International Travel with a Republic Phone

For what it’s worth @adrians.n18ggb, I think your conclusion is spot-on ‘ol chap’.

I have an old high school friend visiting from Aussie-land and she had UK/US dual citizenship, so this post struck a chord with me

Why thank you kind sir :sunglasses: I wish I had dual citizenship, things would be sooooo much easier!

Hi @adrians.n18ggb,

Your conclusion is correct. Republic’s service does not work on cellular outside the U.S. Some (but not all) Republic phones do, however, work with alternative cellular service providers (like Three) outside the U.S.

This is a relatively recent development for certain Republic phones. It is (in part) why I wrote the original post you, I and others are conversing about. I did my best to present the various scenarios for using a Republic phone when outside the U.S. I’m open to any suggestions you (or others) may have for clarifying the original post.

Well, the original post was for travelling outside of the US and having read the whole post, it got a little off topic for ordinary end users what with frequency bands and LTE channels. End users really don’t care about that. They want to know, if I turn on my phone, will it work. Keeping it real simple, the GSM phones MUST meet certain criteria to be called a GSM phone so that means, regardless of make / model, if it’s a GSM phone, it will connect to any countries network providing they have a GSM service in use. In the bad old days when the US weren’t properly GSM you couldn’t use a proper GSM phone there. That’s all changed and the US now fully supports the GSM standards, it therefore follows that if you have any GSM phone, it (the phone) will work in any country that is GSM enabled (from memory, just about every country now in 2017). However, the major caveat to that is this, your service provider must have agreements in place with other cell carriers around the world before you can log onto the foreign network. For example, I use a UK provider called ‘Three’, they have negotiated with ATT and T-Mobile, Verizon and Cingular to enable my UK phone to connect to the US network, my UK HTC is a GSM phone so therefore I can connect pretty much anywhere in the US with a UK cell phone. The same is NOT true with my RW Moto G5 plus, there are no contracts in place with UK providers to allow the connection of a RW SIM. The phone is capable, the SIM is NOT, hence Wi-Fi only connections. If anybody wants the full explanation about home and visitor location registers and the way it all works including how your provider knows where your phone is, tell me and I’ll try and explain it simply.

I’m honestly not sure what your objection is. The original “Tips & Tricks” post is clear and well structured, defining the differences in overseas connectivity possibilities based on the generation of phone. Are you objecting to some comment to the original post?

Not really an objection, things just got way off topic with LTE frequencies etc., etc. The ‘experts’ seemed to be pre-occupied with things that an ordinary end user would have no interest in. End user: Will my RW phone work in the UK? Answer: Only on Wi-Fi. Simple question, simple answer.

Not so simple. Many RW phones will work on cellular in the UK and elsewhere overseas. RW service will not. Phones and service are not the same thing.


That’s exactly what I was saying.

but they will work with a local carrier’s SIM

That’s exactly what I was saying too.

Since you have to keep repeating this, it’s pretty clear that what you were trying to say wasn’t clear to everyone else.

I’m apparently not the only one around here that thinks the original post was quite clear.

OK, maybe it’s me that’s stupid, the original post was excellent. The rest just served to confuse. Anyway, I’m done here.

No one said anyone was stupid. I’ve simply been trying to understand the specifics of your concerns so that they could be addressed. If your concern is simply that the post isn’t clear, you could suggest alternative language or an additon to the post and I’m quite sure that @rolandh would be open to reworking any unclear sections. All I was saying is that this post has been read many many times, and there haven’t been a flood of questions or misunderstandings, so you’ll have to be much more specific if you’d like to suggest a change to be made.

You may want to update this for use with Anywhere app

I think the concerns were with some of the information in the replies rather the original information provided. Some of the replies are not as clear as they could be and lead to some misunderstandings when reading.

Would like to suggest that when a Trip & Tricks, Help or Announcement document/topic is authored it should be locked/read only as was often done with the previous forum. As most may/should remember members would link the original topic for additional discussion or suggestions or a side discussion with link to it were created at the same time as the new forum topic.

Yes, Anywhere’s general release adds new wrinkles and I’ll work that into the content of the original post as time permits.

Community contributor blogs such as the one I wrote never had comments turned off, though blog authors had moderation powers. In other words, if I didn’t feel a comment left on a blog I had written was appropriate, I could delete it. There wasn’t an occasion I felt the need to do so.

Announcements and staff authored blogs did have comments disabled and a companion discussion thread created as you describe.

Discourse is a different environment from our previous Community. I don’t know that we need to mimic what was done there here. Staff moderators have the ability to move or delete inappropriate comments. Perhaps, that is sufficient?

ETA: For what it’s worth, the comments regarding cellular radio frequencies were left when this blog was housed in our old Community and migrated with the blog itself here. I didn’t and don’t see them as inappropriate or confusing. They were left to address particular concerns left by another commenter.


This article is interesting and helpful. Our son will be stationed in England. We are trying to gather information regarding using his Moto G 3rd Generation phone in the UK for both local calls and calls to the US. His plan is Republic Refund 1 GB. I read with interest the reference to the distinction between plans “Talk & Text” or “Base Plan”. What does it mean for the Republic Refund Plan? It seems complicated to be switching SIM cards based on the location to which one is calling. So… I’m thinking that he needs to rent a local phone for those in-country calls and continue to use his Moto G with the Republic Plan for calls to the US. Will a switch to the $5 plan be possible for him? And … in need of reassurance, does it seem like I am understanding this? Thanks for your help! Nancy

Hi @Vegemom3,

Thank you for the kind words regarding the article. I’d say you have the gist of things.

Your son’s Moto G3 cannot be used outside the U.S. on cellular. When it has a WiFi connection, it will behave exactly as it does here at home, meaning unlimited calls and text messages to U.S. and Canadian numbers. Without assistance from third party services, he wouldn’t be able to call UK or other international numbers even on WiFi. Some more on that in another article here:

Talk & Text and Base Plan are Republic’s terminology for its’ $10 plans on the grandfathered 1.0 and 2.0 refund plans respectively. Functionally, they are the same. The one advantage of the 1.0 $10 plan is the ability to switch to the $5 WiFi only plan at any time. If your son is using Republic’s $10 plan on the refund plan structure, he can still switch to the $5 WiFi only plan but will need to coordinate that with his bill cycle date. If further detail is needed on this, please open or ask your son to open the Republic app on his phone and quote the words describing his current plan underneath his phone number.

The section of the article referencing switching SIM cards applies only to Republic’s 3.0 phones. It does not apply to your son’s Republic specific Moto G3.

I wrote the article primarily for folks traveling for relatively short periods of time. How long will your son be stationed in the UK? I ask because if for a more extended period of time, buying another relatively inexpensive phone for use on UK cellular networks in addition to using his Republic Moto G3 for calls back home to the states might make more sense than renting.

I’ve recently acquired an Alcatel A30 for a household member at Amazon. For $60, it’s a surprisingly good phone. I would suggest pairing it with a SIM from UK provider Three, whom I’ve used for cellular service when traveling in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. Three would provide your son with a UK number to use locally. I still have an active Three SIM laying around. I’m going to dig it up and try it in the Alcatel. I also like BLU’s Android phones for price/performance.

Lastly, please allow me to express my gratitude for your son’s service. If further detail is desired, please let us know.


Following up on my previous post regarding the Alcatel A30 paired with my Three SIM. It’s a good news bad news situation.

The good news is the Alcatel works quite well with Three’s SIM.

The bad news is that due to limitations of the Alcatel’s hardware, it will be limited to 3G data speeds in the UK. For calls and text messaging that’s inconsequential but if your son prefers faster 4G data speeds, he’ll need a different phone. Sadly, BLU’s R1 HD and Motorola’s Moto E4 (similarly priced) would be equally limited in the UK.

Your son might consider waiting to purchase a phone for use in the UK until his arrival there.