Question about coverage for college student away vs at home



Son will be a college freshman & needs a new phone before leaving home next month. Putting in our zip code & zip code of the university brings up different phones available. The moto g4 & g5 plus are common in both zip codes. Will he have good cell coverage at either place? I think our home coverage is CDMA & school coverage I am guessing is GSM? Son is not a heavy phone user. Could we possibly buy the Moto E? It will work at school but it is not showing as available in the home zip code. He will be home summer and breaks and obviously will need a phone then. I understand service over wi-fi should work anywhere. So which phone gets us the best cell coverage in both of the worlds he is living in?


Hi @paulat.0p5ea5!

I definitely understand since I was in his position last summer! Your situation is definitely complex. First off, the Moto E4 doesn’t support CDMA currently and there is no timeline as to when it will be available on CDMA (thought it will be at one point). Therefore, if you got the G4, it could only work on GSM.

As college student myself, I find myself using nearly 100% WiFi while on campus. As long as his campus has WiFi (which it should, but you should have your son double check), he will have coverage. Since the coverage at your house is not the same as the coverage at school, I would probably lean towards going with the network that covers your home better. However, it really could go either way-especially if your son goes off campus a lot and doesn’t have access to WiFi. It’s really your son’s (or your) call. If you give us both of the zip codes we may be able to do some further investigation. I hope that helps a little ;)!



Thank you for the reply, mb2x! I figured someone else probably has been where we are.

Zip code home = 46703; school zip = 47907, house zip at school = 47906. AFAIK, wi-fi is widely available at school & at the co-op house where he will be living. Of course, sometimes one is out and about without wi-fi. Thus, cell is good too, especially on the almost 3 hr trip home in an older car.

Thank you for looking into this further so we can have better info to make the purchase. I am leaning towards the Moto G5 Plus to have more memory in hopes it will last 4 years. DH is going on just over 3 yrs on his Moto G, 1st gen phone! It has been great!


after checking both partners coverage map GSM (T-Mobile) would have an small edge but even the CDMA partner (Sprint) should be workable in both locations
along the highways both partners should have coverage,

the Moto E4 should be a good budget phone but your son may prefer the Moto G5 plus (it would likely last longer being a high mid-line phone)

T-Mobile MVNO maps [Republic GSM partner]
Sprint map [Republic CDMA partner]


So your home is in Angola Indiana? CDMA does indeed have coverage at all locations. Interestingly enough, I found that GSM seems to cover both areas the best. Even more interesting is the fact that CDMA signal is noted as “fair” at your home zip. Of course, the coverage checkers I used are not indicative of the actual signal. The G5 plus is a good choice as it supports both GSM and CDMA. You may want to go with GSM and see how it goes. If you go with GSM and find the signal to be lousy, you or your son can open a ticket with Republic support and if they see that the coverage would be better with CDMA, they will move you over to the CDMA network (send you a new SIM). You can do the same if you start with CDMA and move to GSM as well. It’s really your choice!


We are in the Angola area. At our house cell is weak but a short 1/4 mile away cell coverage is better. I, too, saw the maps. I am not sure the map is entirely correct because one person I know on T-mobile has trouble with her cell service when here but she has an older phone. (Maybe our neighborhood has too many trees, lol) Thanks for the suggestions and possible fixes if we are not happy with coverage! The pp poster also has a good point that a high mid line phone would probably last longer… Thank you all for the input!

One last question, if we would decide to go with the Moto E4 GSM & aren’t happy with cell coverage at the house in Angola, we will be able to open the help ticket to get a new SIM, correct? Even though I am leaning towards the Moto G5 plus, the removable battery in the Motor E4 is a big plus for us.


right now there is no Republic CDMA SIM that works in the Moto E4, this should be an option later this year when Republic gets over the technical issues with activating a Moto E4 on CDMA but until then Republic Moto E4 service has to be GSM


Thanks, that is something to definitely to consider with a phone purchase. So it looks like the only cheaper phone options for us are the Moto G4 & Moto G5 Plus if we don’t want to risk the E4 cell service not working well around our home.


I would not count on the Moto G4 as it’s showing out of stock and post here sound like this my be permanently out of stock (or only open up when a few are phone and then be right out of stock again (last years model that has had it production run ended.


Thanks for the heads up on the Moto G4 status!


You should ask the school through e-mail or during the tour about their internet policy as well. Depending on how their network is setup Republic can be fantastic, so-so, or ugly. For the longest time I could not figure out how to utilize my University’s wi-fi (WPA Enterprise) and my experience with Republic became more frustrating (and expensive on 2.0 plans). However, after learning how to properly use their wi-fi system my experience became much more streamlined and I hardly ever had to use data or cell service on the entire campus.


Good idea! Thanks!


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