Text messages with groups

So I have a large text group of 64 people. I tried to send to all 64 people at once and it failed. I split it up and did less than 20 per group and everything worked. Is this as expected or should I be able to do the entire group at once?

@sharons.4f057f, Republic Wireless doesn’t set any limits as far as I know, but sometimes other carriers do. Your messaging application may also have a limit. Hopefully there are others who have more experience and can chime in.


Hi @sharons.4f057f and welcome to the Community!

Republic’s existing documentation may or may not speak to that which is iPhone beta related. For the most part, Republic’s existing documentation is derived from the way devices behave on Republic’s Android service.

There are differences in both how Androids and iPhones might behave and also in how the network might behave between Republic’s Android service and beta iPhone service. I suppose determining and documenting any differences that might exist are among the reasons for the beta.

According to Apple, iPhones are capable of supporting group messaging across iMessage, SMS and MMS. Apple documents that here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202724. Apple doesn’t mention any device imposed limits there, so it would appear any limit would be network based. One thing mentioned in Apple’s documentation is to be certain MMS is turned on.

64 folks is certainly a rather large group (not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that). Did you exchange group messages with this group outside of Republic’s iPhone beta previously? If so, it might help us better help you if you shared some background on that.

For example were you using an iPhone with another service provider? An Android on Republic? Some other combination of device and service provider?

Finally, am I correct in presuming not all members of the group are iPhone (or other iOS device users)? In other words, some members of the group are using Androids?

Thank you for the detailed explanation. I was with Sprint before coming to Republic. I was ready to sell my iPhone in order to join Republic then along comes the beta testing so here I am. So I was using the same iPhone as now. I could NOT send to the entire group at once but I thought that was a limitation of Sprint. I guess not because I still can’t do that even though Republic has no limitations. So it certainly is not a deal breaker but it sure would be nice! And yes there are both android and iPhone recipients. I have sent a screen shot of settings. Wondering if the send as sms should be turned on?

Hi @sharons.4f057f,

I’m going to risk information overload. On Android, Republic blends the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) network of its former corporate parent Banwidth.com with one of two cellular network partners. VoIP is the technology that powers the WiFi portion of Republic’s blended service on Android. One of those cellular network partners operates a GSM network and is T-Mobile. The other cellular network partner operates a CDMA network and is Sprint. On Android, Republic’s app manages the aforementioned blending of service.

iOS is not Android, so to support iPhones requires a different approach. As of now, that different approach involves foregoing blended service and relying only on the cellular network of its GSM partner (T-Mobile). Therefore, while Republic as indicated by its existing documentation does not impose limits on the number of recipients one sends a group message to, it’s possible the GSM partner does. Candidly, so far, I’ve not been able to find anything conclusive on that.

I suspect Sprint did indeed have such a limit and for the reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph iPhone on Republic may effectively have one as well.

All of the above said, the purpose of a beta is to experiment and learn. If it were me, I’d flip the switch on Send as SMS and see what happens. Should it work, that would be great! If not, turn it back off.

Well I understood about hall of that! But I get the jest of what you are saying. I did turn on the sms and sent out a message to all 64 people and immediately got the message failed to send notification. Bummer. I am going to assume that you just can’t do it.

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Hi @sharons.4f057f, thank you for providing this feedback - this is exactly the kind of information we hope to discover with the BETA program! If your interest is piqued, it would be very helpful to test exactly what that message recipient threshold is (64 will not work, but will 50?).

Here is a great article provided by Apple that details the different type of group messages on iPhone: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202724. It sounds like if you are wanting this to be a true group conversation (one to many versus one to one multiple times), and being that you have a mix of Android and iPhone recipients, then you would use “group MMS.”

After a bit of digging, it would appear the 20 or so recipient limit is a restriction of T-Mobile (which given that group MMS is sent through the carrier and not Apple, this makes sense). Some people are saying that if you have all iMessage recipients, you can send more - this would also be an interesting test!

Also, depending on what you are using this group text for, there is “mass text” software that is used to send alerts but not capable of conversation like a group text would be, this might be a good solution for you (again, depending on the purpose of the text:) ).

Thanks again, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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I am not sure if this is a iPhone beta problem or an app problem or an Apple problem but it just recently started happening. I use a program called Groups to send out group messages. It has always worked well. Now I have a member of the group that NEVER gets the group text. This started happening around the middle of December. She has an iPhone. I have reinstalled the app. I have taken her out of one group and put her in another. Nothing seems to work. I can send her individual messages. I used my husband’s phone which is an android and also on republic and she gets that group message. This is so weird and it is driving me crazy. If anyone has suggestion I would welcome it. Just FYI I keep the group size under 20.

Hi @sharons.4f057f,

We’d love to try and help troubleshoot this issue. I am going to open a help ticket on your behalf so we can collect some additional details.

Ok. Just let me know what you need and will do my best to figure it out. Thanks!

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