Not getting cell service when I am away from WiFi

Galaxy J7

Talk and text only

Issue Description

Every time I get away from my home WiFi, I can not call or text, and I live in an area (Newberg OR) that has good reception for all the big name services. Last weekend a friend and I went to Maupin OR to look at a home my wife and I are going to buy, and I couldn’t get cell service. He is with AT&T and sitting right next to me and he was getting 4 bars with his flip phone. Is there a setting in my Galaxy J7 that I have to punch in?

I’m sorry this is very late as far as responses go. Your phone is activated with Republic’s GSM carrier. Looking at the coverage in Newberg OR it is pretty lousy after you leave the downtown area. Maupin OR is far worse with little to no coverage. I’m sorry to say, this is likely a coverage issue.

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Thanks for your reply. We will be moving to Maupin in July, so Republic is not going to be a good fit as it stands now. I was so hoping that it was something simple that I could solve in the settings of my J7.

Unfortunately the J7 is a phone that can only work with Republic’s GSM partner (it is a GSM only phone), who has lousy coverage there. Republic’s other partner is a bit better, but your phone won’t work with them.

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Louisdi… This is very bad, and irritating news. I paid over $200 for this phone, and now I find out it is essentially a boat anchor!! When I signed up for RW the information that I read was that you could use it with WiFi, and if you were out of the WiFi range it would automatically switch over to cell coverage to use voice and text. Nothing was said about my choice of phones only working with GSM. Had I known this I never would have invested my very limited social security money in that phone, or Republic Wireless. Looks like another “If it sounds too good to be true… It probably is” lesson.

Since your phone is unlocked and you’re moving to an area that doesn’t have good coverage with RW’s GSM partner, but you know that AT&T works there, you can switch to them.


@jumphour Is correct. The phone is unlocked and will work with other GSM carriers, in that area, AT&T and their resellers look like they should have good coverage. It also may not hurt to open a ticket with Republic support to ask if there’s anything they’re willing to do to help you out.

If none of that works out, the phone can be sold on swappa. Current asking price for an unlocked J7 is $150

after looking at the Maupin OR on Republic CDMA map it looks like the only coverage is roaming which can be hit or miss and I would not recommend Republic for this location, you may want to move the J7 to an AT&T or one of it’s MVNOs

CDMA on Republic is Sprint
GSM on republic is T-Mobile

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Supposedly one of the benefits of Republic over other MVNOs is that U.S. roaming is included. I thought that the GSM partner would roam onto another GSM provider if there is one available. Since there is a good AT&T signal, why would his phone not roam onto that AT&T signal?

I have found roaming with the GSM partner to be poor, seemed better with the CDMA partner (when I was on the old refund plan with my now retired Moto X first gen).

Roaming is completely dependant on the agreement the underlying carrier has with their partners. Because of how expensive roaming is, the carriers limit which towers they contract for roaming with. If they believe they have even the weakest of signals, they often will not contract for roaming in that area.

I understand that Republic has no control over roaming, just pointing out that this is an example of why RW users can’t count on it. Because of that, it is my opinion that roaming shouldn’t be a big factor in deciding whether to go with RW.

Back to the OP’s situation, it seems that switching to AT&T or a MVNO that uses AT&T would be his best bet.

One might also consider, Republic’s GSM network partner is and has been very aggressive about building out its network. To be sure, holes remain in that network but far fewer than even a year or two ago. One might argue Sprint has superior roaming arrangements than Republic’s GSM partner. Given, that if approved, the TMO-Sprint merger is really a sale of Sprint to TMO, whose approach was better?

better for the end customer or better for the main carrier?

I’m not arguing for or against the benefits of the proposed merger here. I am arguing that TMO has run its business better than Sprint and that its aggressive network build out rather than focusing on better roaming agreements is part of that.

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