Traveling to the Big Island of Hawaii

Any difficulty getting signal and data when driving around the Big Island of Hawaii? Can I use my phone for GPS?

Hi @aaronw.dlb800

Republic’s two carrier partners have coverage in Hawaii. Please be aware that many portions of the islands are mountainous and so coverage can be spotty just like it can be in a mountainous region in the continental US.

If you are in a densely populated area, there should be coverage.

You can download maps from Google in advance. Here is a link to an article for that:

GPS, in and of itself, uses satellites in low-earth orbit. That will work anywhere you have a clear view of the sky. The coordinating information from Google Maps, such as current traffic conditions, does use cell data.


Yes, your republic phone (using GSM service on T-Mobile) will work. There are spots when driving on RT 11 that you will have no service. I suggest planning ahead and take advantage of the Google Maps offline feature.

Not sure where you are headed on the Big Island, but the high-elevations of Ocean View have no service. We used an AT&T prepaid hotspot up there and then joined our phones on that.

South point is seriously spotty service. Green sands is no service.

The more populated places people live (Kona and Hilo) have good coverage. While there, shop at Walmart, Target and Cisco for stuff. Pretty close to same prices as the mainland.

Enjoy it! The Big Island is amazing!

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