No cell service ... Emergency calls only?

Just purchased a new Moto Z Play … and I have moved to a new zip code. The zip code is 32163. It is a very populated area with heavy Sprint coverage. We have two phones … the new Moto Z Play and a Moto X Gen2. The Gen2 has cell service in our home. Not strong in all areas, but always at least one or two bars. We have a full wi-fi connections.

But the Moto Z Play does not have ANY CELLULAR connection in our home! It shows NO BARS. The status shows NO CELLULAR SERVICE. Emergency Calls Only. My husband can stand right next to me with the Gen2 in the house and call my phone and it will not even ring. It goes directly to voicemail … even if I am connected to wi-fi in our home!

What could this be? Is it a software problem? A set-up problem? I don’t get it. This is supposed to the be newer, better phone?? I am a care giver for an elderly parent. I can not be unreachable.

Any suggestions or is this just a BAD phone … poor antenae or something?

Did you add the Republic Wireless sim card for the Moto Z play?

Did you check the coverage map before you bought the phone?

If you dislike the service with the new phones (which are on T-mobile’s network, I believe, instead of Sprint’s), do you still fall in the 30 days to return it? (Please be careful with the phone especially if you might return it).

The Pure doesn’t use the Sprint network so that “good” coverage won’t work for you. Here is the coverage map for the new phones:

Coverage Check | Republic Wireless

On the other hand the fact that calls go to voicemail when you are on Wi-Fi may mean that your phone isn’t fully activated; a strong possibility if you have no cell signal. In order for activation to complete successfully with 3.0 Plan phones you need do the activation in an area with strong cell coverage. Hopefully the map will help with that but it is also possible that you simply won’t be able to use a new phone until Sprint is on board with the new plans.

… do you still fall in the 30 days to return it?

This is now 14 days.

You should use this coverage map to check the coverage at your home address and zoom in if necessary to see your location.

4G LTE Coverage Map | Check Your 4G LTE Cell Phone Coverage | T-Mobile

I have personally seen the “Fair” coverage on the map to range from good voice/data indoors to no voice/data outdoors. You may need to power the phone off and back on in an area of good coverage.

RW used to put themselves out as primarily a WiFi phone service with cell as backup. If that’s still the case, no bars inside your home shouldn’t be a concern. No calls on WiFi is a bigger issue.

I bought the phone through Republic as a replacement for an existing phone. I checked the coverage for Sprint and it was great! My husband is using our Moto X Gen 2 and he is using Android 5.0 Lollipop and he has a full triangle status bar and my phone has a hollow status bar and even though I am on wi-fi … It intermittently says “Emergency Calls Only”. Calls coming in to me go directly to voicemail!

Any suggestions?

OK … Your coverage map basically shows the whole state of Florida covered. We are in Central Florida. Husband on a Gen 2 Moto X is getting full triangle status running Android 5.0 Lollipop. Is it Marshmallow 6.0.1?

I have repeated the activation process twice. Keep getting the Congratulations letter … You just successfully completed your first text, etc. But do not have sustained service in our house???

What do I do?

I checked the coverage for Sprint and it was great!
Were you at the new location when you ordered or still at your previous area?

Received the phone on December 10th. Return and replace with what??!!

I “occasionally” am getting the “Emergency Calls Only” even on wi-fi. I don’t understand the constant frequent changing of the signal and the quanlity or complete failure of connectivity … Even with wi-fi.

Any suggestions?

The Pure works on both GSM and CDMA but the 3.0 CDMA/Sprint coverage for it isn’t available [on request] yet. The only reason to return it is if it is defective, which will take some time and effort working with Support to determine, or if you ordered it at the previous location where, presumably GSM coverage was seen by the computer as superior.

Either way at this point your best option will be to open a trouble ticket with Support and advise them that:

  • Your phone isn’t functional.
  • You may be at a different location than the one that was evaluated for you at the time you ordered.
  • You have no cell signal. They will no doubt be curious about where you have no signal so if you have tried using the phone other than at home specify where else it sees no signal. This may help them troubleshoot a radio/antenna failure.

If you are going to be moved over to CDMA service they will have to send you a new phone. So this is a good time to back up anything you may want to save.

Don’t just send it back! It will almost surely get lost for some time, maybe permanently. They will e-mail you a shipping label.


The phone symptom sounds like the phone isn’t fully activated. The 3.0 phones need a Wifi signal and a strong cell signal. This phone is a GSM Tmobile provider to run the phone. Do you know if Tmobile is widely used in your city? Go to a metropolis area not rural and turn the airplane mode on and off a few times. This should kickstart the cell antenna. Try that and let the community know how it is. I am telling you this is a Tmobile service phone and may have terrible to no service in your area. The old phone is a RW/sprint service hybrid phone using wifi first before Sprint cell service so stop comparing the 2 phones service’s as 1 service, it is 2 seperate services! They are apples to Kiwi fruit not the same at all.

*** ~~ßocephous™***

Hopefully you have already opened a Ticket with Republic Help ? Make sure that you clearly outline the impact this is having on you and your family, and provide all the details (exact location of phone, any visual indicators at time of failure etc). The Republic Support team is best suited for solving a problem that may be an activation failure.

Received the phone on December 10th. Return and replace with what??!!

@tandemst ,

I would suggest using the Sprint coverage map and enter your home/billing address to see if shows much better coverage than the LTE map. If it does, you could return your Z Play and purchase one of the GSM/CDMA capable phones, threre is a good chance it would ship from RW with a CDMS SIM card as part of the soft launch test. Moto X Pure and Moto G4 could be good choice if you decide to go that route. Good luck.

Sprint map:…

I do not understand what you mean by “the Pure” … I used the coverage map that you suggested … our address is 903 Pickering Path, The Villages, FL 32163 … but the weird thing is my husbands phone on Lollipop works great!

You may want to redact your address … this is a public forum

Lollipop phones at Republic are all on Sprint … the 3.0 phones are nearly all on the GSM carrier … so they will not have the same coverage

Here is the coverage for you address:

If anything, the coverage T-Mobile shows for your address is optimistic.

@tandemst ,

Thanks for providing your address but you should edit your reply to at least delete the street #.

Plugged in your info into the Sprint map and appears you have you have good CDMA coverage there. RW soft launch should consider your GSM coverage poor.

Suggest you read my previous reply, If RW didn’t ship one of the new phones suggested with the Sprint 3.0 CDMA card their test is faulty.

@billg Dec 17, 2016 11:08 AM

Here is the coverage for you address:

If anything, the coverage T-Mobile shows for your address is optimistic

From I want to try the gsm carier. .

@seanr @ William Olsen on Dec 12, 2016 3:55 PM

Are CDMA compatible phones from RW now being shipped with only CDMA SIM cards to **all **customers RW thinks thinks CDMA will work better? Seems this is what you have alluded to.

Only current customers with poor GSM. We will probably not make another change to that until next year.

@tandemst ,

RW soft launch should consider your GSM coverage poor. Did you read suggestions at bottom of page?

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