Cell Phones

Roam Mobility vs. T-Mobile

  • Last Updated:
  • May 17th, 2019 4:02 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 18, 2007
2506 posts
1342 upvotes
Vancouver, BC

Roam Mobility vs. T-Mobile

Had I known this, I probably would've went with t-mobile instead.

I just travelled to the grand canyon from Vegas.

In the city, RM works very well. Outside of urban centres, RM is straight garbage.

I was travelling from the interstate from LV strip to the Grand Canyon. 95% of the time, I had no reception, the other 5% was 2G Edge that had incredibly slow data.

Others on the bus with t-mobile had 4G LTE the entire way without any hiccups...

Can somebody explain why?

RM piggyback off of the t-mobile network yet the coverage is so different outside of the city.
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22 replies
Deal Fanatic
Sep 29, 2005
5874 posts
1255 upvotes
Montreal
Doesn't Roam use T-Mobile?
Phils
Member
Jan 25, 2015
395 posts
145 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Roam does use TM.
It can be a couple of factors.

1 Hardware. Your phone may not support all the bands T-Mobile currently uses on its network.

2. Network priority for T-Mobile over MVNO/MVNE. The US carriers resell their services to dozens of MVNO, but they get 2nd priority vs native T-Mobile, ATT, Verizon, Sprint customers when the network gets congested.
Deal Expert
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Jun 12, 2007
16029 posts
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London
Phils wrote: Doesn't Roam use T-Mobile?
I believe the issue is VoLTE. There’s no regular HSPA or gsm coverage in newer areas. Your phone must support VoLTE and your phone must be a tested acceptable model to work on T mobile .

Because there’s no regular HSPA or gsm voice service and also because TM is mandated by law to provide 911 voice service, they don’t accept any phone for voice over LTE service (VoLTE). It must be a phone from their tested as “acceptable” list
Jr. Member
Mar 31, 2018
127 posts
76 upvotes
My phone is an old Samsung Note 3 ( 5 years + ).
I have had a T mobile prepaid account for 5 years. $2.00USD per day unlimited talk/data/text (grandfathered now I think).
Top it up with $10.00USD every 90 days. They only deduct the $2.00 when I actually use it.
I pop out the Public Mobile sim and insert the T Mobile sim when crossing the border.
And pop out the T Mobile sim and insert the Mexico Telcel sim when crossing the southern border.
Too many sims!
All works great on the old Note 3.
Deal Guru
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Sep 1, 2005
12070 posts
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Markham
orveas wrote: My phone is an old Samsung Note 3 ( 5 years + ).
I have had a T mobile prepaid account for 5 years. $2.00USD per day unlimited talk/data/text (grandfathered now I think).
Top it up with $10.00USD every 90 days. They only deduct the $2.00 when I actually use it.
I pop out the Public Mobile sim and insert the T Mobile sim when crossing the border.
And pop out the T Mobile sim and insert the Mexico Telcel sim when crossing the southern border.
Too many sims!
All works great on the old Note 3.
I had that old Legacy plan until recently. I wasn't using the SIM much (if I went for 5 days, I only used $10) so $40/yr was more than I wanted to keep paying (the balance kept going up up up). I just switched to the Pay as you go for $3/mth because it doesn't require any more $ and I figure at $3/mth I figured I had three yrs of balance to eat. With that $3/mth play you get 30 calls/text per month which is crappy. You can add 7 day 1gb data pass for $10.

BTW Your Note 3 is not on that list (no 700 mz service) so you might find rural service to be bad like the OP.
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
Deal Guru
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Sep 1, 2005
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Markham
l69norm wrote: a lot of Tmobile rural coverage is 700 mhz LTE band 12 VoLTE

https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/coverage-map

What phone were you using ?

These are the ones known to have LTE band 12 VoLTE

https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/lte-b ... es#B700MHz
Not a lot of phones on that list IMO.
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
Deal Addict
Feb 17, 2017
1212 posts
1009 upvotes
Calgary
The most likely scenario is that the T-Mobile customers were roaming on one of T-Mobile's partners. I seem to recall their is a regional carrier around the Grand Canyon National park. RM doesn't get access to T-Mobile's domestic roaming partners.

It's one of the big advantages of using your Canadian cell providers roaming plans. Telus has 10+ roaming partners in the US and you'll often get access to all the random regional carriers.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 18, 2007
2506 posts
1342 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
l69norm wrote: a lot of Tmobile rural coverage is 700 mhz LTE band 12 VoLTE

https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/coverage-map

What phone were you using ?

These are the ones known to have LTE band 12 VoLTE

https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/lte-b ... es#B700MHz
I have a Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus with Band 4 and 7 LTE support.

I definitely do not have Band 12, a band that most phones don't even support unless they are made specifically for the US/Canada market.
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 18, 2007
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Vancouver, BC
CanadianSpruce wrote: The most likely scenario is that the T-Mobile customers were roaming on one of T-Mobile's partners. I seem to recall their is a regional carrier around the Grand Canyon National park. RM doesn't get access to T-Mobile's domestic roaming partners.

It's one of the big advantages of using your Canadian cell providers roaming plans. Telus has 10+ roaming partners in the US and you'll often get access to all the random regional carriers.
You may be right.
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Deal Addict
Jan 20, 2005
3689 posts
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Thornhill
Roam Mobility uses t-Mobile. Reception is crap in the canyons and this was on a oneplus phone which supports almost all frequencys
Deal Addict
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Nov 14, 2003
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Gotham
AsianXL wrote: I have a Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus with Band 4 and 7 LTE support.

I definitely do not have Band 12, a band that most phones don't even support unless they are made specifically for the US/Canada market.
There's your problem right there. I was just in Vegas a road trip to the same place. I am on t-mobile with a galaxy S9 and I had almost full coverage and speed most of the time.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 18, 2007
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Vancouver, BC
batcave wrote: There's your problem right there. I was just in Vegas a road trip to the same place. I am on t-mobile with a galaxy S9 and I had almost full coverage and speed most of the time.
Were you using roam mobility? Or t-mobile? Your s9 has band 12?
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Deal Addict
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Nov 14, 2003
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AsianXL wrote: Were you using roam mobility? Or t-mobile? Your s9 has band 12?
T-mo. Yes. The S9 is 100% compatible with t-mo.
Deal Addict
Feb 17, 2017
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Calgary
batcave wrote: T-mo. Yes. The S9 is 100% compatible with t-mo.
I don't believe the Canadian S9/S10 have T-Mobiles band 71

If you dial *#2263# you'll see the bands your phone supports. While the phone supports it, the carriers have locked down the band.
Sr. Member
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Jun 2, 2010
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Toronto
CanadianSpruce wrote: I don't believe the Canadian S9/S10 have T-Mobiles band 71

If you dial *#2263# you'll see the bands your phone supports. While the phone supports it, the carriers have locked down the band.
You are right. I checked my Samsung Galaxy S9 and I see 22 LTE bands, but no band 71.
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Nov 14, 2003
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CanadianSpruce wrote: I don't believe the Canadian S9/S10 have T-Mobiles band 71

If you dial *#2263# you'll see the bands your phone supports. While the phone supports it, the carriers have locked down the band.
Good thing I don't have a Canadian S9 then. Smiling Face With Sunglasses
Deal Addict
Feb 17, 2017
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batcave wrote: Good thing I don't have a Canadian S9 then. Smiling Face With Sunglasses
Either way RM doesn't support voice over LTE, so you wouldn't get access to band 71 anyway.
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Nov 14, 2003
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CanadianSpruce wrote: Either way RM doesn't support voice over LTE, so you wouldn't get access to band 71 anyway.
Good thing also that I don't use Roam

OP, if you travel or plan to travel a lot and want full mobile access, get a phone that has the capability. You get what you pay for. 🤷‍♂️

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