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Roaming Coverage

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Last updated by Isabel M

1. What does "roaming" mean?

"Roaming" is the word that's used when you're not using our towers to access the cellular network. When you're roaming, you're using another carrier's towers.

2. How will I know that I'm roaming?

A roaming notification will generally appear at the top of your phone (in the same area that shows your signal strength and battery life). This is often triangle, the letter "R" or just the word Roaming.

3. Am I charged for domestic roaming?

No! With Ting, domestic voice roaming is free, so if you're in a roaming area, your calls and regular SMS texts will work as usual. At the moment we don't offer domestic data roaming.

4. How do I make sure my phone will roam?

To ensure that your CDMA device will roam, you can update certain settings in your phone. In Android, Windows and Feature phones you'll need to check the phone's Roaming Mode/Network and the Roaming Settings:

Android

  • Roaming Mode/Network
    • Settings > More / More Network > Roaming > Roaming Mode - set to Automatic
    • Settings > More / More Networks > Mobile networks > Roaming Mode - set to Automatic
  • Roaming Settings
    • Settings > More / More Networks > Roaming > Roaming Settings - enable Domestic Voice
    • Settings > More / More Networks > Mobile networks > Roaming > Roaming Settings - enable Domestic Voice

iPhones

  • Roaming Mode/Network & Settings
    • Settings > Cellular > Roaming > Voice Roaming - enable

Windows Phones

  • Roaming Mode/Network & Settings
    • Settings > Cellular > Voice roaming - set to Domestic

Feature Phones

  • Roaming Mode/Network
    • Settings > Others > Roaming > Roaming Mode - set to Automatic
  • Roaming Settings
    • Settings > Others > Roaming > Roaming Settings - enable Domestic Voice

Your GSM device will roam for voice/text services automatically. We recommend disabling data roaming as it can cause extra battery drain, but if you're traveling internationally you'll want to enable it:

Android

  • Settings > More / More Networks > Mobile networks > Data Roaming - Enable

iPhones

  • Settings > Cellular > Data Roaming - Enable

Windows Devices

  • Settings > Cellular + SIM > Data roaming options - Set to Roam

BlackBerry Devices

  • Settings > Networks and Connections > Mobile Network > Data services while roaming - Set to On or Prompt (in which case you'll be asked if you want to enable data roaming)

Feature Phones

  • Menu > Settings > Network Settings > Data Roaming - Enable

5. What about international roaming?

Ting supports international roaming for GSM, but not CDMA devices. If you have a CDMA device, however, there are other options.

6. I get annoying alerts whenever I'm roaming. How do I stop these?

These alerts appear on CDMA devices and are called "roaming guards." They are enabled by default on most phones so that customers don't unknowingly rack up huge roaming charges. Since that's not an issue with Ting, it's safe to disable those roaming guards. Some common pathways to your roaming guards are below.

  • Settings > More > Roaming
  • Settings > More > Mobile networks
  • Settings > Others > Roaming

Most GSM devices will give you one warning but not continue to do so. Roaming guards are not found on most GSM devices.

7. My usage isn't showing up on my Ting account dashboard when I'm roaming.

This is normal. When you're roaming it takes longer for your usage information to be relayed back to us. It can take 24 hours or more for your usage information to show up on your account.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Verizon is phasing out their CDMA service to using just Voice over LTE (VoLTE).

    Does Ting roam over to Verizon's VoLTE? If not, then Verizon roaming will get less & less useful to Ting customers.

    See http://www.extremetech.com/mobile/150068-verizon-plans-to-drop-cdma-from-phones-in-2014-in-favor-of-pure-lte for one report on this.

    My son on Verizon already gets must better voice service with VoLTE than he did with CDMA.

  • Avatar
    Renny M

    Hi Bruce,

    Verizon's plans for VoLTE are very intriguing,  but are still in the early stages for now. Ting currently roams on Verizon's CDMA service and it will still be a long time before that service is phased out completely.  We don't have any word on whether or not Ting will roam over to Verizon's VoLTE at this time. We will definitely make an announcement on our blog if there are any changes to roaming on Ting.

  • Avatar
    igor sviridov

    Does domestic roaming include data or is it only voice?

     

  • Avatar
    Paraic O

    Hi Igor,

    Domestic roaming does not include data roaming. We are currently able to offer free voice and text while out of Sprint coverage.

  • Avatar
    Nash Flanagin

    I am assuming this is a Sprint issue, but my phone varies from 0-2 bars of service at my house, so sometimes coverage is very usable at 2, and even on occasion 3 bars, but anything at 0-1 is practically unusable. When my phone is at 1 bar, I cannot hold a conversation, but it won't roam to verizon. Is there some way to avoid this issue (without shelling out money on an Airave)?

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Nash,

    According to my son who is on Verizon (government plan), he says some Verizon areas have poor CDMA coverage so hid phone uses VoLTE (voice over LTE). Ting only roams to Verizon's CDMA network.

    Sprint only permits Airaves in certain of their coverage areas. I am not in one of them :(

  • Avatar
    Marty M

    Hi Nash.  I've checked and the towers in your area seem to be fine.  Feel free to contact us and we can investigate the problem with you.

  • Avatar
    A Martin

    I'm interested in moving my Nexus 5 over to Ting, but before making the jump I'd like to verify voice roaming onto the Verizon is supported. US Cellular doesn't provide coverage in my area. Would a Nexus 5 be allowed to roam on Verizon?

  • Avatar
    Renny M

    Hi A,

    Ting customers are able to roam on Verizon if they are not in range of the Sprint network. This only applies to voice and text, we do not offer data roaming. 

  • Avatar
    Paavo Downing

    Can ting roam to Verizon in Grantsburg, WI?

  • Avatar
    Marty M

    Hi Paavo.  Yes, if there are no Sprint towers available, your phone will use the Verizon towers for voice and text.

  • Avatar
    Scott Johns

    The Sprint coverage map labels my area as off-network roaming. The Verizon map labels my area as 4g LTE. Does that mean I won't get service here with Ting because it's not Verizon's CDMA? Or is Verizon CDMA and 4G LTE the same?

  • Avatar
    Marty M

    Hi Scott.  Ting does offer free roaming to the Verizon towers for voice and for texting.  Data roaming isn't offered at this time, so though your voice and texts would work, your mobile data would not.

  • Avatar
    Scott Johns

    Thank you for your reply. I am aware that Ting roams onto Verizon and that there is no data roaming. I don't understand why you responded without answering my question, though? There was previous discussion in this comments section, from another user, about Verizon CDMA and LTE. I want to clarify that when I am roaming in an area that Verizon uses 4g LTE towers, those towers still support the CDMA that Ting needs in order to roam on Verizon? Because Ting doesn't roam on LTE if there is no CDMA, right?

  • Avatar
    Paraic O

    Hey Scott!

    It's nothing to do with the network type, data roaming is just not a service offered by Ting at this time. This includes all data including 1x, 3G, 4G WiMax and 4G LTE.

    If Verizon has 4G LTE towers that also cover  voice and text, you will roam onto these towers for calls and text.

    I hope this helps!

  • Avatar
    Scott Johns

    Unfortunately, that does not help. I realize this is a complicated question, but without an answer I can't switch to Ting. I don't care about the data. I never asked about the data. And I tried to clarify that my question is not about data. You said, "If Verizon has 4G LTE towers that also cover voice and text, you will roam onto these towers for calls and text." If _being the important word here. _My question, for the third time, is: do Verizon's 4G LTE towers support Ting's voice and text roaming, just like its non-LTE, CDMA-only towers, or not?

    Here are the responses that would work to answer my question:

    A) We don't know.

    B) Yes, all Verizon 4G LTE towers also support the CDMA network that Ting roams on.

    C) No, only Verizon's older, non-4G LTE towers support Ting's roaming program.

    D) Some Verizon 4G LTE towers do support Ting's CDMA roaming and some don't, but we don't know which ones do and don't.

    E) Some do and some don't and here is how you can find out if the ones in your area do...

  • Avatar
    Paraic O

    Hey again,

    The answer here is D) "Some Verizon 4G LTE towers do support Ting's CDMA roaming and some don't, but we don't know which ones do and don't.". We don't have access to Verizon towers to get the information for you. If we had the specific tower information we would happily give it to you, but we can only view specifics of Sprint towers. You could always ask with Verizon to see if the towers in your local area support CDMA so that you know you could roam.

  • Avatar
    Scott Johns

    Thank you for clarifying. I'll follow up with Verizon.

  • Avatar
    Janet Dixon

    I am a new customer with a Kyocera kona. According to your coverage map I should be have voice roaming coverage at a location I visit a lot. I didn't have any service. About a half mile away it showed fair voice coverage and it worked. I read on another thread that it depends on the antenna. How do I know how good an antenna is when I buy a phone, and if it will work where your coverage says it will work?

  • Avatar
    Renny M

    Hi Janet,

    Make sure that your device has roaming enabled. On the Kona the setting can be found using this path 

     OK > Settings > Others > Roaming > Roaming Mode > set this to automatic and make sure that domestic voice roaming is enabled in this menu as well.

    It is also a good idea to run a PRL update on your device after you have done this. Here are the steps for the Kona

    OK > Tools > Update Phone.> Update PRL

    Contact our support team if you need any additional help

  • Avatar
    Janet Dixon

    Thanks, I'll see if it works next weekend when I'm up north in "roaming land".

  • Avatar
    Brett Bavar

    I tested out the Sprint network with a friend's phone in my home today to get a feel for how Ting might work for me. Half of my house appears to be weakly covered by the Sprint network and half of my house is not. Therefore, when moving around my house, the phone goes in and out of roaming mode.

    I did not test a call with roaming, because I did not want to incur charges on my friend's bill. But I wanted to test a call moving around the house with roaming enabled, because I want to know that calls do not get dropped when switching between Sprint and roaming.

    Thus, my question: Do calls seamlessly transition between Sprint and roaming? Or are calls guaranteed/likely to be dropped when switching between Sprint and roaming?

  • Avatar
    Marty M

    Hi Brett.  The transition from a Sprint tower to a roaming tower should be seamless.  If your coverage at home isn't great, you might look at an Airave as a solution - it acts as your own personal cell tower.

  • Avatar
    Timothy Tinkham

    The Nexus 5 works on CDMA or GSM networks.  If I buy this phone and roam into an area that only has AT&T, will Ting roam to an AT&T network or only to Verizon?

  • Avatar
    Felipe S

    Hey Timothy. We have roaming agreements Verizon and other local partners, so it won't roam on AT&T.

  • Avatar
    Meridith Farnworth

    I'm thinking of changing over to Ting from Virgin Mobile.  I'm concerned that I keep seeing that Ting does not support data roaming.  I'm not sure if have ever needed that with VM, but want to better understand what my exposure would be in this regard.  Can someone please explain to me what it means?  I get the basic concept of roaming (and that Ting *does* support voice / text roaming); but want to make sure I understand what I'm getting into before I invest in a Ting phone.   Should I be able to tell by looking at the coverage maps if I might go out of a data-covered area?   I'm in New England, if that helps.   TIA  

  • Avatar
    Ting Help

    Hi Meridith!  Sprint coverage is pretty comprehensive, but you can always check the coverage map when you are planning travel to see if you might be outside our service area.  You simply won't have access to cellular data if you are roaming, but you'd be able to use wifi (and, as you know, voice and text).  If you have specific questions, please feel free to get in touch.

  • Avatar
    Robert Mahood

    Just returned from an Alaskan tour and cruise. The coverage map shows roaming for most of the populated areas in AK, but no data. We had voice and text service in Fairbanks, but pretty much no coverage anywhere else. Oddly, I turned the phone on while the ship was in an Inside Passage port (Icy Straits, I think), and had a brief episode of data coverage where my weather apps and Facebook updated, and worked email for a few minutes before the signal quit. Then nothing--voice or data. I am satisfied with the coverage at our home and most lower-48 trips, but was disappointed that Sprint is mostly a no-show in Alaska. Poor Sprint, I hope they can grow some muscle. If I was willing to pay ridiculous amounts for a phone and data plan, I certainly would not choose them as my carrier. But Ting, you are good for what I need (mostly). Soldier on.

  • Avatar
    Walter Howard

    I was just in a non-Sprint area for a couple of days, and  every time I went to make/receive a call, my LG Optimus S made me click through the 'Roaming Guard' notice. I tried the actions posted above, but I can't find anywhere to turn them off.

  • Avatar
    Renny M

    Hi Walter,

    On the LG Optimus S, you can disable that warning message using this path: go to settings> call settings > uncheck call guard. If you need any additional help, feel free to drop us a line.

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