International Travel with a Republic Phone


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When purchasing a TelCel SIM, what should I select? “Unlocked GSM Phone”?

Yes, your Moto G5 Plus is an unlocked GSM capable phone.


This is a great thread. Thanks to @rolandh for getting it started. We will be traveling to Europe later this year, so this is great information. I am slightly confused on one thing though. In the above posts I have read both that you CANNOT use a local SIM card in a RW 3.0 phone that is provisioned to the CDMA carrier, and I have also read that you CAN use a local SIM card in a 3.0 phone that is provisioned to the CDMA carrier. Which is correct? And is it true that the RW App must be uninstalled in order to use a local SIM?

It is entirely possible to use a local SIM in a Republic 3.0 phone provisioned for domestic CDMA coverage. What you don’t want to do is travel with that CDMA SIM if planning to switch between Republic service on WiFi outside the U.S. and local (in country) cellular service. Outside the U.S. CDMA networks with rare exceptions are non-existent. If equipped with a Republic CDMA SIM, there have been instances where a 3.0 phone will attempt to locate a compatible CDMA network, which does not exist. An unfortunate side effect of this renders Republic service inoperable even on WiFi. Therefore, the solution is to move Republic service from CDMA to GSM for the duration of one’s international travels then switch back to CDMA for domestic cellular coverage upon one’s return home. If one intends to use local (in country) cellular service exclusively while traveling abroad, this precaution is unnecessary. Before making that decision, one would want to consider that calls back home would be charged at whatever the international rates offered by the local cellular provider are.

In my experience, it is not necessary. In fact, if one wishes to switch between Republic service on WiFi and local cellular service (by swapping SIMs) when away from WiFi, the Republic app is required for the former. Unlike legacy Republic phones, a Republic SIM must be present in the phone for WiFi calls.

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So to be sure that I am understanding: When in Europe I need the RW CDMA SIM in order to use my RW number for calls and texts when I am on WiFi. But I need to remove the RW CDMA SIM when I am in Europe and am off WiFi because there is a chance that the RW service will become inoperable. Correct?

But in any case, if I purchase a local SIM while in Europe, I should be able to switch back and forth between the RW CDMA SIM (when on WiFI) and the local SIM (when not on WiFI) even though I have a RW CDMA phone. Correct?

I am just starting to research SIM cards and have been leaning towards Orange, but reading your experience with Three, I will investigate that as well. It’s still a few months before we leave, but I want all of the ducks in a row before then.

Not exactly, one doesn’t want to travel internationally with a Republic CDMA SIM. If one does so, there’s a chance Republic service will become inoperable even if using it on WiFi only. Phones are designed to connect to cellular networks even when using it on WiFi. Republic’s suggested best practice is obtaining a Republic GSM SIM to activate in place of one’s CDMA SIM for the duration of one’s travel outside the U.S. Upon return to the U.S., one reverses the process by reactivating the CDMA SIM in place of the GSM SIM. This deactivation then reactivation sequence only becomes an issue if traveling outside the U.S. for more than 20 days. If this is the case, please let us know. To obtain a GSM SIM for upcoming international travel, please open a ticket.

No, you would want to swap back and forth between a Republic GSM SIM (to use Republic service on WiFi) and local SIM when traveling outside the U.S. There is no such thing as a 3.0 Republic CDMA phone per se. All Republic 3.0 CDMA compatible phones are also compatible with GSM.

I’ve had a good experience with Three. I believe @southpaw had a good experience with Lebara. There’s nothing wrong with Orange, though one might think of them and Vodafone to be European equivalents to the likes of AT&T or Verizon.


So couldn’t I leave the CDMA SIM inserted, put the phone on Airplane Mode, and activate WiFI to use my RW talk/text on WiFi when in Europe without fear of the phone trying to connect to some CDMA network and disabling itself? Then insert the local SIM and take the phone off of Airplane Mode when I need to use the phone off WiFi?

I guess I can avoid the whole issue by just not using my CDMA RW Pixel 2 and instead using my wife’s GSM RW Pixel on the trip. But if I can use mine, I’d rather do so.

This is the other option though not Republic’s suggested best practice. One would need to be fastidious about keeping the phone in Airplane mode when the Republic CDMA SIM was resident in the phone. Forgetting once potentially risks the phone attempting to connect to a non-existent CDMA network. Should that happen, you’ll lose the ability to use your Republic service on WiFi until you return home.

Your Pixel 2 is GSM as well as CDMA compatible. It’s merely a matter of which SIM (GSM or CDMA) it’s using. I don’t understand the reluctance to switch to a Republic GSM SIM while outside the U.S. Doing so would be temporary as you would switch back to CDMA (if that provides better coverage) upon return home. For international travel, Republic will even provide the GSM SIM free of charge via opening a ticket.

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Hmmm… My reluctance to switch from CDMA to GSM and back to CDMA was twofold. First, it’s a bit of a hassle, and second, I didn’t want to have to purchase a GSM SIM and then another CDMA SIM. You say that RW will provide the GSM SIM free of charge for international travel. Will they also provide the CDMA SIM free of charge when I return?

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If necessary but it would only be necessary if you will be traveling outside the U.S. for longer than 20 days. Republic SIMs (GSM or CDMA) may be reactivated for 20 days after deactivation.

As for the hassle factor, I’ll leave it to you to decide if a switch to GSM before leaving the U.S. and a switch back upon return is more hassle than being fastidious about remembering to place your phone in Airplane mode every time you switch between Republic service and local cellular service while outside the U.S. If it were me, I would prefer not to feel the need to be fastidious while on vacation.


Thanks again for the great info. Very much appreciated. I will mull over the GSM switch.

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Help! I’m going to Europe in 5 days with my MotoX4 amz ( with some Amazon apps preloaded) on MyChoice 1gb. I have an EU sim card, but I find I can’t configure my dialer. The “Calling accounts” , “SIP accounts” items are not in my Settings menu.
A quick look at the comments scares me away from Zoiper; it’s way beyond my Android chops anyway.
Got another trick to dial local numbers in EU???

If you’re using an EU SIM card, no tricks are necessary. The instructions that you’re trying to follow are only for adding international calling capabilities while using your Republic SIM in the US or on wifi while abroad. If you’re replacing the SIM with a European SIM they don’t apply as you’ll be using the calling capabilities of that SIM and not your Republic service.

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Thank you!!! You answered my question without even knowing about it. I am visiting the UK in a couple days for about 3 weeks and was wondering about my Moto G4Play and WI-Fi.


Before my recent European trip I wasted much too much time researching Sim cards and how to do w what I needed to do to communicate. My ultimate solution may have cost me a few extra bucks, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I suggest never taking the RW phone out of airplane mode after getting on your flight and using a WiFi hotspot. I used a Sapphire unit, loaded way to much data on it, and both my wife and I traveled several weeks through Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria with no troubles whatever.


where did you get the hotspot? form another cell provider in the US? or when you arrived in country?

I purchased a Sapphire Go from the internet before I left. It’s easy to add data for almost anywhere in the world. While touring Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria I left the Sapphire in my pocket and my wife and I were able to use our Moto G5+ phones the same as we do in Florida!


Great information! Say, why would a hotel block texting/calling on their wifi? Curious.