International Travel with a Republic Phone


On my Moto Z Play: the clearest-sounding call ever over WiFi, in Mecca, of all places. Clueless friend: “You sound sleepy.” Me: “It’s 3 a.m., I’m in Mecca on pilgrimage.” Betcha that’s a first for Republic :-).

Saudi Arabia Lifts VoIP Ban

So you are telling me that it is a national law, code or policy in Malaysia that the MQTT protocol is blocked? What could possibly be the reason for that? I find this condition in several hotels, restaurants, guest LANs in factories, everywhere, even when a local colleague sets up a convenient WIFI to cell service internet bridge. Texting works, calls out and in work. But the notification of voicemail does not. If I slip a local SIM card into the phone, will I lose the domestic USA Republic functionality on my G4?


I’m unable to address whether the issue is the result of a Malaysian law, code or policy. For what it’s worth, Malaysia isn’t noted for being the most open country when it comes to Internet access: What I can say is the symptoms you report are consistent with the MQTT protocol being blocked. Without access to the referenced networks, it’s impossible to say for certain. The next time you’re using a WiFi network in Malaysia, you might try entering into a web browser. If you’re unable to reach the server, then MQTT is being blocked.

Use of a local SIM in Malaysia would put your phone on the Malaysian cellular infrastructure. You would lose the ability to use your phone with Republic’s service on WiFi but only while the Malaysian SIM was resident in your phone. In other words, you’d switch between Republic service on WiFi and local Malaysian cell service by swapping SIMs.

Once over the top (OTT) calling is added to Republic Anywhere, it has the potential to be a game changer allowing for simultaneous use of Republic’s service with a local (in country) SIM resident in one’s phone. For now, Anywhere is limited to text messaging. More on Republic Anywhere here: Texting App | Text from Computer | Republic Wireless.


Control. It is quite common. Prevents people from using Apps/Services that the govenment finds it hard to monitor. You’ll find it in less open societies around the world with quite a bit of regularity.


@louisdi has reminded me I didn’t address the why question. Control as he cites is a very common reason. So too, is economics. Often the local telephone networks (wireline and wireless) are close to their country’s governments and, therefore, receive protection from perceived competition.


Yes, this would have been good to know before leaving the country. I contacted Republic Wireless before we left to see if an International SIM Card would work. I was told yes. Well, now 7 weeks in Thailand without it working. After reading all these follow ups I now know Moto E2 does NOT work. Unfortunate that we were given the wrong info. Definitely good information on this link. BE CAREFUL to check before you leave! KEY INFO: “(Moto E1, E2, G1, G3, X1 and X2) will only work when on WiFi outside the U.S.”



Thanks for your comments. I got a BYO G4 from a third party and bought the
RW SIM to activate it. This phone has only one Sim slot requiring a swap
to the THREE chip while in London. The phone attempted to connect then
quit. After three attempts I gave up, and bought a cheapo. Maybe If I had
a RW bios G4 the THREE Sim would’ve worked. I’ve still got it and may try
to use it when next in UK/EU. I bought extra minutes just so I could use
it in Spain. But, had to rely on WiFi to connect. I had WiFi, even on the
train so it wasn’t a total fail. But local data on the move is VERY


There is no such thing. For all the new unlocked devices there is no such thing as a “RW BIOS”. Phones purchased from Republic are identical to those purchased straight from the manufacturer or from Best Buy (they’re the North America Unlocked version).


Recently, when I was about to travel to Canada, I wanted to make make sure that I’d have cellular service while I was there, not just WiFi service, so I bought an AT&T SIM card with a month’s worth of prepaid airtime on it. Before I swapped out the SIM card in my phone (a Moto 4G that I’m running on Republic Wireless’s plan 3.0), I set up voice-message forwarding so that anyone who called my RW number while I was out of the country would have his/her call forwarded to my temporary AT&T number.

Trouble is, it turns out that RW’s voice-message forwarding feature wouldn’t work unless my RW SIM card was still in my phone! Once I’d swapped out my RW SIM card with my AT&T card, my RW voice-message forwarding stopped working. As a result, the only people who could call me when I was away were the few friends and family members I was smart enough to give my temporary AT&T number to before I left. Anyone else who tried calling my regular RW number got a short automated message saying, “The subscriber you are trying to reach is currently not reachable. Please try again later.”

RW’s tech support team did some testing to see if they could solve the problem, but they couldn’t. The best they could do was suggest that instead of swapping out the RW SIM card, I keep it installed, then buy myself a second phone to use with the AT&T SIM card! Not a practical solution as far as I was concerned, and not a cheap one either. Worse, it took tech support so long to come up with it (several days), that by the time they contacted me, I was already on my way to Canada.

Perhaps if I’d had a cell phone with dual SIM slots instead of just one, I’d have been all set. Since I didn’t, and since this wasn’t the first time RW had taken a long time to get back to me about a problem I’d been having, I decided to switch providers when I got back to the States. Luckily for me, my spouse and I are both over 55, so we qualified for T-Mobile’s new “couples” plan for folks over 55. We’re now paying $60 for two lines with unlimited texting, calls, and data. No junk fees or taxes—the $60 they’re advertising is the $60 we’re paying.

Given that our underlying network when we were RW customers was T-Mobile, we’re now on the same network we had before. Yes, our overall cost per month is slightly more than what we were paying RW, but we now get free cellular coverage in Canada and Mexico, truly unlimited data with no throttling, and a toll-free number we can call for support rather than having to deal with RW’s Web-only support.

Sorry, Republic Wireless. We hated to say “goodbye,” but you didn’t give us much of a choice.


Hi @davidf.7y2ol0

No need to apologize

I thought it was well written and concise. I am sure RW appreciates the feedback.


Hi @davidf.7y2ol0,

Thanks for taking the time to write up your feedback, it is valuable.
We appreciate the time you spent with us, and hope you’ll keep us in mind if your carrier needs should change again.


Hi Loisdi,

Maybe you can explain the difference between a BYO G4 and those sold direct
by RW. If as you suggest, “there is no such thing” why did I have to
purchase and install a custom RW SIM to activate my 3rd party Moto G4??
Was I duped by RW??


the Hardware and software (ROM) of the BYOD Moto G4 and Republic sold Moto G4 are the same they are both North American Factory Unlocked version.
Republic does run a Hybrid VOIP/Cell Network which has a custom SIM that Bonds the Republic number with the Carriers number
for a GSM ship phone from Republic it’s the same SIM that is the BYOD SIM, for CDMA Ship they use a CDMA(LTE) SIM and prime their network for the CDMA Phone (and why it takes a help ticket to move from GSM to CDMA) but the phone itself is still the factory Unlock model and can be activated on any carrier willing to activate it


The point then is to inform RW customers hoping to use an EU SIM (like
THREE) while traveling in Europe, IT WILL NOT WORK!!

Or, does this only apply to RW phones with an RW SIM installed. Please
help customers use their phones when traveling. Is that asking for too


What you’re stating is just wrong. The G4 from Republic is the same G4 from Best Buy is the same G4 straight from Motorola. The SIM card is a Republic SIM because you’re getting Republic service. Just like if you got T-Mobile service, you’d use a T-Mobile SIM.

As far as what SIMs work in the phone, it doesn’t matter where the phone came from, or what SIM you previously had in the phone. If the SIM didn’t work in the G4 you got from Republic, it wouldn’t work in the G4 from Best Buy or the one straight from Motorola.


Apologies if I’m wrong in your mind. I’m simply passing on real world
experience re RW phone while traveling in the EU.

Whatever the RW hybrid VOIP SIM does to a Moto G4, it apparently obviates
it’s use with a standard local SIM CHIP. That is my experience. My G4 was
incapable of connecting through my UK purchased pan-EU “Three” vendor SIM.

Claiming your customer to be wrong does little to address real in the field
experience, except to make RW look immature and defensive. :disappointed_relieved:


If your phone was with the Republic Wireless CDMA carrier, it’s likely that simply installing a GSM SIM abroad wouldn’t work. I believe there are additional steps that need to be taken.


Claiming your customer to be wrong does little to address real in the field
experience, except to make RW look immature and defensive.

You do realize that @louisdi is a customer and not Republic staff just like most that respond here. RW staff have a special Republic icon next to their names like @southpaw does a few posts above. With that said, while no one here is doubting your assertions that you personally had issues with trying to use an international SIM card, to make the blanket claim that all RW 3.0 phones don’t work with another companies SIM card is just 100% completely false. The original post gives evidence to the fact that it is possible. The issue you were having should probably have been addressed by the company that you acquired the SIM card from.


In my experience this is incorrect. I have used a U.K. SIM from Three in my CDMA provisioned Moto X Pure (as well as several phones provisioned with Republic’s GSM partner). All have worked as expected.

Without being there, I cannot explain why a Three SIM didn’t work in @richardc.lsvn7m’s Moto G4. I do not believe it has anything to do with the Three SIM being swapped for a Republic SIM.


If you have the opportunity to try this again, you may want to disable the Republic Wireless App on your phone and see if that works any better for you.