No signal in town but ZIP says it's covered?

Hi,
We’ve been loyal Republic Wireless customers for eight years (almost to the day!) and have loved the service.

Generally, we’ve had pretty good coverage wherever we go, except if we’re driving through very remote, rural areas. We recently moved to a small town - not THAT small, we’ve got a lot of “in town amenities” (grocery stores, restaurants, hardware stores, auto garages, etc) and our home is right next to the public schools.

However, my husband and I both don’t get any cell signal here, anywhere in town. We both have Moto Z Play phones, bought from Republic Wireless a couple of years ago. The website said there should be coverage in this area (zip code 03244) but there simply isn’t.

We’re making do for now - we’re both working from home, and most places we go here in town have some kind of wifi available, at least. But we can’t rely on WiFi for everything… and I really, really don’t want to change service providers, but we do need to have cell service available for when WiFi isn’t.

Any ideas? Thanks! :slight_smile:

It looks like my phone is GSM, but I checked both coverage maps and they both show that there should be coverage in my area. Sprint shows the “extended LTE” for my town, I don’t know if that would have any impact. I suppose we can always try the other carrier SIM to see if it changes anything. Thanks!

GSM = T-Mobile network coverage. When one looks at coverage maps, it isn’t strictly about the about the existence of coverage but also about the quality of the signal. When I zoom T-Mobile’s map, I see some “fair” signal strength mixed with areas of no coverage whatsoever.

You mention your phones being Moto Z Plays. There are 3 generations of the Moto Z Play. Do you know if you have the 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation models? If uncertain, please sign into your Republic account here: https://account.republicwireless.com/account/phones/. What is said for the model underneath the pictures representing your phones/

It doesn’t look like it tells which generation of phone I’ve got, just the 32GB model.

I did zoom in as far as TMobile’s map would allow. This is what I get for coverage:


You can see in the screenshots above that my signal is not “fair,” it’s simply nonexistent. This is the case indoors, outside, down the street, etc. Right now I’m sitting next to the window and there’s no cell signal being received at all.

Hi @crssafox,

Try this T-Mobile map instead preferably from a computer where it will be easier to zoom the map: http://maps.t-mobile.com/. I think you’ll see what I’m talking about.

When no generation is mentioned, it means 1st generation. The dilemma here is the 1st generation Moto Z Play is a GSM only phone. It cannot be provisioned with CDMA coverage.

Candidly, an improved coverage experience with Republic would require different phones. Any chance, you might be interested in upgrading?

We are interested, as both of our Moto Z Plays have apparently reached the end of their lifespans - both seem to be having troubles with battery swelling, my husband’s is currently not able to hold much of a charge. (This began several months ago, long before we moved, and has not affected connectivity - he still receives signal just fine in the city.)

However, we’re hesitant to upgrade phones through Republic if we can’t be certain of connectivity. Locals say Verizon is the carrier of choice for the area (please no, they were my first carrier nearly twenty years ago and I am not a fan) but we also can’t afford top-of-the-line phone models right now (what with having just bought a house and all). :wink:

We might upgrade his phone and see how it goes; if the pandemic ever ends, he will be the one needing connectivity more for a commute anyway. I can make do with WiFi for a little longer, if need be.

I appreciate your help!

Using the other map, it looks like there should still be coverage. This snapshot includes the school district, our neighborhood, the downtown area, and a fairly busy state highway.

Also, for what it’s worth- I can confirm the “dark pink” on the very right-hand side of the map, I was able to receive a very small amount of coverage there as it is a summer time takeout restaurant, the only place I was able to get any cell signal in the whole area. :wink:

Hi @crssafox,

Some final thoughts. With the exception of LG’s Stylo 5, any phone currently sold in Republic’s online store may be provisioned with either GSM (T-Mobile network) or CDMA (Sprint network) coverage. On balance, Sprint is the superior choice by far. The phones sold in Republic’s online store are all also factory unlocked as are your Moto Z plays. If it doesn’t work out with Republic, factory unlocked phones may be activated on other networks. Again, the Moto Z plays are GSM only, so they would work with AT&T but not Verizon.

Regarding the map, this is what I see:

All that white is no coverage. If I zoom in on the pink, I see mostly “fair” strength signal. This is how T-Mobile describes “fair”: “Cell coverage outdoors and occasionally indoors”.

Thanks for the tips. The pin dropped on the map you’ve shared isn’t actually near the town or residential areas. The white spaces are up in the mountains, where I wouldn’t expect signal to reach anyway. The actual town of Hillsboro (and where I live) is down by the “9” at the bottom-left corner of the text box for the pin, which is pretty solidly pink.

Even so, I don’t get a signal outdoors, not even “occasionally.” Not enough to make a call or send a text message; for that, I need to pause by a WiFi hotspot.

Thank you for all of the time you’ve given this; I’ll talk things over with my husband and see what he thinks. I’m all for upgrading if we can swing it, and we will look for a phone that can do CDMA instead.

When T-Mobile bought Sprint my connectivity in Vernon and Richland counties fell off the map. Previous to that I had excellent connection everywhere even if it showed none. I’ve tried both CDMA as well as GSM chips. Currently I’m using CDMA as I get slightly better connection in a few places at least that way. I don’t feel like I can depend on my phone connecting like I used to. Service through the Sprint network has definitely degraded. I do live in a rural area but I have been a member of republic wireless from beta and have always had decent service. any city I go to I get good connections but in the rural areas even where the maps show coverage we don’t have it. By rural I mean any city of less than 50,000.

That makes sense, thank you. New Hampshire is mostly rural, haha. But I’ve traveled a lot within the state, and usually if I’m visiting a town of the same size as the one we moved to, I’ll still get at least a tiny little bit of a signal, which is why I was surprised to find that it didn’t actually work here.

At the very least, it would seem an “upgrade” to a phone that can do both CDMA and GSM is in order. If coverage further declines over the next few years, though, we very well may have to say farewell to Republic, which would be disappointing; I’ve loved having a cell bill of a whopping $45/month for two lines. :wink:

Update:
Both my husband and I upgraded our phones as we caught a really good deal on a Moto G Stylus. This is also a phone Republic offers in their shop, so should be current with how the service operates. I put my GSM SIM card in, and it still doesn’t get any cell signal in town at all. (Oddly enough, there’s abundant cell signal in the forest we hike in nearby, which is helpful, at least!)

Anyway, next step is to try with the CDMA SIM card and see if that gets any better results. Here’s hoping it does.

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