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davisg

71 posts

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#198054 24-Jun-2016 07:57
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We have been in Alaska for 10 days roaming our phones on AT&T, the only GSM network outside the cities that is available. 4G data works but is only available in the cities. Elsewhere where only 3G band is available data roaming does not work at all (calls and txt are OK as is Edge (GPRS)).
Customer service in NZ was useless saying it was an AT&T problem and there was nothing that could be done.
My wife subsequently had a "helpful" txt saying there were roaming problems.
So, just a warning to people wanting to use Vodafone $5 per day data roaming in Alaska; you may as well forget it, it does not work.

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Linuxluver
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  #1579347 24-Jun-2016 08:14
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Sometimes the roaming on roaming 3G won't work if the 4G is enabled. This was the case for me in Melbourne several times. I could use the 3G provided I went into Mobile Networks on my Android phone and dialed back the mobile data network support to include 3G or slower.....and not 4G. 

 

You may have tried that, but if you haven't, give it a go. 

 

Also...the US use 850MHz for their 3G....and it's possible you have a phone that can't see it (as NZ and most non-North American carriers use 900MHz instead). The US military used to reserve 900MHz across North America (Canadians just had to put up with it......or get jammed by the US military traffic). But if your phone is relatively new (last couple of years?) and high spec, you may support both 850MHz and 900MHz on GSM. 





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davisg

71 posts

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  #1579354 24-Jun-2016 08:35
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OK... that seems to work on my Galaxy S7. Wow! It does not work on my wife's iPhone 6. We have always been able to see the 3G (H or H+) network (icon shows up beside the signal strength) but not roam on to it. Until now..

Hey thanks!

Hmm just entered a 4G area now so all good again.

 
 
 
 


Linuxluver
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  #1579359 24-Jun-2016 08:48
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davisg: OK... that seems to work on my Galaxy S7. Wow! It does not work on my wife's iPhone 6. We have always been able to see the 3G (H or H+) network (icon shows up beside the signal strength) but not roam on to it. Until now..

Hey thanks!

Hmm just entered a 4G area now so all good again.

 

Yes....in Melbourne they had 4G, too.....but wouldn't let me roam on it. My phone wouldn't fall back to 3G. It would just....fail. 

 

But disabling the 4G allowed the phone to talk to the 3G and it was all good. 

 

So there may be a mix of things going on for you.....but if turning off the 4G (in or out of a 4G area) works....then....good! 





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sbiddle
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  #1579368 24-Jun-2016 08:52
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Linuxluver:

 

Also...the US use 850MHz for their 3G....and it's possible you have a phone that can't see it (as NZ and most non-North American carriers use 900MHz instead). The US military used to reserve 900MHz across North America (Canadians just had to put up with it......or get jammed by the US military traffic). But if your phone is relatively new (last couple of years?) and high spec, you may support both 850MHz and 900MHz on GSM. 

 

 

Band support in the US is incredibly complex. Lots of even relatively modern handsets won't deliver a good roaming experience in the US due to them not fully supporting the required bands.

 

AT&T use GSM at 850 and 1900 and this is in the process of being decommissioned by 2017. They also use 3G on 850 and 1900 and then 4G on 700, 1700/2100 AWS, 1900 and 2300.

 

T-Mobile 1900 GSM, 3G on 1700/2100 AWS which has just about all been migrated to 3G on 1900, and then 4G on 700, 1700/2100 AWS and 1900.

 

There are plenty of phones that won't support ANY of the US 4G bands. There are also plenty that don't support 1900 3G.

 

Roaming in the US used to be a nightmare in the old days because none of the phones here supported the 850MHz GSM frequency there. From the mid 2000's onwards things became really good for probably 6 or 7 years, but due to the bands used over there again it's now an issue for many low to mid range handsets and many phones come with 2 variants - one the US and one for the rest of the world.

 

 


old3eyes
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  #1579946 25-Jun-2016 09:27
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This may explain some of your roaming  problems.

 

 

 

Juha Saarinen: Wake up, Vodafone. Your paying customers aren't happy





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Old3eyes


VodafoneCB
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  #1579950 25-Jun-2016 09:39
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Hi all,

 

please see statement below regarding this issue

 

It is important to note that Vodafone NZ partners with network operators around the world to provide our On Account customers with the flexibility to use their TXTs, calls, and data while travelling overseas. The $5 roaming offer is available in 23 destinations around the world, including Australia, Fiji, the UK and the USA. We also now offer 4G roaming to over 88 destinations to customers with a 4G capable device.

 

Specifically, looking to the USA, there have been various issues over the last few weeks with roaming in some regions of the USA, resulting in slow speeds for our customers. AT&T (our partner in the USA) is systematically upgrading their network which has subsequently impacted our roaming capability. We have been working closely with AT&T to address this issue and while work is continuing, we are redirecting roaming customers to the T Mobile network. We are continuing to test roaming speeds across the USA to ensure our customers are able to be connected and apologise for any inconvenience as we address this issue.

 

Thank you





Vodafone staff. You'll see me on the @vodafoneNZ twitter account and Vodafone NZ facebook page signing off as ^CB

davisg

71 posts

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  #1580823 27-Jun-2016 05:38
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So here is a perfect example of a reply from Vodafone answering the wrong question.
The issue was not about roaming data speed on AT&T. It was clearly a failure of authentication to allow 3G roaming; the data speed was ZERO mbps.

The "statement" does not explain why disabling the 4G band on the phone suddenly allowed data roaming to occur on the 3G band (which previously could be seen but not used).

It also does not explain why this trick works on android (S7) but not on iPhone 6s (which would not 3G roam on AT&T at any time).

And now back in Canada all 3G and 4G data roaming works normally and seamlessly on both Android and Apple.

 
 
 
 


Linuxluver
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  #1580856 27-Jun-2016 08:22
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davisg: So here is a perfect example of a reply from Vodafone answering the wrong question.
The issue was not about roaming data speed on AT&T. It was clearly a failure of authentication to allow 3G roaming; the data speed was ZERO mbps.

The "statement" does not explain why disabling the 4G band on the phone suddenly allowed data roaming to occur on the 3G band (which previously could be seen but not used).

It also does not explain why this trick works on android (S7) but not on iPhone 6s (which would not 3G roam on AT&T at any time).

And now back in Canada all 3G and 4G data roaming works normally and seamlessly on both Android and Apple.

 

It seems to be a "feature" of roaming that local telcos allow you to roam on their 3G networks, but reserve their 4G networks for their own customers. Maybe that eases off as the build-out proceeds, but I've seen this behaviour in Australia as well. I go to Canada frequently, but I have a Bell Canada account and SIM so I only see what their locals see.....and it's pretty good in the larger cities.

 

American telcos have a long history of locking phones and tying customers. It's not a stretch to see them deliberately use frequency incompatibilities to lock customers in. This impacts roamers, too. 

 

I have a Vodafone mobile. I have a Spark Mobile. Both allow moderate roaming data in a given day......so take one of each and you get more data you can actually USE. When you get the nasty txt telling you you're about to be surcharged, switch the mobile data off on that phone and start using the other one(s). It's a lot cheaper than being surcharged. 

 

But frequency complexity is something (US ...and Canadian) telcos love....and users hate. The telco response to that - for decades - has typically (not always) been stiff cheese. 

 

In Canada, Bell and Rogers and Telus (the big three) don't match frequencies in all places.....so multiple phones may be required.  

 

 





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