No coverage downtown 66504

no bars in mclouth, ks 66504 in/near the center of town.
What phone do you have?
moto e5 play
What plan are you on?
My Choice + 1 GB
Does your plan include data, or just talk & text?
yes, 1 G of data a month, plus can buy additional if run out

Issue Description

no coverage “downtown” 66504 where “coverage map” says it should have it. entered zip code on rw website and it said you will have coverage there. i need coverage for work when i make these field service calls in small KS and MO towns (always, or almost always, near the center of town.) haven’t tried anything except shopping verizon when i got home.

Could you check out How to Tell If a Phone Is Active on GSM or CDMA – Republic Help and let us know? Sprint and T-mobile still provide different coverage in some places

it’s GSM

Good Morning @waynv,

Candidly, in my experience, relying on Republic’s zip code based coverage check tool to assess coverage quality is not ideal. Please allow me to provide context regarding Republic’s coverage options.

Republic provisions cellular coverage with one of two network partners. One partner operates a GSM network and is T-Mobile. Republic’s other partner operates a CDMA network and is Sprint. T-Mobile and Sprint have merged, however, the networks remain separate. Cellular coverage is provisioned with one network or the other not both simultaneously.

Your Moto E5 play is compatible with GSM (T-Mobile network) coverage only. The Moto E5 play lacks the hardware (a CDMA radio) necessary for CDMA (Sprint network) coverage to be an option.

When I look at T-Mobile’s coverage map for the McLouth area I do see coverage, however, it’s rated as fair signal strength. T-Mobile defines fair signal strength as “Cell reception outdoors and occasionally indoors”. Indoors includes a moving vehicle. Worse, in downtown McLouth, T-Mobile network coverage is non-existent. You may see for yourself here:

Candidly, Sprint network coverage in and around McLouth isn’t a lot better. It’s mostly roaming (meaning coverage is provided by whomever Sprint’s roaming partner in the area is). With roaming coverage the best one might expect is talk & text but no cell data for Internet access. Again, however, a switch to CDMA (Sprint network and its roaming partners) isn’t possible for a Moto E5 play. You would need a different phone.

You don’t mention what other small KS and MO towns you frequent but if they’re as equally rural as McLouth, the coverage.experience may not be any better. If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that your Moto E5 play is factory unlocked. In addition to Republic, it may be activated with any network provider willing to do so. In the U.S. the other GSM network operator is AT&T. Switching to another provider who like Republic partners with T-Mobile would be pointless.

Finally, I’ll go ahead and submit a request that Republic modify its zip code based coverage check tool for the McLouth area. In my opinion, it should indicate no coverage there.


THANK YOU! for the VERY thorough and lucid response with options. I didn’t list the small towns because there are too many, basically every town that has a general store in a chain that will remain unnamed. ATT may be an option then. however does RW have a phone that will switch between GSM and CDMA automatically?

or do they have a wifi hotspot in CDMA that i could use for data, if GSM was not working? although that would not help is the store’s phones were down too, and i couldn’t call my tech support.

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… oh ok, even if i had a RW phone with both cdma and gsm, or a gsm hotspot, it still would be no coverage in a lot of small towns. so that pushes the pendulum even closer to ATT

You’re welcome!


No that functionality is limited to Google Fi. Google Fi uses T-Mobile’s, Sprint’s and US Cellular’s networks.

I’m afraid not. Republic does not offer standalone hotspot devices. Most Republic phones are able to be used as hotspots but would be subject to the same coverage limitations already mentioned.

My instinct is you need AT&T or Verizon coverage. I mentioned AT&T ealrier because your Moto E5 play is compatible with AT&T’s network but not Verizon’s (no CDMA on the phone).

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