International Sim Card question

If I use a local Kuwaiti sim card on my RW phone, can I put my RW sim card back in at a later date, and will it work?


I have a 1st Gen MotoX

I switched my RW plan to the $5/month, WiFi only plan before I left the U.S.

My phone is working great on WiFi only here, but I want to use a local Kuwaiti sim card so that I can make local calls, and have data service when I’m not in proximity to WiFi. I understand my phone is ‘unlocked’, but I’m wondering if anyone has done this (used a local intl sim card), and then reinstalled their RW sim card upon return to the U.S.?

Thank you in advance for helpful input.


Hi @roberth.ajpizr!

I have not tried it, but it’s almost guaranteed that it won’t work. For one, your Moto X1 is CDMA. CDMA is pretty much only used here in the U.S. GSM is what is primarily used arround the world. As you noted, the phone is not unlocked so it can’t be used on GSM. Also, a foreign SIM card won’t work with Republic’s ROM. The current Republic SIM is only used for 4G LTE access (meaning that the phone would work without the SIM). I hope that helps a little!


Hi @roberth.ajpizr,

I’m sorry to say what you propose won’t work. Though unlocked, your Moto X1 uses a modified Android operating system (necessary to make Republic’s blended WiFi/cell service work). The modified operating system renders your phone incompatible with any network other than Republic domestic or international. More on all that from Republic here:

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Thank you for the info mb2x. I’m glad I asked before I tried it!

Thank you for the info rolandH. Sounds like I need to upgrade to a full unlocked, GSM phone at some point soon!

You may want to check out Republic 3.0. all those phones are unlocked, so they can be used overseas.

one option would be a hot spot (MiFi type device) that you Moto X could piggy back off (this could use a local(international) SIM for data access) and then use the tip here Adding International Calling to Your Republic Phone | Republic Wireless Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia to be able to dial local numbers

Interestingly by the standards of the CTIA, Republic’s legacy phones are technically unlocked. Republic until recently had this statement in its’ documentation:

Are Republic phones locked or unlocked?

On February 11, 2015, CTIA - The Wireless Association’s standards for the unlocking of mobile devices became effective. CTIA - The Wireless Association designed these standards to give customers of wireless service providers greater freedom - which Republic Wireless certainly endorses. These new standards explain that “unlocking” a device refers only to disabling software that would prevent someone from attempting to activate a device designed for one carrier’s network on another carrier’s network, even if that network isn’t technologically compatible. In other words, “unlocking” a device will not necessarily make a device interoperable with other networks.

With that understanding, we do not “lock” any of our phones. However, the nature of our unique software that powers Republic Wireless is not technologically compatible with other carriers. We have explored - and will continue to explore - a way for Republic Wireless members to take their device to another carrier. Unfortunately, this is not easy and will require close coordination with both our equipment manufacturer and other carriers. At this time, we do not have any way to forecast when this will be possible.

In the meantime, we will never attempt to make any Republic Wireless member hostage to Republic Wireless. We never have…and we never will. If you have more interest in this topic, the FCC has a helpful FAQ page: Cell Phone Unlocking FAQs | Federal Communications Commission.

Also, the fact that a Republic Moto X1 is capable of using LTE means it has a GSM radio as well as a CDMA radio. LTE is an evolution of GSM technology. Whether a Republic X1’s GSM radio supports the needed frequencies for Kuwait is an entirely different question.

While the above may be interesting to geeks like me, both points are moot due to the modified version of Android used to make Republic’s legacy phones work with blended WiFi/cell service.

Hi @roberth.ajpizr,

How long will you be in Kuwait? This Kuwaiti service provider has been mentioned previously in Community: VIVA - Kuwait Telecom Company. Apparently, they’re popular with U.S. military stationed there. Perhaps, they offer a hot spot device as mentioned by @drm186?

For what its’ worth, Republic’s latest 3.0 phones are meaningfully unlocked in that they no longer require use of a modified Android operating system and thus would work with international SIMs. More on everything Republic 3.0 here: Republic Wireless 3.0 FAQs.

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