We posted a blog last week about roaming issues impacting some republic members. The model of the Motorola DEFY XT that republic is using has a single-band antenna and uses the Sprint nationwide network and all 1900MHz towers for roaming onto Sprint’s partner networks. If you’re in areas not covered by 1900MHz you may experience roaming coverage issues. We’ve found this only affects a small portion of our members. In fact, our data shows that on the LG Optimus (which was dual-band), only 1.75% of all minutes used were roaming minutes. The single-band DEFY XT is a definite upgrade from the Optimus in all respects (for example, a larger screen, better processor, and we’ve eliminated many of the bugs that members experienced on the Optimus), except the breadth of its roaming coverage. Overall, we believe this is a strong device, and we’re committed to it. That said, there are people we want to serve who live in or travel to locations where a single-band device isn’t the best option. Below is an update on progress we’ve made in the last few days for those folks.

 

The DEFY XT (dual-band)

We started working with Motorola last week to determine the feasibility of bringing our hybrid calling technology to the dual-band version of the DEFY XT. With the additional 800MHz antenna, your roaming capability would be increased. We’ve jointly determined with Motorola that this is a path that we can pursue. Together, we've committed significant resources to make this happen as quickly as possible. We still have work to do to get this device certified and ready for you, but our intention is to make the dual-band DEFY XT available later this year. We’re actively working with Motorola and Sprint’s lab and will share more info as we have it. 

 

Upgrades for Wave A members

When we open upgrades, we’re going to provide all active Wave A members at that time the opportunity to upgrade to the single-band DEFY XT for free, given that the LG Optimus was a dual-band phone and we realize some of our Optimus members will have less roaming coverage on this phone.

 

If you are a Wave A member and you checked the coverage map and feel that you need the additional roaming coverage, you can wait for the dual-band version. If you, as a Wave A member, choose to wait for the dual-band version, you’ll be able to claim the existing upgrade offer ($100 off). As soon as the dual-band version becomes available, we’ll email you and give you instructions on how to claim your Wave A member upgrade offer then. Please make sure that your email is up-to-date with us by signing in to the My Account portal and verifying the email listed. If we don’t have your correct email address, you may not receive your Wave A member upgrade offer and you won’t be able to participate. You won’t be able to claim the single-band DEFY XT for free and subsequently use the $100 off for a dual-band version.

 

Waves B-E and 30 Day Guarantee or trade in

For those of you in waves B-E who purchased the single-band DEFY XT, we’re giving you an additional 30 days on the guarantee, starting today. This should give you plenty of time to evaluate the service and determine if you need the additional roaming coverage. You’ll have until Thursday, October 25 at 11:59 p.m. ET to cancel your account and return your single-band DEFY XT for a full refund of the purchase price that you paid for the DEFY XT.

 

If you’d prefer to keep your republic service and want to wait for the dual-band DEFY XT once it becomes available, we’ll let you know via email and you can return your single-band for a dual-band at no cost (assuming no damages). Once we email you, you’ll have 30 days to request a trade in. Please make sure that your email is up-to-date with us by signing in to the My Account portal and verifying the email listed. If we don’t have your correct email address, you may not receive your offer and you won’t be able to participate.

 

Waves F and beyond

We’re going to keep moving through the waves with the single-band DEFY XT starting this week, as it’s a great phone for most of our members who don’t require the additional roaming coverage. Check your area on the single-band DEFY XT coverage map, and if the single-band is a good fit for your needs, you’re welcome to join as soon as we send you the invitation. If you’re in a wave and you want to wait for the dual-band version instead of joining now, you can do that. As soon as the dual-band DEFY XT becomes available, we’ll email everyone in waves F and beyond who hasn’t used their purchase invitation and you’ll be able to purchase a dual-band DEFY XT using the instructions we send you.

 

Need to check your coverage?

We have a coverage map for the single-band DEFY XT available here. We are also working on getting more detailed maps so you can check your area more closely. Look for those soon.

 

Next update

As always, we’ll continue to keep you up-to-date via our weekly community updates, State of the republic.

 

Our goal with this post is to make sure you’ve got as much info as possible, and the policies we’ve given you are intended to be fair to you. We always want to do right by you. After all, it’s your republic.


As always, feel free to leave comments and questions here.