Our SIM card does not have coverage in XXXXX

I have 3 phone lines active with republic and have been a happy customer for several years. I’m trying to bring my wife into my existing plan.
When purchasing a republic sim card for her it says:. Our SIM card does not have coverage in xxxxx. This strikes me as impossible since I’ve been using republic with success for years. Is there more to this than I understand? Is it something to do with the BYOP or Samsung or the new plans?

I have two Moto x4s and one Moto g. They work great.

Please enlighten me to what issues I’m about to find with byop and this scary warning. Thanks

In a word, yes. Republic now works with two cellular network partners. One partner operates a GSM network. The other operates a CDMA (Sprint) network. Your current phones use Sprint. All bring your own phones initially activate provisioned for coverage with Republic’s GSM partner.

When Republic says the bring your own SIM won’t work, translated it means GSM network coverage is likely to provide an inferior experience. There may be a workaround. For further insight, we need to know the model on the Samsung phone(s) you wish to bring.

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My hope is to use this phone: Samsung Galaxy S9 (SM-G960U1)

However, I’m open to alternatives that might be similar phones that offer a better republic experience. Suggestions?

Zip is 92673

Hi @billk.9qjyrs,

The phone is compatible with both of Republic’s network partners. Here’s the workaround to get you where you need to end up:

  1. Ignore any warnings from Republic, acquire the GSM SIM and when both phone and SIM are in hand activate on GSM.

  2. Should, as I expect, GSM coverage proves to be inadequate for you, follow Republic’s guidance here: How to Request a 3.0 CDMA SIM Card – Republic Help.

When all is said and done, you’ll have the same coverage as you enjoy on your other Republic phones. My apologies that currently this isn’t as straightforward as one would hope. Please let us know if further detail is desired.

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Thanks, whats ironic is that I accidentally purchased the dual SIM S9 phone which doesn’t work with republic…but it sure sounds like it should given this scenario…I’m assuming I’ll need to swap out the GSM card and replace with the CDMA card.

I previously bought Moto phones and I guess I was just lucky that they used out of the box sim cards from republic…which I now suspect are CDMAs. But I dunno. I have the new sim from republic in my hand. How do I know if it’s GSM or not?

This whole ordeal is pretty sloppy.

Thx for the help

It’s the price to be paid for the option to use another cellular network. For many folks, myself included, the situation is reversed. GSM provides better coverage, CDMA (Sprint) less so. As a real estate agent might say; it’s all about location, location, location.

To directly answer your question; take a look at the lettering for the word Republic. If the lettering is a mix of black and green it’s GSM. If the lettering is all gray or all black, it’s CDMA.


I take it you bought a phone elsewhere since you stated having a dual sim phone before. So the replacement phone is also a BYOD phone. This is all part of the process to get a CDMA sim card. It’s not as sloppy as it first was and is much simpler now. Think about all the cash you saved buying elsewhere but buying this phone may have gotten a CDMA sim card if purchased from Republic. A computer tries to make a logical guess to the best sim for your zip code and you have a 50/50 shot of getting what you wanted the first time around.
All BYOD phones get the GSM sim card then must be switched by Republic Help if the phone is a dual CDMA/GSM adaptable phone where all phones available for Republic are not.

Note: With a noncoverage GSM zip code you will get a CDMA sim from Republic but the BYOD phone still needs the GSM sim activated first then contact Republic help.

In a ZIP code where BYOP has no coverage you’re actually guaranteed 100% to get a CDMA configured phone if purchased from Republic.

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Thanks for clearing my cobwebs @louisdi


I realize republic may have changed policies but back in July I purchased Two sim cards to this same zip code. Two sim cards arrived and I put then into BYOP Moto x4s. No issues. Best I understand they are CDMAs. Everything worked. No issues.

It sure sounds like ordering a sim now automatically sent GSM to my zip. Why wouldn’t it just send CDMA. That used to work fine based on past experiences.

Also, computers don’t guess. If a customer orders from a CDMA zip - just program it to send CDMA sim. Voila.

If this was a worse process before - it sure wasn’t for me.
Lastly, if I do need CDMA sim, what’s the process to get one? Is there a phone number I can call?

I really do appreciate all the responses.

If they are BYOP SIM cards from July, they have to be GSM. You can verify that by opening the Republic App on the phone in question and then clicking the gear and the About and you’ll see “SIM Type” there.

GSM technology was designed to allow activating of SIM cards in any compatible phone. CDMA, not so much. In fact the SIM cards in CDMA phones didn’t exist until 4G LTE came about. Republic has said they’d like to offer direct activation for BYOP CDMA, but it isn’t simple.

See above and some additional info. There isn’t a “CDMA SIM”. Unfortunately, unlike GSM where there is one SIM, different phones when used with Sprint could require a CSIM, ISIM or SIMOTA. So, unlike GSM, Republic would have to know for certain the model phone the SIM is going to be activated in in order to sent the right type of SIM.

It isn’t better or worse, it is exactly the same. THe only thing that likely changed was Republic’s opinion of the GSM service in your area. Based on customer feedback they’ve likely decided the service there isn’t the experience they want to offer and therefore you’re now seeing the message you didn’t see before.

You open a ticket and make the request. Documented here: How to Request a 3.0 CDMA SIM Card – Republic Help

All great info. You are correct about everything I can verify. Moto x4 BYOP Sims are indeed GSM. They always worked and I never even knew to look. So, there must be pocket areas in my zip where things don’t work well otherwise the scary warning wouldn’t be necessary.

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