No service while traveling an area with strong 4g Service on the map

#1

My wife recently traveled for a retreat to Bandon OR.

Looking at this map, using a Moto G6 we expected excellent service.
https://republicwireless.com/tools/coverage-map-gsm/

2295 Beach Loop Rd, Bandon, OR 97411, USA

Data: 4G LTE

Make calls, send texts, browse the Internet, and stream music and video.

Signal: Strong

Coverage outdoors, on the road, and in homes and buildings.

She actually got basically nothing. One of our friends also on the retreat said yeah, only AT&T has cell phone towers in that area.

So, I am basically confused about why the map would say coverage is excellent. It kind of ruined some of her plans for the weekend.

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#2

Have your confirmed that it has the GSM SIM in it?
In the Republic app, under about, it will tell you the SIM type.

Also, if it was a retreat, there should have been wifi to connect to.

Additionally, one can check RootMetrics map to see where users report their own cell signal and you can toggle among the major networks. The map for that location shows good to fair coverage on the roads, but not much for buildings in the area. (You are on GSM so that would be Tmobile)
http://webcoveragemap.rootmetrics.com/en-US

EDIT: For that exact address, when u zoom in, it looks like only Verizon has Strong signal, all the others are fair.

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#3

SIM Type: GSM
The retreat had Wi-Fi indoors, but wandering out of doors nothing.

The rootmetrics map for her location shows -99 dBm, not great.
So the coverage map that RW publishes seems a bit misleading.

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#4

Should I be looking at the Sprint signal? (That is my assumption.)

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#5

All coverage maps form any carrier are very generalized actually. Also, I my be wrong, but I think that RW’s is simply using the same map data from their partner carriers maps, (Tmobile or Sprint)

Third party generated maps, like done by RootMetrics, are made my actual people with the app on their phone that transmits data points and runs tests in the background.

Edit:
Some more info here:

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#6

If you are on GSM, then you are on Tmobile as Republic’s network partner.

CDMA would be Sprint.

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#7

Tmobile. Good. Several phones ago was CDMA so that’s probably where I got the Sprint idea. Thanks for that tidbit.

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#8

Well, I think you have answered my question.
“It is what it is” I guess. Thanks so much for pointing me to that app.

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#9

And besides 20 reasons to love Bandon doesn’t mention using your cell phone :slight_smile:

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#10

LOL. Thanks!

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#11

I had a similar experience on Yachats OR last year. I could see a cell tower nearby. No coverage on CDMA or GSM. Very disappointing. I guess it’s up to the carriers whether they allow roaming or not.

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#12

I have had issues with All phones on RW while traveling in rural areas or areas away from major cities. Whether older moto defy or new motor g6 is irrelevant as is whether it is GSM or cdma. I have had all these types of phone and connection is almost non-existence. Almost, since due to the fact that once in a while, on CDMA Sim card I do get reception, mostly very poor, occasionally good -depending upon the weather.
Therefore, we have to keep our other carrier phone that uses ATT system. Whatever base system ATT uses, it works well in remote areas. One time we considered switching to RW, but are staying with two different carriers for now.

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#13

RW’s network partners are Sprint (CDMA) and Tmobile (GSM).

The other big name carriers that RW can not use are ATT (GSM) and Verizon(CDMA).
There are many areas of the USA that only these 2 networks have good coverage.

You can use the configurable map on RootMetrics site so see real world reports from users as to signal based on locations you search. On the top bar of the map, you can select which carrier network you wish to view coverage for:

http://webcoveragemap.rootmetrics.com/en-US

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#14

With one caveat. In areas where one of Republic’s partners has a roaming agreement with AT&T or Verizon Republic customers will be able to make calls and send/receive texts in those areas.

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#15

RW must not have such agreements here in MN, as I have been in areas I know have no tmobile signal, and stood right next to someone who had at or vzw and my phone never shifted into roaming.

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#16

Republic GSM phones (T-Mobile) will only roam to AT&T (or other local GSM tower providers)
Republic CDMA partner (Sprint) will only roam to Verizon (or other local CDMA tower providers)

all Roaming agreements are local if the Main carrier thinks the area is covered by there towers they may not be a roaming agreement in that area

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#17

The comments regarding GSM…will roam on ATT or other… When I was issued GSM Sim with moto g6 it simply didn’t work in roaming where I Was able to use our ATT based cell. Therefore, it is quite possible it was localized GSM tower and apparently quite a few remote areas in the USA will not be available to RW customers. Based on my experiences.
However, I requested a CDMA Sim and at least it works sparatically.

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#18

It’s not just RW, but anyone that contracts with T-Mobile. The roaming relationship is between T-Mobile and its partners. Because roaming is so expensive the carriers tend to do everything possible to minimize roaming.

A bit of a tangent, but related.

Over 5 years ago there were two carriers that drastically lagged behind the big 2 (AT&T / Verizon). These carriers were Sprint and T-Mobile. These two carriers took drastically different strategies in order to try and compete from a coverage perspective.

Sprint spent lots and lots of money allowing its customers to roam on Verizon. They got nothing for this money other than what they perceived as more customers and customers that stayed because they could offer coverage in areas where they never did before. Unfortunately, the amount they were paying to Verizon was so massive that it often replaced investment in their own network over the years.

T-Mobile decided that giving tons of money to its competitor wasn’t good for its long-term health. They knew that this might keep them in the 4th position by customer count for a while, but that investing this money in their network, in buying more spectrum at auction, and in marketing and customer acquisition would help them grow their customer base, loyalty and satisfaction in the long-term.

Fast forward to today. Sprint still relies on vast areas of roaming to provide its coverage. Because of the lack of investment in their network they’re routinely rated last of the major networks in coverage, speeds, customer satisfaction and just about anything.

T-Mobile on the other hand is a not so distant 3rd in the carrier race (customer count). Their native coverage has improved drastically, they are routinely rated number 1 or 2 in speed tests, have been growing faster than all the other carriers for many quarters in a row and now own vast quantities of low frequency spectrum which positions them very well for the coming 5G network build-out.

TL;DR: T-Mobile has a lot less roaming coverage than Sprint because they’re spending the money trying to build out their own coverage rather than paying AT&T inflated roaming rates that prevent them from investing in their own infrastructure.

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