least 3 months notice. And if 1-1-22 is in fact the date, they need to send out communications asap. It’s bad business to make this a last min anouncement and no one should believe they don’t know and or haven’t already planned that part out.

4 Likes

Except that it’s the truth. T-Mobile has been moving the network shut down date over and over. Here’s the actual scenario that just happened, in August, with Republic:

Republic announces that people with certain model phones have to replace their phones, NOW, because T-Mobile is going to stop supporting them 10/1 because they don’t support VoLTE. (⚠ Important notice: Non-VoLTE phones will stop working on our GSM network) Customers leave. Customers buy new phones and then suddenly T-Mobile changes the date to 7/1/22.

While the currently announced date for network shutdown is 1/1/22 the industry widely expects this date to be pushed by either regulatory pressure, one of the lawsuits filed to stop it or just because.

Republic is trying to play a very delicate balancing act of giving customers plenty of time (I would argue that 3 months is more than necessary, but that’s a different discussion) while also not being the boy who cried wolf.

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I agree with you. But since you know obsolescence is likely on it’s way, you can do things to prepare. There are a number of options available to you as a Wi-Fi only subscriber. The cheapest and most complete solution is probably to transition to Google Voice. You can accomplish all the things the Wi-Fi only plan does for free. Unfortunately you can’t simply port your Republic Wireless number to Google Voice without moving it to a pure cellular carrier first.

3 Likes

Other cellular providers give you the option to “unlock” phones if you call in. Are these phones truly not able to be opened up for use with other networks?

Is it possible for people to turn in their old phones for a credit towards a new phone? May help cushion the blow a bit and encourage brand loyalty?

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Hi @CatRose49 and welcome to the Community!

Republic’s legacy phones (Moto E1, E2, G1, G3, X1 and X2) used modified Android operating systems to accommodate Republic’s proprietary implementation of blended WiFi/cell service. They are truly not able to be used on any other network.

Additionally, the only cellular network supporting Republic’s legacy phones (Sprint’s legacy CDMA network) will, according to T-Mobile, cease to exist as of January 1, 2022. T-Mobile acquired Sprint’s legacy CDMA network by virtue of its merger with Sprint. Republic cannot control what T-Mobile chooses to do with its property.

It’s important to note the above does not apply to Republic’s newer phones (a/k/a 3.0 phones). Newer Republic phones do not use modified Android operating systems, are factory unlocked and may be activated with any service provider willing to do so.

As of today, no. Please keep in mind if the phone is already active, nothing has yet changed. One may continue to use the phone just as they have been. This specific announcement applies only to legacy phones not currently active.

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I want to repeat something that @rolandh said in his response. Even if the phones were technically able to be used with other carriers there are no longer ANY carriers that will activate CDMA only devices, which the legacy phones are. So, no matter locked, unlocked, compatible, not compatible, these phones use a technology which is going away very soon and because of that, no one will activate them. In the world of cell phones a 5-8 year phone is today’s equivalent of a horse and buggy.

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Since these older phone will now be essentially bricks, can Republic finally allow us to unlock the bootloader of our old motorola phones? I still won’t be able to use it with a carrier, and can’t use it on RW so no need to worry about users ‘interfering’ with the custom Android implementation on these phones to cheat the data policy like back in the day. Allowing bootloader unlocks will allow me to get more life out of my device by installing a custom rom and using like a wifi-only ipod touch or tablet.

To the best of my knowledge, Republic does not hold the key but rather Motorola does. No one, I’m aware of, has ever convinced Motorola to provide said key.

This is purely a question of curiosity but what would be the advantage to using a custom ROM over the stock ROM?

I believe it was ATT(?) which allowed unlocking the bootloader through Motorola. The other cell providers didn’t allow it. Republic should be able to allow it especially if these phones will no longer be supported whatsoever. Because then the user/community can support the device on their own.

A custom ROM would let me run more up-to-date versions of Android with the improvements made. I could also ‘de-google’ the phone with a custom rom. I’d also like to just have root access to my own device, which is only able to be obtained with an unlocked bootloader, even if I wanted to use the stock OS

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t believe that Republic is going to spend anymore time on these phones they they absolutely must. Thus, they likely won’t assist you in unlocking the bootloader. Let’s face it, these phones are super old and not worth their time to mess with.

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I believe there are Intellectual Property issues here and likely the unlock would have to be blessed by all parties with such IP rights in the custom ROM. The question then is, why would any company spend even a single iota of time/money trying to facilitate anything with 5-8 year old devices?

And if the hardware is that old would it even have enough ram/rom to support a newer version of Android or current cellular operation.

Version 18.1 of LineageOS is available for the Moto X 2014. It’s the equivalent of Android 11.

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