T-Mobile roaming when "No Service"?

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Jul 1, 2007
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#1
I live in Santa Fe, NM, where T-Mobile coverage is OK .. 3-4 bars at my house. So when I bought my iPhone today, I asked if the coverage would be good, and if T-Mobile roaming would cut in when/if ATT signal was missing. Yup, they said at the ATT store.

So I get home and ZERO coverage! And no roaming, apparently.

So the questions are:
- Doesn't ATT have roaming agreements with T-Mobile?
- Is there a stunt I need to use to turn on the T-Mobile roaming?
- Has anyone else seen this problem? .. any solution?

Owen
 

bnelse92

New Member
Jul 29, 2007
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#2
Most of the roaming agreements that major networks negotiate are ones with smaller local carriers in more rural and less populated areas. I have never heard of any of the major networks having agreements with each other. Chances are, if you are in a growing/ developing area, then you may get better ATT coverage at some point in the future...but...if you are in a rural area, kind of far from a metro area, it may be a long time and I wouldn't count on it.
 

wildonrio

New Member
Gold
Jul 4, 2007
2,002
6
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Provo, UT
#3
I live in Santa Fe, NM, where T-Mobile coverage is OK .. 3-4 bars at my house. So when I bought my iPhone today, I asked if the coverage would be good, and if T-Mobile roaming would cut in when/if ATT signal was missing. Yup, they said at the ATT store.

So I get home and ZERO coverage! And no roaming, apparently.

So the questions are:
- Doesn't ATT have roaming agreements with T-Mobile?
- Is there a stunt I need to use to turn on the T-Mobile roaming?
- Has anyone else seen this problem? .. any solution?

Owen
I called and complained about this. Apparently, roaming is only offered when the service between AT&T and T-Mobile in the area is "competetive", as in both carriers offer service in the area. If there's an area where T-Mobile has good service and AT&T doesn't, then AT&T won't roam onto T-Mobile. I was shocked to hear this because naturally it's stupid to have roaming capabilities only in areas that you don't actually need them.

AT&T also told me that AT&T picks up two separate frequencies - 850 and 1700 (I think) - while T-Mobile only picks up one. Because AT&T picks up two, sometimes these two frequencies conflict with eachother resulting in no bars in an area where T-Mobile would work fine with no conflicts.

This is why AT&T is not a good company and why the iPhone was the ONLY thing that could ever get me to switch to them.
 
Aug 20, 2007
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#5
I also live in north of Santa Fe, At&t has upgraded their coverage here recently...at least according to their commercials..LOL. as we know companies never lie... ;)
 

wildonrio

New Member
Gold
Jul 4, 2007
2,002
6
0
Provo, UT
#6
So, I'm a little confused by this. I'm sure Im just not reading into it enough, but are you able to use T-Mobile areas on your iPhone or am I being dumb, because I thought that was (for the most part) not possible.
It's completely possible and true. It's called roaming and all wireless carriers do it. When there's no AT&T service in an area but there is some other carrier (must be GSM), then AT&T will let your phone roam onto that other carrier's tower and pay all the rental fees along with it.
 
Aug 20, 2007
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#7
watch your roaming too. AT&T has a policy of terming you if more than 50% of your usage is off-network (roaming). apparently all the big carriers have this in the fine print, but I've heard AT&T enforces it. :eek:

having said that, the manager at the store where i got my phone said she's been working for them since day one of Cingular, and had seen it happen only twice.
 
Jul 1, 2007
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#8
Thanks for all the responses, nice to know I'm not loosing it!

BTW: I've done the following test:
- Try iPhone/ATT at my house: No Service
- Pop out ATT SIM and put into unlocked Treo 680: 3 bars!
.. and digital networking was working .. possibly GPRS rather than full EDGE, but still I could easily web browse on Treo's browser.

I also have tried different sites within Santa Fe such as near the Plaza area downtown, and the Cowgirl bar. Both horrid reception, and both with wildly varying number of bars depending on my posture! I did get one steady 4-5 bar area on Old Santa Fe Trail and it wasn't too bad. Possibly our EDGE is worse here than in other cities? We are the state capitol, however.

The ATT store has suggested the phone is defective and will give me another, hopefully without having to pay another new activation. (The SIM is fine, I shouldn't need another). So I'll let you know how things go when I get the new phone.

If all else fails, I'll try one of the current unlock stunts.
 
Jul 1, 2007
13
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#9
watch your roaming too. AT&T has a policy of terming you if more than 50% of your usage is off-network (roaming). apparently all the big carriers have this in the fine print, but I've heard AT&T enforces it. :eek:

having said that, the manager at the store where i got my phone said she's been working for them since day one of Cingular, and had seen it happen only twice.
Thanks, good info. Which store did you buy from? I got mine from the new ATT Zafarano store. Quite a zoo when I went in. But reasonably knowledgeable.
 
Aug 20, 2007
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#10
Thanks, good info. Which store did you buy from? I got mine from the new ATT Zafarano store. Quite a zoo when I went in. But reasonably knowledgeable.

Honestly, I bought mine while on a businesss trip in KCMO..LOL. What can I say, I couldn't wait till I got home. We are a two iPhone house and we haven't had any issues with coverage for the most part, so the store might be on the money about telling you to swap out. We live just outside of Española towards Nambé...literally on the boarder of moderate coverage and partner (roaming), but both work in Santa Fe, so hopefully we wont get smacked with the too much roaming thing..LOL.
 
Jul 1, 2007
13
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#11
Thanks for all the responses, nice to know I'm not loosing it!

BTW: I've done the following test:
- Try iPhone/ATT at my house: No Service
- Pop out ATT SIM and put into unlocked Treo 680: 3 bars!
.. and digital networking was working .. possibly GPRS rather than full EDGE, but still I could easily web browse on Treo's browser.

I also have tried different sites within Santa Fe such as near the Plaza area downtown, and the Cowgirl bar. Both horrid reception, and both with wildly varying number of bars depending on my posture! I did get one steady 4-5 bar area on Old Santa Fe Trail and it wasn't too bad. Possibly our EDGE is worse here than in other cities? We are the state capitol, however.

The ATT store has suggested the phone is defective and will give me another, hopefully without having to pay another new activation. (The SIM is fine, I shouldn't need another). So I'll let you know how things go when I get the new phone.

If all else fails, I'll try one of the current unlock stunts.
Here's the latest news:
- ATT store says that I should contact Apple for an exchange. ATT can't/won't do exchanges, they say, only returns.
- I talk to 1-800-myiPhone and get a good service rep. Suggests I drive 80 miles to the Albuquerque store or send it in to Apple, for an exchange.
- I drive in to Albuquerque to their Apple store .. very nice. The genius was puzzled, took it into the back room, where it went from 5 bars to No Service! Decided an exchange was the right answerl
- Drive home, try it at home, No Service, even though the iPhone SIM gets a couple of bars or more, depending, in a Treo.

So apparently I simply cannot use an iPhone at home or in the parts of Santa Fe I frequent.

Damn!

Owen
 

Silverado

New Member
Bronze
Jul 6, 2007
332
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0
#12
Roaming agreements are done in particular markets. If AT&T thinks their network is "fine" in a certain location, they won't allow roaming in it. If teir network is bad or non-existent in a market they want to be in, they'd get a roaming agreement.
 

backspaces

New Member
Jul 1, 2007
13
0
0
#13
Roaming agreements are done in particular markets. If AT&T thinks their network is "fine" in a certain location, they won't allow roaming in it. If teir network is bad or non-existent in a market they want to be in, they'd get a roaming agreement.
Well, clearly this does not work in my case. Is there a way for me to get ATT to admit that they have little or no coverage in several places in town, thus have T-Mobile roaming in part or all of Santa Fe?

This is the state capitol, for heaven's sakes! You'd think they'd consider it important enough to provide good coverage.

When I discussed roaming with ATT at their local store, they said that it should cut in if needed. Clearly they are misinformed.

It really is a pain to have a great technology not available here, in one of the cities considered "very creative" by several sources. I paid over $100 in restocking fees and ATT account fees just to find out that it wouldn't work!

Owen