Long term use in Canada


I am moving back to Canada but LOVE my RW service AND still will be spending time in the US. I am trying to imagine keeping my phone just as it is. That means making calls and texts from wifi only in Canada. And maybe using something like WhatsApp also. This is what I don’t really know or understand. If I am at home or work in Canada for instance near wifi, then I am presuming my RW phone will still make AND recieve calls and texts from both Canadian and US numbers. Is this correct? Then when I am not near wifi, I will not recieve or make calls BUT, when I am back in wifi range, do those messages from calls and texts then come through? Or are they just lost in space? And what about WhatsApp? Which is an app of course, so it must use data. Can it be used without cell service over wifi? As you can probably tell by now I’m not very techie! Is there anything I’m missing or not understanding about the possibility of just using the phone as a wifi phone? Of course when not near wifi, nothing on the phone will work like internet access or phone or text. I get that. Thank you in advance for any insight.


Hi @marniejean,

For a self-professed non- techie I’d say your understanding is more or less perfect. I’m uncertain about the use case for WhatsApp is but if you’re currently using it with your phone, you may continue to do so in Canada when connected to WiFi.

Calls made to your Republic number when away from WiFi will go to voicemail. For more insight on text messages and, perhaps, other things, may we know the brand, model and generation of your Republic phone?


Thank you for your kind remark. I am using a Nexus 5x with Android 8.1.0 that I bought 2nd hand.

Also, can you explain in layman’s terms a little about a Canadian prepaid sim card, which I’ve read a little bit about in the forum. If I switch out my Republic wireless SIM card and put in one of those, will the phone still work on Wi-Fi as a Republic phone, and then switch over to a cell phone with the Canadian SIM when I am away from WiFi? That would mean that when I’m away from Wi-Fi, I would not have any type of Internet service, just phone or text service. Would it automatically switch back and forth? I am just trying to look at all my options, so that I can continue using Republic wireless and still have decent phone service when I am away from WiFi.

Thank you!


You’re most welcome!

Thank you for the additional context!

First to finish answering the text messaging question. When away from WiFi, Republic will “hold” your text messages and deliver them to your phone once it sees its reconnected to WiFi.

The least expensive Republic plan available for your Nexus 5X is the $15 talk and text only My Choice option. It wouldn’t make sense to continue using a plan option with cell data while in Canada because as you know Republic offers no cellular coverage outside the U.S. When connected to WiFi, your phone will behave as it does in the U.S.

I’m afraid not. The Republic SIM must be resident in the phone for it to work as a Republic phone on WiFi. Using the phone on a Canadian cellular network (which is possible) would mean swapping SIMs in and out of the phone.

Which brings me to the Canadian cellular market. No offense intended to our neighbors to the north as I have both family and friends in Canada (Nova Scotia), however the Canadian cellular market is among the worst (at least in the first world). The best prepaid option is probably Chatr Mobile. Canada’s big three are Rogers, Bell and Telus.

If the SIM swapping thing is unattractive to you (and I wouldn’t blame you), I might have other ideas, however, I’d like to know a bit more about how often you plan to travel back to the U.S. and for how long before opining on those.


Yes, Whatsapp can be used as far as you have an active phone line associated with the device. Any whatsapp content sent to you while you are away from WiFi… will sync up as soon as you connect to WiFi… it will not be lost in space!


Wow, these answers are amazing. This is exactly the information I was looking for. And yes, now that I think about it I would not need cell data coverage and so could go with the $15 plan. Since Republic wireless lets you add data anytime at will, I might switch to the lowest cost plan and just add data when I am in the US.

Yes, I was also shocked to discover the state of Canadian cell phone business. There are some wonderful things about Canada, but cell phone choices is not one of them.

I am excited to hear that the WhatsApp will also work over Wi-Fi and save any messages, so thank you for that extra bit of information.

As my future is uncertain, I cannot say how much time I will spend in the United States, but I sure hope it can be a month or two. Otherwise I will be in Canada. Meanwhile I’m going to keep my Republic wireless account and make adjustments. Perhaps a mobile hotspot rather than dedicated WiFi at home, so that I can have Wi-Fi everywhere is another option. I haven’t looked into that just yet. May not be cost effective.

In some ways it might be like going back to a landline, but with a few more places where the phone will work other than home. Since that is what I have known most of my life, it does not seem such a hardship to consider that as a way to approach this. And since I have automatic payment setup, I do not have to worry about where my bill will be sent.

As long as I am not breaking any rules, I feel like this is a decent option for someone like myself who really only switched to a smartphone about 3 years ago.

Maybe Republic wireless should be marketing to certain Canadians like myself.

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