14 Replies Latest reply: May 6, 2013 3:17 PM by rajivb RSS

Can I use my phone internationally?

el 1 Bar

I unserstand that I can make calls to the US from abroad where there is a WiFi connection.  Can I use my phone to make a local call in a foreign country if I have a WiFi connection?  Any reflections on international use would be helpful.  Thanks!

  • Re: Can I use my phone internationally?
    southpawkb Ambassador

    Hi el,

    It sounds like you have seen this document.

    How much does domestic roaming cost? International?

     

    When you and your phone are physically in a foreign country that does not mean the phone numbers in that country are local. Your phone number is a US number. When you place a call, that call is routed through republic wireless' servers. Those servers determine what is a "local" call, and they are in the US. So, no. When you are in a foreign country, calls to other phone numbers local to that foreign country are still "international" calls as far as republic wireless is concerned, and cannot be placed from your republic wireless phone.

     

    ~~~~~

    SouthpawKB, customer since 2011, not a republic wireless employee

    • Re: Can I use my phone internationally?
      el 1 Bar

      Thanks that clarifies things.  Is there a plan to allow for international roaming?  And I assume that the WiFi portion of the phone will still access the internet.


      • Re: Can I use my phone internationally?
        southpawkb Ambassador

        republic wireless doesn't really talk about their future plans a whole lot. The only hint of a future plan is the way that document I linked is worded, "... at this time." I have no idea about any specifics related to that phrase, though.

        Yes, if the phone can connect to a Wi-Fi network you would be able to access the internet.

         

        ~~~~~

        SouthpawKB, customer since 2011, not a republic wireless employee

        • Re: Can I use my phone internationally?
          haroldb.4l8l4e 1 Bar

          Let me make a dumb question. So if we can connect to a wifi and use internet, that usage is free, right? I mean upload photos and all that. I am going to Costa Rica and Canada and want to make sure my bill is not going to be affected.

          Thanks!

          • Re: Can I use my phone internationally?
            southpawkb Ambassador

            Hi haroldb.4l8l4e,

            It's not a dumb question. I went out to eat tonight and the waitress kindly offered to give my daughter a "big-girl" glass instead of a kid's cup. Then she charged me $2.50 for the drink that was supposed to be included with the kid's meal, because it wasn't a kid's drink. So, I know where you are coming from with this question - no one likes surprises when they get the bill!

             

            If you can connect the phone to a Wi-Fi network and that network allows it, then you will be able to surf the internet, check e-mail, upload pictures - anything you could do on a laptop or tablet. Additionally, you can send texts to US and Canadian phone numbers, receive texts, make phone calls to US and Canadian numbers and receive phone calls, over Wi-Fi. Republic Wireless does not charge any additional charges for any of this. It is all included.

             

            What am I buying?

            Freedom from calling plans, overages, caps, tiers, and termination fees.  Members of the republic wireless community get an Android-powered smartphone and unlimited use of calls, texts, and data.

                 From: What am I buying?

            ~~~~~

            SouthpawKB, customer since 2011, not a republic wireless employee

            • Re: Can I use my phone internationally?
              haroldb.4l8l4e 1 Bar

              yeah, everybody has to be clear when they offer something. That was cheeky!

               

              I didn't know we could call to the US and Canada from abroad using wifi without being charged more for it. That is great!

               

              Thanks!

              • Re: Can I use my phone internationally?
                elgunter84 Ambassador

                Just a heads up:  You'll want to make sure that you've put your phone in airplane mode before calling from Costa Rica and Canada.  There have been incidents of people using foreign cellular networks because the phone was communicating with those networks and the charges end up being astronomical.  In order to avoid that, you'll need to put your phone in airplane mode, then manually toggle the wifi connection. 

                 

                On a side note, I was just speaking with my mother yesterday all the way from Switzerland on her RW cell phone.  She followed my instructions of toggling airplane mode then manually enabling wifi and voila!  In fact, it sounded better than the voip connection she had been using to call prior to my explanation!  Score one for RW and their servers!

                • Re: Can I use my phone internationally?
                  rajivb Ambassador

                  elgunter84 wrote:

                  There have been incidents of people using foreign cellular networks because the phone was communicating with those networks and the charges end up being astronomical.

                  Do you have any documented case of anybody on Republic being charged while roaming abroad? I have roamed, and there have been no such exorbitant charges.

                  • Re: Can I use my phone internationally?
                    elgunter84 Ambassador

                    For some reason, the archived forum which predated this new community isn't allowing me to search through the archived posts there.  I couldn't find the post I was thinking of here in this community, and something tells me that it happened pre-launch of the jive platform, but there was an incident of a member using their phone while on vacation in London without turning it to airplane mode first.  There was a discussion about why it would in fact potentially work over international CDMA networks and the fact that the TOS outlines that international voice isn't a component of the RW service agreement, thus you would be liable to the fees outlined in the TOS agreement for breaching it.  I don't believe RW penalized the individual at that time as it was still a learning experience for all, but my understanding is that our phones are potential users of international networks whether or not we ought to be using them. 

                     

                    The takeaway from the entire previous thread was that you should always put your phone in airplane mode and manually toggle the wifi if you are going to be international with your phone. 

                    • Re: Can I use my phone internationally?
                      rajivb Ambassador

                      Yes the TOS contains those terms. But Republic is on record saying that if it roams abroad "use it" - I believe that seanr stated that quite explicitly in one of the discussion. See - I'm in Canada now ,  everything is working..    but ?

                       

                      I see that statement as being no different than the standard Republic policy for domestic phone use.

                      • Re: Can I use my phone internationally?
                        elgunter84 Ambassador

                        Ironically that post was dated on the exact day when this member put his head in the sand for two semesters of business school.  Thanks for bringing that to my attention.  I'll be aware of the shift in how this is handled moving forward. 

                        • Re: Can I use my phone internationally?
                          rajivb Ambassador

                          Since you are in business school, you might find  the discussion on international roaming on Republic Wireless interesting (very detailed discussion of how international networking actually works) - International Roaming

                           

                          Also, UK is all GSM - so it is impossible for a Republic phone to roam in London or for that matter in all of Europe on CDMA

                          • Re: Can I use my phone internationally?
                            elgunter84 Ambassador

                            rajivb,

                             

                            Thanks for pointing me to that informative discussion.  It is interesting to know a bit more about the background workings of international networking.  I am, however, inclined to rescind my offer to shift my understanding of how international roaming works based on the informative discussion held in the linked post. 

                             

                            I therefore reiterate that if a member is physically located outside of the domestic US, that the phone should be placed first in airplane mode and then the wifi manually toggled to place calls to the US and that international calling is not supported at this time, even if implementation suggests otherwise. 

                             

                            Best,