Roam, roam on the range?
August 28, 2012 2:19 PM Subscribe
Can you help me understand how cellphone roaming works in 2012?
posted by werkzeuger to technology (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My wife and I share a T-Mobile family plan with my parents. We all have old Motorola V190 and similar flip phones - in other words not smart phones, no data .
We all live in the Minneapolis/St.Paul metro area and the plan works pretty well for us there...BUT. We also have a rural property in west central Wisconsin and there I must drive ten miles into the closest town to get reception. This is not only inconvenient but a safety issue: I am alone at this property working with farm machinery and construction and need cell functionality in case of an emergency.
When I dig into the phone's menus and play with network settings, the phone "sees" a Cingular network (this is what our rural neighbors use) but it will not connect to it. The display says "Emergency Only" which alternates randomly with "no service." If I go to T-Mobiles coverage map, it shows we're in a no coverage area.
Here's what I don't get: when I first started using cell phones in the mid nineties, if I was outside my network's coverage areas, the phone would roam and I could make calls, albeit at a steep rate. Our family plan with T-Mobile specifies "free digital roaming." So I'm wondering why I can't roam with this phone on the local Cingular network.
BTW I have tried several different phones with my SIM card, and none work.
I know the no-brainer answer is to call up T-Mobile and ask this question, but my dad holds the account and trying to resolve this through him would be excrutiating...it's a long story.