⚠ Important notice: Non-VoLTE phones stop working on our GSM network on 10/1/21

Beginning October 1, 2021, as part of a large network upgrade, Republic’s network provider T-Mobile is making a global change that will require all phones on their GSM network to be capable of voice calls over the 4G LTE network (VoLTE calling). The following phone models have been identified as being unable to support VoLTE calling:

  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) (SM-J320A)
  • Huawei Ascend 5W (H1623)

What you need to do:

If you have one of the phones listed above, you will need to replace your phone before October 1, 2021, in order to avoid disruption to your cellular service.

What you need to know:

  • Your plan and phone number will not change when you replace your phone(s).
  • You do not need to buy a new SIM card. Replacement phones from our online store come with a SIM card installed. Your current SIM card from the phones listed above can be moved to a replacement phone bought elsewhere.
  • If you prefer to shop around, refer to our list of compatible 3.0 phones before making your purchase, and ask in our Member Community if you have any questions about compatibility.
  • The Republic logo identifies compatible pre-owned phones on Swappa.
  • Activation instructions can be found at: How to Activate a Replacement Phone

We are sending an e-mail to account owners who have one of these two phones in service. We encourage you to check the e-mail account you have listed on your Republic Wireless account. You can also check the model number of your phone by taking the following steps:

  • Open the Republic app
  • Tap the settings gear :gear: at top right
  • Tap About to view the phone model listed just under your phone number

No new activations of these phones

Additionally, effective immediately, we are no longer allowing these two phone models to be activated. Our cellular partner has indicated that newly activated non-VoLTE phones can no longer connect to their towers, so we want to avoid the possibility of a Republic member activating a phone that will not operate on the cellular network.

The requirement for VoLTE calling capability is a result of network improvements by T-Mobile and is a requirement for all phones on its GSM network. Republic Wireless and our parent company DISH Network L.L.C. understand this may be unwelcome news, and we are eager to help you through this change. If you have any questions, please reply below.

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Yes… This is really unwelcome news.
I just re-upped my Annual Plan… and might not have had I known this.
Will you offer any subsidized phones for folks forced to change?

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Hi @willardthomas and welcome to the Community!

I would suggest waiting for the email mentioned in the announcement and responding there regarding the question you raise.

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Hi @willardthomas,

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news for you, and that we were not able to secure all the details in time to get this news in front of you before you renewed your Annual Plan.

We do not have any subsidized phones available to help replace the Samsung J3 (2016) and Ascend 5W, but we have some very astute Community members who would be able to help you find the best deals anywhere on new or pre-owned phones that are compatible with your Annual Plan. Take some time to think about what kind of phone you might need to look for and a price range that’s comfortable for you, and perhaps you can let our Community members help you find the right phone to fit your situation.

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My wife has a 2016 Samsung J3 (2016) model and RW notified her that VoLTE calling was not supported on that model and she’d need a new phone. She likes the small size of the phone. I wanted to confirm that VoLTE IS supported on the Samsung J3 2017 model. If so, would she just need to pop in her SIM card from her existing phone to continue with her RW service? Please advise, thanks.

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Hi @thomasl.vlqbzl and welcome to the Community!

Yes, VoLTE is supported on the 2017 Samsung Galaxy J3. It must be the U.S. factory unlocked model designated SM-J327U as noted by Republic here: https://republicwireless.com/products/samsung-g….

And, yes, your wife may move service (number and plan) by moving her SIM. Once past initial setup, if necessary, on the new phone (follow on screen prompts for that), power the new phone down and move the SIM. Next, power the new phone back on then be certain Republic’s mobile app is installed or updated. Finally, open Republic’s app. If presented with an “activation” sequence, complete that. If the phone does not prompt you to restart, restart it manually. Service (number and plan) will move from old to new phone.

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