FAQ - Updates to Republic Wireless

Overview

We are removing our WiFi-first technology from the GSM My Choice service lines. 

With the update, WiFi calling will use the phone’s built-in technology rather than the Republic Wireless’ WiFi-first technology. With this change, MMS (Multimedia Messaging like pictures, audio or video files) will require a data connection and may consume a very small amount of purchased cellular data on your plan. 

 

How can I best prepare for these changes on My Choice plans?

There are two My Choice plan types affected by coming network changes. For all My Choice plans take the following actions now:

  1. Important: Make sure you have an E911 address on file. WiFi calling will not work in some cases if there is no E911 address on file.
  2. Keep your Republic Wireless app up to date. If it is not up to date, you may not receive notice that your My Choice plan has been updated.

For My Choice using a GSM SIM card

(Not sure? See: https://help.republicwireless.com/hc/en-us/articles/360002105513-How-to-Tell-If-a-Phone-Is-Active-on-GSM-or-CDMA 50)

  • We are transitioning our GSM service lines away from Republic Wireless branded WiFi calling, SMS, MMS, and voicemail beginning Mar. 28. This will be a slow roll-out to our members over several weeks.
  • After you are transitioned you’ll use the carrier (T-Mobile) WiFi calling, SMS, MMS, and voicemail
  • Not every phone may be capable of using MMS over WiFi
  • MMS will require billable cellular data if it is not sent over WiFi
  • You’ll need to set up voicemail after you are transitioned
  • If you have saved Voicemail messages you want to keep, download them now. As part of this change, the voicemail service for your phone will be changed and your voicemail messages cannot be migrated to the new service.
  • Calling and SMS/MMS to Canada is no longer available

Will I still be able to use WiFi?

Yes. Republic’s WiFi-first software is not responsible for your phone’s use of WiFi for apps. 

How will I know when my phone has been converted?

The appearance of the Republic app will change. You’ll see the following screen when you open the app.

appview.jpeg

Will I need to set up voicemail after this change?

Yes - Voicemail has to be set up again. The default PIN is the last 4 digits of the phone number.

Will this change how my phone connects to WiFi or cellular data and uses WiFi or cell data for third-party apps, surfing the internet, or streaming music or video?

No.

Will My Choice 4.0 phones be locked to Republic as part of this upgrade?

No.

Currently, I’m unable to enable 2-factor authentication using my Republic Wireless number because the business says it’s a VoIP number. Will that change after the Republic Wireless update?

Yes. Republic numbers associated with service lines affected by this change will be converted from VoIP numbers to wireless numbers.

What do SMS and MMS mean?

SMS (Short Message Service): A short text message sent using only plain text to one person.

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service): A message that either includes a photo, video, or other attachment, or one that is sent to a group of people. Text-only messages that are longer than 160 characters may also be sent as MMS messages.

Text messaging apps provide an interface to access and read or send both SMS and MMS messages.

Will my MMS messages (incoming and outgoing) be automatically changed to SMS when I have no Wi-Fi signal?

No. MMS cannot be turned into SMS. MMS will not be sent/received until there is a usable data connection.

Will you now charge for text messaging?

No - Text messaging (SMS) is free and unlimited. Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) texts will consume data from your plan if sending over a cellular data connection. MMS includes group, picture, and video texts.

How do we know if our phone is using cellular data or WiFi for MMS?

To be sure your phone is capable of MMS over WiFi after this change, place the phone in airplane mode, then re-enable only WiFi. Try sending a text message with a picture attached.

Will MMS texts (group messaging, pictures etc.) use lots of cell data?

Not nearly as much as one might think. The maximum size of an MMS sent on T-Mobile’s network (T-Mobile is the cellular network partner for Republic My Choice GSM) is 1 MB. The maximum size that may be received is 3 MB. Typically, the size of MMS sent and received is lower than those maximums. You would need to exchange thousands of MMS to go through a GB of cell data. 1 GB = 1024 MB.

What are options to call Canada or other international countries? 

You can call Canada or other international countries using apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Google Meet - these work over WiFi or your cellular data connection.

Can I now get a refund on my prepaid year because this will most likely increase my data usage?

We are willing to have this conversation one-on-one with our members in a Help Ticket, if your service changes in some way and you find it to be a problem. Any arrangements for a refund would be examined on a case-by-case basis.

How will I know if my phone will be able to do MMS over WIFi after this change? Why don’t you just give us a list?

*MMS over WiFi is can vary by the individual phone, Android version, updates, and settings. There are too many variations among the 80+ My Choice phones for us to be able to provide a list.

Are you making this change in order to squeeze even more money out of us?

No. We are making this change to enhance stability for our My Choice members. This change costs us more overall. We regret that this change will require some My Choice users to buy cellular data in order to send MMS.

 

For My Choice using a CDMA SIM card:

https://help.republicwireless.com/hc/en-us/articles/360002105513-How-to-Tell-If-a-Phone-Is-Active-on-GSM-or-CDMA 50

My Choice members are not affected by this change to the Republic Wireless branded WiFi calling (you don’t have to worry about anything except the Jun. 30 shutdown).