T Mobile "Test Drive"

Is this a viable way of testing things out? I am currently running a rapidly failing Moto X that will need to be replaced before spring, and have been looking at coverage maps frequently over the last year. I am aware that CDMA is probabl;y going the way of the dodo and even see threads here about that. T Mobile has an interesting thing with rapidly increasing coverage in areas I go. This device seemingly has no risks. Is it relevant to RW? I already am used to poor coverage because of places I live and frequent, so why not try something like this for free just to see what the difference would be?

Linky Linkerton


That appears to be a mobile hot spot device used for mobile internet wifi access, not for calls or texts. Though,i just applied for that device, and it does appear to be 100% free to get. no CC info or anything.

If you get a new RW compatible phones that supports both GSM and CDMA nework partners, trying out either network is as easy as changing out SIM cards. RW would send u out a CDMA SIM for free most likely, if the GSM card is not good for u.

You also could have a look at RootMetrics coverage maps for each network, That contains data points from actual users.

Could you post your zip code for the area you are concerned about and others here would be happy to see about the best coverage option?

It connects to the phone via wifi, but allows calling and texting on T Mobile’s network. Probably data, too, but I don’t have that so am not going to learn as much. You raise a good point about getting a phone and rocking the SIM I find necessary.

There are so many zip codes I could give you to look up. It wouldn’t be fair. Some of the places have no coverage for any carrier. It’s kind of nice. It’s also kind of nice that I can talk on wifi with Republic!

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That would only be if the device you are connecting to the wifi it poduces supports it.
An old RW Moto X (if it is one of the legacy models, the X1 or X2) those are custom rom phones and do not support Tmobiles wifi calling or texting. RW uses its own thing.

It may however, work normal as if on any public wifi when using your RW phone, but unless you put the phone in Airplane mode, and enable wifi, remove your home wifi and only use the phone on the TM hotspot, your RW phone will still use its own cell network (sprint) if it thinks it needs to over the hot spot wifi.

Point is, connecting you old RW phone to that device, woudl not be a very good way to “test” anything aside from mobile data access and speeds via a hotspot.

If you want to really test out how your experience will be with RW, then get a supported unlocked phone and give it a try. If you purchase one from RW, it will come with a SIM card for you.

Maybe you have already tried this device, but according to T Mobile, you connect any WiFi capable phone (not necessarily wifi calling capable) to the device, just like one would connect a phone to a router. The device has a SIM card for itself, and connects to T Mobile’s network itself. There is probably an application involved for the phone. The phone doesn’t need to be compatible with T Mobile, that’s the point. And kind of mine, why spend money before I need to?

I guess what I am getting at is if the T Mobile network, for T Mobile, is the same T Mobile network, for Republic, this seems like a pretty neat way to test it out for individuals like me who don’t fit the ‘put your zipcode in’ method. It just isn’t like that where I live and frequent for work (currently 81435 as an example). I understand that T Mobile may sequester some network items for themselves. Then maybe this thing wouldn’t make so much sense.

Oh, I meant to add that the phone I am primarily considering is a Pixel 3, which I am not sure is CDMA compatible. But don’t take my word for it! I’ve only been looking at phones in the last few days as it became clear mine had one hand on the exit door handle…

Hi @highest_vision,

Yes, whatever coverage you have on this device, would be the same as the data coverage you’d have on your RW phone with the SIM card available in our online store. Connecting your current phone to the Test Drive hotspot would give you the experience you are describing, for testing the network.

We are able to provide CDMA SIM cards for the Pixel 3, although I think we’ve seen a few purchased from Verizon whose contractual obligations have not been met, and those cannot be activated with the CDMA SIM card.

The Pixel 3 does indeed support both GSM and CDMA per table 1 in Detailed Supported Phone Features with the exception of Carrier branded phones as @southpaw points out above

Hmm. Well it looks like I’ll need to make a decision then! Thanks for all this expedient help! If I decide to try that device I will be sure to let folks here know about it, but maybe I won’t need to.

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