Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 16 to 28 of 28

Thread: 2G/3G networks shutdown and international roaming

  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,425
    Feedback Score
    0
    Apple already pushed one feature over the carriers - iMessage that uses SMS/MMS only when crossing over their echosystem walls (there is no iMessage for Android users).
    Google also pushed a similar one - RCS messages that reverts to SMS/MMS in similar conditions (not supported by Apple presently)

    In EU, the carriers wanted so badly the revenue from SMS, that nobody uses it anymore. WhatsApp is the de-facto messaging app at this point.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    U.S.A.
    Posts
    322
    Device(s)
    Samsung S9+
    Carrier(s)
    Total Wireless
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by RFK View Post
    So, how international visitors are going to roam within USA?
    They will buy a prepaid SIM card when they get here. Seriously. It goes both ways. When a person with a U.S. SIM travels, even if the SIM offers international roaming, it's almost always better to use a prepaid SIM card in the other country, for multiple reasons.

    When I was a T-Mobile user I still bought prepaid SIM cards when traveling because it was much cheaper than paying extra for high speed data, and paying 20˘/minute for calls. The people in the U.S. that I know that have T-Mobile complain incessantly about the U.S. coverage issues but they stay on T-Mobile because of the included low-speed international data, and the included texting. Then when they are traveling outside the U.S. they complain about how slow the included data is. I've had them tether onto my phone even though they have low speed data.

    With Google Voice, U.S. residents can still make and receive calls and texts to a U.S. number. There's also a way to forward calls (but not texts) from a U.S. mobile number to a foreign number at relatively low cost for most countries.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,498
    Device(s)
    iPhone 11, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s
    Carrier(s)
    Boom Mobile, RP
    Feedback Score
    0
    Regardless, whether by roaming or by using a local (US) SIM, the same issues apply. ATT/T-Mobile/Verizon, etc, will have to support VoLTE on their networks with these phones. Hopefully by then the carriers will be more open about the phones they accept on their VoLTE network.
    iPhone 11 is my current primary phone. I have older model iPhones and Moto phones available on other lines. Trying to simplify to 2 prepaid lines, one on the Verizon network and a limited minute plan on ATT to improve coverage area. 12 month plans to help me fight the urge to switch. The good old days of contracts where you had to pay a hefty ETF to leave

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    420
    Carrier(s)
    Truphone, FreeUp, FreedomPop US & MX, Toggle UK, Piranha, Netzclub DE, Simyo ES, Three UK
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    They will buy a prepaid SIM card when they get here. Seriously. It goes both ways. When a person with a U.S. SIM travels, even if the SIM offers international roaming, it's almost always better to use a prepaid SIM card in the other country, for multiple reasons.

    When I was a T-Mobile user I still bought prepaid SIM cards when traveling because it was much cheaper than paying extra for high speed data, and paying 20˘/minute for calls. The people in the U.S. that I know that have T-Mobile complain incessantly about the U.S. coverage issues but they stay on T-Mobile because of the included low-speed international data, and the included texting. Then when they are traveling outside the U.S. they complain about how slow the included data is. I've had them tether onto my phone even though they have low speed data.

    With Google Voice, U.S. residents can still make and receive calls and texts to a U.S. number. There's also a way to forward calls (but not texts) from a U.S. mobile number to a foreign number at relatively low cost for most countries.
    I think you've missed part of the point of this thread. If a foreigner arriving in the US has a device which doesn't support US LTE bands, there will be no 3G to fall back on regardless of the SIM card. *IF* T-Mobile still has their 2G running at that point, it will fall back. If T-Mobile shuts off 2G, their phone will get to signal at all.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    1,100
    Feedback Score
    0
    >If a foreigner arriving in the US has a device which doesn't support US LTE bands, there will be no 3G to fall back on regardless of the SIM card.

    EU is also sunsetting 2G/3G, reportedly this year (2020). So, presumably EU handsets won't have 3G going forward, and the whole issue of "where's 3G roaming" is already moot.

    http://westbase.io/3g-sunset-in-euro...our-next-steps

    Like CanadaAngela said, roaming in US is no different than roaming in EU. If you want to get working service, you'll need a compatible phone for the area. You won't get far without B3/7/20 in EU, so either have a "world phone," or get a cheap phone when travelling. The cost of a temp phone is negligible when compared to the cost of several hundred $/€ you spend on airfare, plus all the other costs when travelling.

    I don't see an issue here. Every carrier is ditching 2G/3G, and it's actually the US ones who are behind everyone else.


    >Hopefully by then the carriers will be more open about the phones they accept on their VoLTE network.

    When there's money involved, there will always be an incentive. Technically, there's nothing that stops carriers from providing VoLTE to VoLTE-capable phones. All current phones are capable of LTE, and presumably VoLTE. Just because your non-carrier-branded phone is blocked from said carrier's VoLTE doesn't mean that it can't be VoLTE-enabled when roaming is enabled. It's a business restriction, not a technical limitation.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    420
    Carrier(s)
    Truphone, FreeUp, FreedomPop US & MX, Toggle UK, Piranha, Netzclub DE, Simyo ES, Three UK
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    >If a foreigner arriving in the US has a device which doesn't support US LTE bands, there will be no 3G to fall back on regardless of the SIM card.

    EU is also sunsetting 2G/3G, reportedly this year (2020). So, presumably EU handsets won't have 3G going forward, and the whole issue of "where's 3G roaming" is already moot.

    http://westbase.io/3g-sunset-in-euro...our-next-steps

    Like CanadaAngela said, roaming in US is no different than roaming in EU. If you want to get working service, you'll need a compatible phone for the area. You won't get far without B3/7/20 in EU, so either have a "world phone," or get a cheap phone when travelling. The cost of a temp phone is negligible when compared to the cost of several hundred $/€ you spend on airfare, plus all the other costs when travelling.

    I don't see an issue here. Every carrier is ditching 2G/3G, and it's actually the US ones who are behind everyone else.


    >Hopefully by then the carriers will be more open about the phones they accept on their VoLTE network.

    When there's money involved, there will always be an incentive. Technically, there's nothing that stops carriers from providing VoLTE to VoLTE-capable phones. All current phones are capable of LTE, and presumably VoLTE. Just because your non-carrier-branded phone is blocked from said carrier's VoLTE doesn't mean that it can't be VoLTE-enabled when roaming is enabled. It's a business restriction, not a technical limitation.
    You make it sounds like there's some EU mandate to shutdown 3G this year. You have a few carriers in Europe choosing to sunset 2G or 3G, e.g. Vodafone is sunsetting 3G in the European countries it operates in this year, but will also apparently keep their 2G network on until 2025. I'd be willing to bet most countries in Europe, save some of the northern ones, will still have a 2G and/or 3G network in 2025 on one carrier or another.

    Buying a cheap phone for a week or two of use is wasteful in terms of resources and problematic in terms of e-waste. Sorry you don't recognize those things as issues.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    U.S.A.
    Posts
    322
    Device(s)
    Samsung S9+
    Carrier(s)
    Total Wireless
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by kevink1 View Post
    Regardless, whether by roaming or by using a local (US) SIM, the same issues apply. ATT/T-Mobile/Verizon, etc, will have to support VoLTE on their networks with these phones. Hopefully by then the carriers will be more open about the phones they accept on their VoLTE network.
    That's true. I've used some international phone models on Verizon VoLTE. But these were phones where there were also U.S. models. A lot of the popular phones sold in Europe and Asia are brands not sold in the U.S. that might not support VoLTE. But 3G (W-CDMA/HSDPA) will still be available for quite a while and most phones support it. T-Mobile hasn't even announced a 3G sunset date yet.

    In any case, even if VoLTE doesn't work, VOIP services will still work. So WhatsApp, WeChat, Google Voice, Skype, Viber, Facebook, etc. can be used for voice calls. I've purchased a data-only SIM in a country where it's a hassle to buy a SIM card with an actual phone number, and had no problem.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    389
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by djphilosophy View Post
    Buying a cheap phone for a week or two of use is wasteful in terms of resources and problematic in terms of e-waste. Sorry you don't recognize those things as issues.
    ... and it is not always possible. If you land in midnight or in small airport, you have hard time to find VoLTE compatible phone with local sim card.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    13,281
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by RFK View Post
    ... and it is not always possible. If you land in midnight or in small airport, you have hard time to find VoLTE compatible phone with local sim card.
    That's why, in my opinion, it's important for international travelers to have a phone with the most band support as reasonably possible, and/or have a VoIP service like Google Voice, TextNow, Talkatone, Viber, etc., that can also call real phone #s using WiFi and/or cellular data with a top-up balance. I know TextNow and Viber have $5 and $4.99 minimum top-ups and relatively low international calling rates, so the investment can be relatively small.

    Google Voice, TextNow, Viber, Talkatone are just the VoIP services that can call real phone #s using data only that I've personally used. There may be/probably are others, including WeChat, I think.

    There are also other apps that CAN'T call real phone #s, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, etc., which might be useful to some extent, but they can only make app to app calls, and aren't as valuable as the apps I mentioned above that can call real phone #s using data.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,425
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by djphilosophy View Post
    Buying a cheap phone for a week or two of use is wasteful in terms of resources and problematic in terms of e-waste. Sorry you don't recognize those things as issues.
    So you suggest that keeping 3G active for the whole US, just to satisfy the few EU tourists, that have garbage phones, is a better option?
    Radio bandwidth is a limited resource, so using it for 2G/3G is the real waste.

    The US sold phones have EU LTE bands included, maybe is time for EU phones to include US LTE bands too. Or not, their choice, a frequent traveler to US can always import a phone from US that will work on both sides of the Atlantic.

    As for the voice support (VoLTE), it is utterly irrelevant. A traveler doesn't care for a local number.
    Someone from EU will use WhatsApp to keep in touch with people at home. Everyone that I know in EU uses WhatsApp, mostly because their cell phone plans are so bad - they charge you differently depending what network is the phone you call, and there are no "unlimited" voice or SMS plans. They don't have free Google Voice numbers either, like we have in US.

    Same goes for US travelers in EU. I get a local SIM but I don't care for the local Spanish or Italian or Greek voice/SMS numbers, I care to have reliable data for my GV or WhatsApp.

    Quote Originally Posted by RFK View Post
    ... and it is not always possible. If you land in midnight or in small airport, you have hard time to find VoLTE compatible phone with local sim card.
    Commercial international flights from EU don't land in small airports and they don't land after curfew. In the big US airports you can find sellers of prepaid SIM.
    And even if you don't see one, you don't die if you wait to the next day. I have landed once in Italy on a Sunday and all their SIM shops were closed (yes, unbelievable for someone coming from US). Guess what, I had to rely on my hotel's WiFi till Monday. Oh, the horror!
    Last edited by SoNic67; 02-11-2020 at 06:31 AM.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    420
    Carrier(s)
    Truphone, FreeUp, FreedomPop US & MX, Toggle UK, Piranha, Netzclub DE, Simyo ES, Three UK
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    So you suggest that keeping 3G active for the whole US, just to satisfy the few EU tourists, that have garbage phones, is a better option?
    Radio bandwidth is a limited resource, so using it for 2G/3G is the real waste.
    It's not just European tourists - it likely affects any foreigner with a low- to mid-range phone from anywhere other than the Americas (Central and South America have always tended to use at least some of the same bands as the US, so even their low-end devices would probably support US LTE bands). I know that the US carriers will do whatever maximizes their profit. Tying that in with the limited spectrum you mention, I believe this is why T-Mobile has kept 2G alive: because a lot of older IoT devices use 2G, so they've had guaranteed customers since AT&T shut off their 2G, and in terms of spectrum, 2G uses a fraction of the bandwidth that 3G or LTE use: I think 20Mhz of spectrum for 2G vs 120MHz of spectrum for 3G or LTE. Keeping 2G on doesn't necessarily mean losing LTE spectrum. Between roaming agreements and IoT customers, it might make business sense for T-Mobile to keep 2G around for awhile longer - but obviously I'm sure they'll shut it off when it's clear the additional income it brings isn't worth the cost of keeping it on.

    If I were to "suggest" anything, as if it would be heard and considered by all the relevant parties, it would be something like: "Hey, maybe everyone can agree on having at least ONE common LTE (and 5G) band to guarantee that every phone can access a network, regardless of country?" But then the different regions would have to settle on one frequency range to free up for it, possibly rendering other radio equipment useless, and the phone manufacturers wouldn't be on board because it's better for their bottom line if someone has to buy one of their cheap phones just to get service when traveling, or pay for a more expensive device just to get global coverage.

    What would be within the realm of possibility would be the EU mandating that all phones sold in the EU have support for a basic set of LTE bands used outside the EU, as they've been big on cutting down e-waste (e.g. recent mandate to force mobile manufacturers to use USB-C chargers). I don't think anywhere other than the EU could get away with that.


    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    The US sold phones have EU LTE bands included, maybe is time for EU phones to include US LTE bands too. Or not, their choice, a frequent traveler to US can always import a phone from US that will work on both sides of the Atlantic.
    Nah, plenty of US phones lack the LTE bands used abroad. Even ones you might not consider "garbage" like the Moto E6. I wasn't so surprised to learn that that, but I was surprised to see that, assuming the specs are accurate, the Moto E6 even lacks the 2G and 3G bands used abroad. Motorola/Lenovo really cheaping out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    Everyone that I know in EU uses WhatsApp, mostly because their cell phone plans are so bad - they charge you differently depending what network is the phone you call, and there are no "unlimited" voice or SMS plans.
    Can I ask what EU country are you referring to? Maybe the people you know just need to update their cell phone plans. The countries with which I'm most familiar in terms of prepaid offerings (Germany, Spain, France) certainly offer unlimited voice and SMS plans, and IMO, the plans offered in Europe in general are of way better value than what's offered in the US (cue the often made argument amount about population density). Example: Simyo.es offers 6GB with unlimited SMS/voice (to any carrier) for 12€ (~$13) a month, or get just the 6GB data for 7€ (~$7.60). I absolutely agree that having a local number doesn't really matter for travelers, as long as you have data.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,498
    Device(s)
    iPhone 11, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s
    Carrier(s)
    Boom Mobile, RP
    Feedback Score
    0
    I thought that the EU pretty much had good "free" roaming. At least in a basic sense. In 2018 I made a vacation trip to the UK, used a Three SIM, and roamed data on a day trip to Paris. Service dropped at times on the train, and other places was 2G, but was faster in Paris and I used for navigation.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,498
    Device(s)
    iPhone 11, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s
    Carrier(s)
    Boom Mobile, RP
    Feedback Score
    0
    I just checked my Moto G5 Plus on gsmarena, and I see for myself that the Europe model has a more limited selection of LTE bands than the US model. As posted above, they need to do better.

    Though the flagship models can afford to put in more bands, they need to get better. And the carriers need to get better at accepting phones that technically support the VoLTE and the LTE bands.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 12
    Last Post: 06-17-2009, 02:14 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-16-2009, 08:47 AM
  3. Converting TDMA to GSM and International Roaming
    By hailing in forum Rogers/Fido/Chat-r
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-13-2005, 12:00 AM
  4. Telus (or CDMA rather) and international roaming?
    By Pudgy in forum TELUS/Koodo/Public Mobile
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 08-04-2004, 09:53 PM
  5. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-03-2003, 02:10 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks