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T Mobile Global data coverage

Old Oct 23, 13, 3:25 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: diburning
This is a user-maintained wiki FlyerTalkers with at least 90 posts and 90 days of membership may modify and update this information.
Please edit available network carriers or LTE networks if you find the information below is out of date.

Effective August 1st, 2018 :OPTIONAL high speed data roaming for international (non Canada/Mexico) has changed to be $5 USD per day for up to 512MB of high speed data per day. This also includes unlimited inbound and outbound calls avoiding the 25c a min call charge. You can add this via 611 or this link: https://my.t-mobile.com/odf/DataPass:ALL - It is labeled as "24 Hour Global Pass". If that link doesn't works go to "Manage Data & Add Ons" in plan settings at http://my.t-mobile.com . A pass covers ANY countries in the given validity period - NOT just one country. So if you travel within multiple countries in the 24 hour period you get a max of 512MB of high speed data and unlimited calling across ALL countries prior to pass expiration. This is OPTIONAL and is not required, free 128Kb/sec or 256Kb/sec speeds are provided for users who don't pay for this extra data pack.

Effective July 15th, 2018: Calling rates for inbound and outbound calls were raised to 25c a min from the prior 20c a min when roaming internationally. You can buy a per Intl High Speed day pass for 512MB of high speed data that also includes calling at no cost during the validity of the pass.


Effective Feb 17, 2017: T-Mobile has bumped up speeds to 256Kb/sec for T-Mobile One users - this was FREE for a promotional period and required you to edit the lines with this plan to add the free or higher tier paid "T-Mobile One Plus" line item. The free line item is "T-Mobile One Plus promo" which will allow that line to be 256kb/sec and will also give 10GB of LTE North America hotspot tethering - The change can be done at my.t-mobile.com under plan for T-Mobile One customers or through 611. With the promotional period ended you can add the base $5 T-Mobile One Plus item to get 256Kb/sec

SUMMARY: T-Mobile USA on Simple Choice or newer plans (such as Select Choice) or T-Mobile One that list "Free International Roaming included" allow for free data and SMS in 210+ countries. Data and SMS is FREE; voice calls; inbound or outbound to any of the 210+ countries while roaming are 25 cents a min. Free data is NOT offered on T-Mobile essentials users outside of Canada/Mexico while SMS and 25c a min calls are still offered.

Canada and Mexico include FREE high speed roaming (HSPA or LTE full speed) as long as you are on the Simple Choice North America plan or a T-Mobile One plan. A monthly cap of 5GB for International High speed data in Canada and Mexico is now present - data will slow to lower speeds with no overage charges. Users on T-Mobile One Plus International are exempt from this 5GB cap.

You must be on a Postpaid plan, Prepay is NOT eligible nor is MetroPCS

NOTE: Devices with fully FREE data (e.g. 200MB free for tablets) and not on an additional plan are NOT eligible - switch those devices to a supported plan PRIOR to travel or you will be charged per MB fees.

WARNING: Highly suggest going to: https://my.t-mobile.com/profile.html (or login to my.t-mobile.com select profile), go to blocking and ensure "Block charge international roaming" is set to ON - keep "Ensure Block International Roaming" is set to OFF otherwise roaming will not work even in free data countries. This will ensure in countries where you are close to another country border that may NOT be part of free data roaming you will never be charged for data by ending up roaming on the adjacent country network if your phone is set to Automatic on networks.

WARNING FOR HIGH SPEED ADD ON $5 DATA PASS: Ensure you know your end date/time and heed the SMS warnings sent. You will be liable for 25c a min per call inbound or outbound if the pass expires and you do not activate another pass. Ensure you purchase another daily pass before making phone calls. As of Early August 2018, there was no method to purchase multiple days in a row.


T-Mobile FAQ:
http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-9455

Checklist for Roaming - follow this prior to leaving!:
http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-2182

Performance:
Speeds are throttled to 128Kb/sec on all supported plans, except for T-Mobile One Plus Add on (includes the Promo Feb 2017 T-Mobile One update with free One Plus Promo) which is 256Kb/sec. Connecting to the best network type possible will ensure you hitting these speeds limits (e.g. LTE). Performance is subject to the roaming carrier networks condition (is it congested or not) and how good the back-haul from the roaming carrier back to T-Mobile is. Reminder that T-Mobile Essentials users will have NO access to free data.

Filtering:
Your connection is terminated back to the US, so anything that works on T-Mobile US will continue to work. Example: China filters social media and Google services, using these services through your T-Mobile line won't experience this networking filtering. Local services in the country you are in MAY identify you as being in the US - any services that do IP geolocation will see that you are in the US.

Optional High Speed On Demand Data Passes with unlimited calling
If you want performance that is beyond the 128Kb/sec (or 256Kb/sec on T-Mobile One Plus Add ons) then a PAID optional high speed data pass removes the throttling performance limit. Effective Aug 2018 this pass is a $5 PER day for 512MB of high speed data (per day) and unlimited calling to allowed countries, waiving the 25c per min charge for inbound or outbound calls. To add, go to: https://my.t-mobile.com/odf/DataPass:ALL and add the "24 Hour Global Pass". If that link doesn't work add at http://my-t-mobile.com under Plan, "Manage Data & Add Ons" More information: http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-7261 NOTE: As of Early August 2018 you can only purchase one day at a time, so be cautious on expiration (Notified via SMS) to add another day pass to avoid getting charged 25c per phone call. A pass covers ANY countries in the given validity period - NOT just one country. So if you travel within multiple countries in the 24 hour period you get a max of 512MB of high speed data and unlimited calling across ALL countries prior to pass expiration.

Country search:
https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/roaming

Country List at time of July 2018 update:
https://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-37944

NOTE: there is no T-Mobile provided list of specific network roaming partners; you can call 611 and ask for a roaming specialist/tech and they can tell you per country roaming partners - we are attempting to capture working or problematic networks in this Wiki below also

Need Support while traveling? Read the hints below FIRST; then if support is needed call direct intl support for T-Mobile USA: +1-505-998-3793 [FREE CALL WHILE ROAMING] or if you cannot get Voice access use Skype or another service to dial.


Hints

#1 HINT: You MUST have Data roaming turned on - You will only see foreign networks on the network list - you will NOT see T-Mobile. Manually pick the networks from the list further below if you don't automatically connect.

- You do NOT have to pay for a high speed data package. 128Kb/sec (or 256Kb/sec on T-Mobile One Plus Add on) FREE throttled data is inclusive on all eligible postpaid plans

- High speed un-throttled data is also FREE for Canada and Mexico if you are on a Simple Choice North America plan or a T-Mobile One plan for up to 5GB of data per month (T-Mobile One Plus Intl users are not subject to the 5GB cap) . If you are not on these specific plans but on a legacy Simple Choice plan you will get standard 128Kb/sec FREE.

- For paid high speed packages, You can schedule WHEN optional high speed paid packages start (immediate or a time/date you set).

- On some accounts, High speed on demand data passes will will not be listed on my.t-mobile.com - under plans, "Manage Data & Add Ons". You can also contact customer care at 611 to add a data pass.

- If you purchase a package on phone or hotspot and are about to expire you can purchase ANOTHER one if you want and even though it will say "starts when your existing package date ends" it will IMMEDIATE activate it when you run out of data. Example You pay for 200Mb for one week and will eat into 200Mb, you can buy a package ANYTIME and it will future date it as being effective ONLY when the existing package date ends. HOWEVER once the existing package data amount is used up it will IMMEDIATE activate the paid pending package.

- On Demand Mifi WILL not roam at ALL if no package has ever been provisioned. Use the free data on your smartphone (or use another device with WiFi) and log into http://my.t-mobile.com Once logged in go to https://my-tmobile.com/Plan/Plans.as...vid=changeplan View plan for hotspot and and change plan, under Data Tab when viewing change plan add a package; once you confirm and submit (ENSURE before you submit you are adding to correct line!) you will get a confirmation. It was about 5 mins and then hotspot was able to connect to network.

- On demand Mifi WILL STOP working at end of time period NOT at end of data usage. So if you pick 500MB package which is 2 weeks expiration, it will actually STOP full speed at 500MB and revert to a 64Kb/sec speed till expiration; this ONLY applies to packages purchased on on demand hotspots. If you purchase a package for a smartphone you will revert to standard 128kb/sec

- Hotspots with On Demand will lose network access at end of paid period even if it reverted to lower hotspot only speed of 64kb/sec. So top up before you lose network.

- Legacy data match for tablets or hotspots (no longer offered but still allowed for current users) support 128Kb/sec on tablets and hotspots. If your data match plan details show match with North America added in the description then you get high speed in Canada and Mexico that uses your data match limit (up to 5GB) - after than you revert to 128Kb/sec. T-Mobile One Tablet will provide 128Kb/sec by default, if a T-Mobile One Plus add on is on that Tablet line (Including the free Feb 2017 One Plus Promo) speeds will be 256Kb/sec

- You can check current usage on any paid packages my viewing on the T-Mobile Application for Android or iOS or going to My T-Mobile website and filtering data usage on the line for International Data Roaming.

- When using a T-Mobile supported international data roaming plan on an iOS device internationally (in a nation on the 'free' list), you need to turn on Data Roaming on the iPhone/iPad Settings.

Troubleshooting

- If finding no networks when in new country, go to Airplane Mode - then back off Airplane mode and try again. If this fails to work FULLY power off phone and power back on. You may need to do a manual scan of networks on your device and pick one of the KNOWN networks below in the country list.

- If still not connecting to a network do ONE more phone reboot and attempt again.

- If you do connect to a network but are failing to get data, dial in your phone dialer #RON# (or try #ROF# FIRST then try #RON#). #RON# will turn intl roaming data on, #ROF# will turn it off. Sometimes cycling will cause a network to work.

- If connected to a network for Voice/SMS but still not getting data, set phone to Airplane mode ; wait till device is actually in airplane mode (15 sec or so); then take device off Airplane mode.

- If failing to get GSM/Voice/SMS services but you have data and phone shows "Emergency Calls Only" but data is working suggestion is to switch phone to 2G and connect to a network where you get data and voice/SMS. Once connected to that network switch phone back to 3G/Auto or LTE (or similar setting) and this may correct the issue. (Your mileage may vary)

- Try to change your APN to fast.t-mobile.com per the following guide, as an alternate you can try a temporary switch to epc.t-mobile.com - more details for APN change further below

- If none of these work, dial TMO Intl support +1-505-998-3793 (from another phone or Skype) and ask for "International Roaming Support" (make sure that is who they connect you to by asking the agent if they can help on a roaming support issue) - have them check your account is properly setup and eligible for International Roaming.

To set the Access Point Name (APN) and turn on data settings, follow these steps:

Note: These settings are automatically set to the correct values with the Carrier Update when a T-Mobile SIM is inserted.
  1. From the main menu, tap Settings
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. Check that Cellular Data is turned on.
  4. Tap Cellular Data Network.
    Important: If this setting does not appear on the device, the device is not unlocked. Refer customer to previous carrier.
  5. Enter the following information under the Cellular Data section:
    APN: fast.t-mobile.com
    Username: <Leave Blank>
    Password: <Leave Blank>
  6. Enter the following information under the LTE Setup (Optional) section:
    APN: <Leave Blank>
    Username: <Leave Blank>
    Password: <Leave Blank>
  7. Enter the following information under the MMS section:
    APN: fast.t-mobile.com
    Username: <Leave Blank>
    Password: <Leave Blank>
    MMSC: http://mms.msg.eng.t-mobile.com/mms/wapenc
    MMS Proxy: <Leave Blank>
    MMS Max Message Size: 1048576
    MMS UA Prof URL: http://www.apple.com/mms/uaprof.rdf
  8. Enter the following information under the Personal Hotspot section:
    APN: pcweb.tmobile.com
    Username: <Leave Blank>
    Password: <Leave Blank>
  9. Press the Home button to save the APN and exit to the main screen.
  10. Turn the device off and back on.

Countries with reported working networks supporting data
You can call support # below to ask for other networks. PLEASE share which networks works so we can always keep the Wiki up to date. Leave any comments with performance/quality to the "Problem Carriers section"

NOTE: If you have issues connecting turn off "Enable LTE" or LTE and do 3G/HSPA(4G) only. If you are still having issues to get data but can get voice dial Intl support +1-505-998-3793 (FREE CALL while roaming). If you cannot get any service, use another phone or Skype to dial this number.

Africa
Egypt: Vodafone, Elitsalat, Mobinil
Mauritius: EMTEL
South Africa: MTN, Vodacom, Telkom

Americas
Argentina: Movistar, Claro
Aruba: Digicel (May display as 363 02)
Bahamas: BTC
Barbados: Digicel
Bermuda: Digicel
Brazil: Tim, Vivo
Canada: Bell, Rogers (Some Provinces only), Telus, Freedom Mobile (former WIND), Videotron [HIGH SPEED INCLUDED ON SIMPLE CHOICE NORTH AMERICA]
Cayman Islands: Digicel
Chile: Movistar
Colombia: Telefonica Mobiles Colombia, Movistar
Costa Rica: Movistar, Claro
Dominican Republic: Claro, Orange, Viva
Ecuador: Claro, Movistar
El Salvador: Digicel, Movistar
Guatemala: Movistar
Honduras: Tigo
Jamaica: Digicel, Lime
Mxico: Movistar, Telcel [HIGH SPEED INCLUDED ON SIMPLE CHOICE NORTH AMERICA]
Martinique: Digicel
Nicaragua: Mobinil, Movistar
Panama: Claro, Digicel
Per: Movistar
St Kitts and Nevis: Digicel
St Lucia: Digicel
Sint Maarten (NL): Chippie (UTS)
Saint Martin (FR): Digicel
Turks and Caicos: Digicel
US Virgin Islands: Innovative (counts toward domestic roaming allowance)
Venezuela: Movistar

Asia Pacific
Australia: Telstra, Vodafone AU, OPTUS
Cambodia: CamGSM, Cellcard, Smart
China: China Mobile, China Unicom
Guam: Guam Telecom (Guam is considered outside the U.S. by T-Mobile)
Hong Kong: Smartone, Three
India: Airtel (Most Metro areas/regions), Vodafone
Indonesia (Bali): Indosat, Telkomsel
Japan: DOCOMO, Softbank
Macau: CTM, Three, Smartone
Malaysia: MAXIS
New Zealand: Vodafone, Spark NZ (no 2G), 2Degrees
Pakistan: Pak Telecom Mobile Limited (Ufone), Pakistan Mobile Company Limited (PMCL) (aka Mobilink), Telenor Pakistan, Warid Telecom
Philippines: Globe, SMART
Singapore: Starhub
South Korea: SKT, KT, Olleh
Sri Lanka: Mobitel
Taiwan: Taiwan Mobile
Thailand: AIS, DTAC
Vietnam: Viettel

Europe
Austria: Three, A1, T-Mobile Austria
Belgium: Orange (Mobistar), Proximus
Bulgaria: Telenor BG LTE is primary, saw A1 on 2g and Mtel on LTE very briefly
Czech Republic: Radiomobile/T-Mobile CZ, Vodafone CZ, O2
Denmark: 3 DK, Telenor DK
Faroe Islands: Foroya Tele
Finland: Elisa
France: Bouygues, Free, Orange, SFR
Germany: T-Mobile DE/Telekom.de, EPLUS
Greece: Cosmote
Hungary: T-Mobile
Iceland: Nova (LTE, better in cities), Siminn (3G only, better for rural)
Ireland: Vodafone, Three, Meteor
Italy: TIM, Wind, Vodafone IT
Luxembourg: Tango
Netherlands: KPN, T-Mobile, Vodafone
Norway: Telenor
Poland: T-Mobile
Portugal: MEO, NOS
Romania: Orange, Telekom, Vodafone
Russia: MTS Global
Spain: Movistar, Vodafone ES, Orange
Sweden: 3 SE
Switzerland: Orange, Swisscom
Turkey: Vodafone
UK: EE, Three, Vodafone
Ukraine: KYIVSTAR, MTS

Middle East/Near East
Bahrain: Viva / Batelco
Israel: Partner
Kuwait: Zain
Qatar: Ooredoo
UAE: Etisalat, du

LTE verified carriers:
MUST have a device supporting global LTE bands
- Argentina: Movistar
- Australia: Telstra (requires Band 3 / Band 28 device), OPTUS (5G)
- Bahamas: BTC
- Bahrain: Batelco
- Belgium: Proximus
- Canada: Bell, Rogers, Telus
- Chile: Movistar
- China: China Mobile (TD-LTE in some regions needs appropriate device or in some regions as LTE Band 3), China Unicom
- Colombia: Movistar
- Costa Rica: Movistar
- France: Orange, SFR
- Germany: T-Mobile DE/Telekom.de
- Guatemala: Movistar
- Hong Kong: Smartone
- Ireland: Vodafone
- Italy: TIM
- Japan: Docomo, Softbank
- Luxembourg: Tango
- Malaysia: MAXIS
- Mexico: Movistar
- Netherlands: T-Mobile NL, Vodafone
- Norway: Telenor
- Sinagapore: Starhub
- Sint Maarten (NL): Chippie (UTS)
- Spain: Orange
- Taiwan: Taiwan Mobile
- Thailand: AIS, DTAC
- UAE: du
- UK: EE, Vodafone (see footnote - NOT everywhere)

Problem carriers and LTE support notes
(Do not list carriers where you cannot get basic voice service)
- Argentina: Movistar (reports of poor performance), Claro (seemed much better, but difficult to gain initial connect/registration)
- Bermuda: Reports of getting UMTS (non HSPA 3G) only
- Canada: Wind performance seems better than other Canadian carriers (Your mileage may vary)
- China: China Mobile is 2G only unless you have a device supporting TD-SCDMA (3G) or TD-LTE Band 39/40/41. China Unicom roaming returned in April 2017
- Faroe Islands: Vodafone (Voice/SMS only, NO data service)
- Germany: Vodafone Germany (Voice/SMS only, NO data service in some regions)
- Hong Kong: Smartone, had to switch to 2G get access to network THEN switched phone back to 3G/Automatic if had problems getting access to network. Three: Reports of no longer working and only Smartone working
- Mauritius: Reports of issues connecting to Emtel sometimes - YMMV
- New Zealand: 2Degrees (limited coverage w/ reports of not working at all)
- Singapore: M1, SMS MAY require manually entering M1's SMSC +6596845999 if SMS doesn't work
- South Korea: SKT may require LTE to be disabled or conneciton may not be authenticated. Olleh/KT require multiple attempts to connect to network.
- UK: EE LTE roaming returned 1/21/17 - Reports of Vodafone LTE roaming in select parts of the UK only (not happening everywhere seems to be coverage challenged areas of EE only)
- Vietnam: Viettel
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T Mobile Global data coverage

Old Sep 29, 21, 4:16 pm
  #2071  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by LordHamster View Post
I'll actually avoid US carrier data by just plain getting an Airalo eSim for my high-speed data needs.
I think Airalo is definitely a game changer. I still have a Skyroam Solis unit that will likely get retired once I use the day passes when I start doing meaningful international travel again.
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Old Oct 3, 21, 6:57 pm
  #2072  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Does Airlo give you a US IP address?
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Old Oct 3, 21, 8:08 pm
  #2073  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by Dubai Stu View Post
Does Airlo give you a US IP address?
For the most part, no. Airalo will issue an eSIM for your destination. You'd need a VPN to get a US IP address.

If roaming like at home (plus calling) is important, I'd still steer someone toward one of T-Mobile's international data passes. For instance, the data pass works well when in Mainland China or other locations where there may otherwise be restrictions to Internet access.
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Old Oct 6, 21, 2:39 pm
  #2074  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Somewhere in Florida
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+1 for getting a business account. I've never had any nasty-grams about anything we've done with T-Mobile, and we've certainly abused it. It also appears that business account details weren't part of the T-Mobile data leak.
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Old Oct 6, 21, 7:13 pm
  #2075  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Has anyone noticed their T-Mobile speeds in the US decreasing over time? I just got an AT&T sim for some upcoming travel (no t-mobile service in that area and roaming is limited, but AT&T has plenty of coverage there) and testing it out at home and work, its like night and day. AT&T is consistently twice as fast as T-Mobile. Im thinking it might be because of all of the users coming over from the Sprint merger causing congestion.
diburning is offline  
Old Oct 6, 21, 8:50 pm
  #2076  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
Has anyone noticed their T-Mobile speeds in the US decreasing over time? I just got an AT&T sim for some upcoming travel (no t-mobile service in that area and roaming is limited, but AT&T has plenty of coverage there) and testing it out at home and work, its like night and day. AT&T is consistently twice as fast as T-Mobile. Im thinking it might be because of all of the users coming over from the Sprint merger causing congestion.
I live in Los Angeles and dont see any speed issues with T-Mobile
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Flying Machine is online now  
Old Oct 7, 21, 2:38 pm
  #2077  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
Has anyone noticed their T-Mobile speeds in the US decreasing over time?
There are many factors, which is why the decision on choosing a mobile network provider always comes down to what works best for your circumstances. Which bands is T-Mobile providing in your area vs AT&T? Perhaps there is a higher concentration of T-Mobile subscribers in your area. It's highly situation dependent.

For instance, we recently moved a few miles away, and it's a world of difference on T-Mobile. At the old place I couldn't pick up a 5G signal with my phone. I had to go down the street. At the new place, I can. I remember years ago I lived in an apartment building with concrete walls. The only way I'd get reception there is if I went out onto the balcony, and I had to rely on Wi-Fi calling for the time I lived there. I still stuck with T-Mobile because elsewhere it worked well for me.
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Old Oct 7, 21, 10:16 pm
  #2078  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Funny enough I saw 5GUC at home today and ran a speedtest and got 300+mbps down so T-mobile isn’t slow for me anymore.
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Old Oct 8, 21, 7:12 am
  #2079  
 
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Originally Posted by Majuki View Post
There are many factors, which is why the decision on choosing a mobile network provider always comes down to what works best for your circumstances. Which bands is T-Mobile providing in your area vs AT&T? Perhaps there is a higher concentration of T-Mobile subscribers in your area. It's highly situation dependent.

For instance, we recently moved a few miles away, and it's a world of difference on T-Mobile. At the old place I couldn't pick up a 5G signal with my phone. I had to go down the street. At the new place, I can. I remember years ago I lived in an apartment building with concrete walls. The only way I'd get reception there is if I went out onto the balcony, and I had to rely on Wi-Fi calling for the time I lived there. I still stuck with T-Mobile because elsewhere it worked well for me.
Agreed, I've found it is highly variable from provider to provider and place to place. I went from T-Mo to AT&T for speed related issues, but my research over the past year was very interesting.

Since covid began and I effectively stopped traveling, I was suddenly more dependent on domestic data than ever before. Especially since my home ISP (Spectrum) likes to flake out on occasion, I was eager to get a cell provider w/ tethering that was fast/stable enough to support video calls & presentations when my home internet went down.

When I started my testing of carriers, I was on T-Mobile postpaid. I also tested Verizon, AT&T, and a host of MVNOs of the big 3 carriers. What I found was that around town (Cleveland) each of them had places where they were the best. On average around town with a 5G iPhone 12 Pro max, T-Mobile had the highest data throughput... often ranging 300mbps-600mbps download speeds. Verizon of course had pockets downtown where I could even reach gigabit speeds if standing outside... cool but not super useful. In my testing (often in dual-sim config) I was able to find buildings I go to where one carrier would work fine, the other had zero service. There was no real winner in my experience.

AT&T is an interesting case. I found their 5G doesn't get as fast on average as T-mobile, but ironically their LTE service is often 250mbps-300mps! More importantly for me though, was service at my home. For some reason, while all three carriers have the same number of "bars" at my home. AT&T was significantly faster than the other two. With AT&T I can get 50-90mbps down / 8-15mbps up in my home. With T-Mobile & Verizon, I struggled to get 8-10 down, .05 up. Even then those connections were so unstable I could often not even open flyertalk without the page loads timing out. On AT&T I honestly don't notice I'm on Cellular vs my home wifi. That ultimately ended up being the deciding factor. Plus now that AT&T has capped their international day pass to 10 days of charges per month, the roaming aspect is good enough for me to keep for when I go back to traveling.

Long story short... you really need to test out each carrier in the specific places you actually go. There is no such thing as a "best" carrier for a region or even a city... it boils down to where you spend your time and where you need the best service specifically. I recommend testing carrier throughput by keeping your current carrier, then experimenting with the others via 1 month prepaid eSims.

The real winner is using two providers on your phone. For a while I was using T-mobile as my primary connection and Visible (Verizon's low cost MVNO) as a backup line on the same phone. Best of both worlds situation. I chose visible (which is often deprioritized and very slow compared to postpaid verizon) because it is cheap and fit my needs as a "backup" connection.
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Old Oct 8, 21, 3:21 pm
  #2080  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by LordHamster View Post
There is no such thing as a "best" carrier for a region or even a city.
This is exactly right. It's like the spokesman for Verizon Wireless who changed to Sprint - will he make the move to T-Mobile now? - where even a few years ago was using the line that almost all carriers have similar coverage. This isn't 2000 or even 2010 when some carriers were clearly better in general situations. For example, if you wanted LTE in a rural area in 2012, Verizon Wireless was likely your best option.

I've been a T-Mobile customer for a long time, and I remember 15+ years ago when I'd venture outside of a major metropolitan area and consistently either end up on a roaming partner or lose service entirely whereas others with different providers still had service. A few years later I'd get a T-Mobile signal but drop to EDGE outside of urban areas or when inside a building. Friends still had EV-DO and later LTE signals. I've since revisited many of these places over the last couple of years and now have a strong T-Mobile LTE or 5G signal, even in rural areas.

I came close to dropping T-Mobile in 2013 before they announced the international roaming benefit. I stuck with T-Mobile because of that announcement, and service has improved to the point where I'll stick with T-Mobile for the foreseeable future. It's nice to know that when I travel internationally that things will just work pretty much everywhere without changing my SIM card or having to pay for add-on services. I could share many stories over the years where I'd by a SIM card and the sales clerk either gave me incorrect information about the plan or I'd waste considerable time getting the SIM card up and running. Now it's a seamless experience where I can text locally and back home on the same number or call ahead to a hotel or restaurant without breaking the bank. This works especially well when hopping across multiple locations where a SIM card might not work across the border, where my stay is not long enough to warrant purchasing a SIM card, or where barriers to getting a SIM card may exist, such as language or residency requirements.

Even T-Mobile's international roaming benefit is starting to lose its edge. We're rapidly moving in a direction where eSIM support will be ubiquitous across all devices and carriers with the option of having multiple active profiles simultaneously. Services like Airalo allow you to get an eSIM up and running remotely and be up and running as soon as you're on the ground at the destination. It is then possible to use DIGITS or another VoIP service to send and receive calls using your primary mobile number.
Majuki is offline  
Old Oct 8, 21, 8:57 pm
  #2081  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by Majuki View Post

Even T-Mobile's international roaming benefit is starting to lose its edge. We're rapidly moving in a direction where eSIM support will be ubiquitous across all devices and carriers with the option of having multiple active profiles simultaneously. Services like Airalo allow you to get an eSIM up and running remotely and be up and running as soon as you're on the ground at the destination. It is then possible to use DIGITS or another VoIP service to send and receive calls using your primary mobile number.
get an iphone - they support DSDV, so you can use your regular call over the data connection of 2nd sim (similar to wifi calling, where the regular call is over wifi)
just small scenario if data drops, call may switch to network (incurring fees). probably can force sim to connect to unauthorized network so network connection wont happen

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209044

scroll down to Learn about Dual SIM status icons
With Allow Cellular Data Switching turned on, the status bar shows that Carrier 1 is using 5G, and Carrier 2 is using the cellular data of Carrier 1 and has Wi-Fi calling enabled.
unfortunately with androids, this support isn't clear (which phones have DSDV)
https://www.techmesto.com/dual-sim-w...ported-phones/
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Old Oct 10, 21, 8:45 am
  #2082  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Cleveland, OH
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Originally Posted by paperwastage View Post
get an iphone - they support DSDV, so you can use your regular call over the data connection of 2nd sim (similar to wifi calling, where the regular call is over wifi)
just small scenario if data drops, call may switch to network (incurring fees). probably can force sim to connect to unauthorized network so network connection wont happen

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209044

scroll down to Learn about Dual SIM status icons

unfortunately with androids, this support isn't clear (which phones have DSDV)
https://www.techmesto.com/dual-sim-w...ported-phones/

This. I did this back in Jan 2020 with an iPhone XS in India Dual sim Verizon Google FI. Never got dinged for any Verizon usage as my Verizon voice calls were all routed over the data line of FI. iPhone definitely has a leg up on Android with this little-known feature.
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Old Oct 12, 21, 6:42 am
  #2083  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
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LordHamster,

You may already know this, but you may want to take a look at Red Pocket/Verizon for your backup line instead of Visible. I use it at their lowest level of 1Gb per month @ $99 for 360 days coverage. The next plan up is [email protected]$180 for 360 days. Speeds are good and the service is rock solid reliable from the past 2+ years use. It does not seem to be throttled or low prioritized either as far as I can tell. No esim yet but with the new 13 Pro Max and dual esim that doesn't matter as much. For an "Insurance" line it is a good fit for my area. The same can be said for KnowRoaming on AT&T esim @$2.25/7 days/1Gb if you happen to find yourself in East Jesus or Smoky Corners, with only AT&T. I went to a wedding last year in a small Texas town that was AT&T only for miles in any direction.
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Old Oct 12, 21, 7:53 am
  #2084  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Posts: 1,956
Originally Posted by draver View Post
LordHamster,

You may already know this, but you may want to take a look at Red Pocket/Verizon for your backup line instead of Visible. I use it at their lowest level of 1Gb per month @ $99 for 360 days coverage. The next plan up is [email protected]$180 for 360 days. Speeds are good and the service is rock solid reliable from the past 2+ years use. It does not seem to be throttled or low prioritized either as far as I can tell. No esim yet but with the new 13 Pro Max and dual esim that doesn't matter as much. For an "Insurance" line it is a good fit for my area. The same can be said for KnowRoaming on AT&T esim @$2.25/7 days/1Gb if you happen to find yourself in East Jesus or Smoky Corners, with only AT&T. I went to a wedding last year in a small Texas town that was AT&T only for miles in any direction.
I've done a ton of carrier switching and dual-sim combos in the past year. Due to my 100% lack of travel at the current time, I've settled on using Just AT&T Unlimited Elite and ended up dropping the Visible backup line. At my house (where I need good data throughput for when my isp goes down) AT&T is the only service that works reasonably. When I start traveling again, I'll definitely look into the options you mentioned as backups.
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Old Oct 13, 21, 10:03 am
  #2085  
 
Join Date: May 2015
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Originally Posted by LordHamster View Post
I've done a ton of carrier switching and dual-sim combos in the past year. Due to my 100% lack of travel at the current time, I've settled on using Just AT&T Unlimited Elite and ended up dropping the Visible backup line. At my house (where I need good data throughput for when my isp goes down) AT&T is the only service that works reasonably. When I start traveling again, I'll definitely look into the options you mentioned as backups.
Have you had a chance to use Airalo out of the country yet? Is it comparable to Fi out of the country? I've added a T-Mobile $15 Connect Prepaid e-Sim to my iPhone 12PM with my Fi Flexible.

As I don't use much data now even two of these Connect plans (same priority as Postpaid) would be cheaper than Fi plus one Connect plan.
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