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T-Mobile Roaming

Discussion in 'T-Mobile Forum' started by MOTOhooligan, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. MOTOhooligan

    MOTOhooligan Former Mobile Data Addict
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    Sometimes, usually late at night and very early in the morning my phone will switch from native T-Mobile service to roaming on CellularONE-Western Wireless' GSM network and my phone will display USA 590 instead of T-Mobile. Does anyone know why this happens? Has T-Mobile taken their switch or towers "down" for maintenence?
     
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  2. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Yeah-every carrier does that from time to time. Late nights/early mornings are usually the best time to do this since most people won't notice and since it will affect the least amount of people. Lucky that you can roam on WW/Cell One just in case, otherwise you'd be stuck with no service ;)
     
  3. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    Is WW 800 MHz in your area rancid?
     
  4. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    They have to be 1900, as the Samsung e315 is a 900/1900 phone.
     
  5. MOTOhooligan

    MOTOhooligan Former Mobile Data Addict
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    So, I can roam on WWC's system without being charged for roaming? I thought that T-Mobile had it set up to where if you could use your phone you could do so without roaming charges and if you couldn't use your phone T-MO didn't have a roaming agreement with a carrier in that area... I wasn't sure so I didn't use it on USA 590. I meant to bring that up in my original post but forgot.
    You'd think I would know that, since I work for WWC/CellularONE but I have no idea. I would go with what AnthroMatt said about the GSM roaming being 1900 MHz. I think some of the TDMA/CDMA service may be 800 MHz but I'm just guessing since all the handsets I've ever owned were Tri-Mode TDMA and would work regardless of the frequency.
     
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  6. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Anytime your phone allows you to make a call you can use it without paying roaming charges. The difference with TM is they just often do not allow off-network roaming in markets where they have service. But if your phone lets you make the call, you shouldn't have to worry about charges.
     
  7. Shizam76

    Shizam76 Shizam! Babyyyyy!
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    Yeah I don't get how your phone allowed you on CellOne since there is Native TMobile coverage there. I haven't found one place that I can roam where there technically is native TMobile coverage.
     
  8. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Just remember that Unlimited M2M minutes do NOT apply while roaming off T-Mobile's network.
     
  9. MOTOhooligan

    MOTOhooligan Former Mobile Data Addict
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    I don't, either. It's very strange but CellularONE's coverage here is way, way better than T-Mobile's. I never had a dropped call or any issues at all with CellularONE. With T-Mobile I've had some dropped calls, some SMS issues and in-building roaming due to lack of signal, when CellularONE would have 4-5 bars of signal. Maybe T-Mo just uses WWC as supplemental coverage. Voicestream started as the PCS section of Western Wireless-CellularONE so perhaps they still have some sort of antiquated roaming agreement from the Voicestream/WWC split?
    I will, thanks!
     
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  10. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    How come you chose T-Mobile over WW GSM then?
     
  11. Matt

    Matt Twin girls!
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    Actually they signed a new agreement a few years ago. In some areas (especially in the upper midwest, MT, etc.) TM sold some 1900 spectrum to WW, and WW then added 1900 GSM to their towers and sold back roaming to the national carriers.
     
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  12. MOTOhooligan

    MOTOhooligan Former Mobile Data Addict
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    WWC doesn't actually offer GSM service, just roaming to providers such as T-Mobile. WWC is CDMA except for two markets where they are TDMA. And even if WWC offered GSM service I still would have gone with T-Mobile. My major problem was roaming charges from Topeka, Lawrence and Kansas City, Kansas and Joplin, Springfield and Kansas City, Missouri as well as Western Pennsylvania. CellularONE-WWC doesn't cover these areas but T-Mobile does so I can use my phone there without being charged for roaming. I still have WWC TDMA on my "home" phone since there is still TDMA service here from when they converted in 2003.
     
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  13. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Ah-that would explain it, I should have known that, duh.
    How does WW TDMA compare to T-Mobile coverage in your area? I think WW typically builds out their network very well in the areas they cover.
     
  14. MOTOhooligan

    MOTOhooligan Former Mobile Data Addict
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    T-Mobile service can't hold a candle to WWC's TDMA service in this part of Kansas. For the most part, T-Mobile's network covers just Manhattan and areas east of here. There is little to no service outside of Manhattan's city limits. I get some dropped calls and sometimes, mostly between 4PM-6PM I can't access T-Zones but that's just due to heavy network traffic at that time. With WWC's TDMA the service is incredible. I have never had a dropped call, I never have trouble getting signal, even on the outskirts of Manhattan. The only issue I ever had with WWC's TDMA service was when I was camping at a local lake and had 0-1 bar of service then switched over to roaming on an Alltel tower. I think that was mostly geographic, though. The tower was close enough because when you went directly up the hill you got 3-4 bars but we were down in a sort of valley around the lake between two large hills and Alltel has a tower on top of one.

    Let me put it to you this way, I love my T-Mobile phone. I don't get charged for roaming east of Manhattan. I usually get good signal and the pricing structure for their SMS and T-Zones is better than CellularONE. That said, in an emergency, I would reach for my CellularONE-WWC phone. With my mighty Timeport I can get signal in the basement of a brick pub... very few people have good signal there. One of these days I'll have to take my "home" phone to the bar and run field test mode to see what -dB I get down there.
     
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  15. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Interesting. I'd bet that T-Zones is better than CellOne.
    I'm sure you have other things to do in a bar than run field test mode ;)
     
  16. MOTOhooligan

    MOTOhooligan Former Mobile Data Addict
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    Yeah, but I can probably run field test mode when I'm drunk, so it works out. :cheers2:
     
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  17. EdwardP

    EdwardP Bronze Senior Member
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    I don't have to run field test mode here since I discovered that I'm within line-of-sight of a T-Mobile tower. It's nice having full signal strength (7 bars) on the Nokias in my basement. :D

    On the subject of roaming, when you're in a roaming area, does the phone display the name of the roaming carrier, the network code (e.g. USA 590), or is it dependent on how the roaming carrier has their network configured?
     
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  18. mpallo

    mpallo Junior Member
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    It is a combo of what is programmed into the firmware table on the phone combined with the providers tables in your SIM card.

    When I used to be able to roam on DobsonUS (Cell One) here in western, NY my unlocked Cingular branded 6590i would display "USA 560". On the other hand my wife's unlocked AT&T branded 3595 would actually show "DobsonUS".
     
  19. MOTOhooligan

    MOTOhooligan Former Mobile Data Addict
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    My handset displays "US 590" but I knew it was CellularONE-Western Wireless because I called 611 and got their customer service. Also, they're the only ones with GSM roaming around here. No CellularONE-Dobson, AT&T or Cingular this far west in Kansas. Now that many carriers are participating in Ranger Wireless Solutions' 611 Roaming Service, however, this may not work in the future. I know CellularONE-Western Wireless is participating as are Verizon, Cingular, Alltel and US Cellular. Currently, Sprint and T-Mobile are not participating. Essentially, before when you dialed 611 on your handset if you were roaming you were taken to the customer service for whichever system you were roaming on. Now, the system identifies you as a customer of a particular carrier and transfers you automatically to that carrier's customer service.

    Read more about it here!
     
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