Don't think Roaming works for voice/texting

Moto G7
Republic 3.0
Plan includes Data, Talk, and Text


I have a GSM SIM, and I have never seen the “R” indicator come on. I have traveled outside of T-Mobile’s coverage a number of time (Eastern NC, SC) and I usually just lose coverage entirely with the “Emergency Calls Only” indicator popping up. I expected to at least be able to make a phone call, because I know that AT&T (another GSM provider) services these areas. Is my phone not behaving, or do I simply have incorrect expectations?

Hi @btsmith52,

Have you checked the coverage map for the areas in question? Do they indicate “partner” (Republic’s GSM (T-Mobile) partner’s term for roaming in those areas? Merely because AT&T has coverage in the area doesn’t mean T-Mobile has a roaming agreement with AT&T for those areas.

Also, for the sake of clarity, Republic is not party to and has no control over roaming agreements between its partners and their partners. As a result, roaming will always be best effort for Republic.

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To second what @rolandh has said, T-Mobile has very limited roaming agreements with other carriers. They made the decision years ago to invest in their own network, rather than in very expensive roaming agreements. As a contrast Sprint did the opposite. While in certain areas where T-Mobile has no coverage and they could roam, that’s frustrating, if you look at the expansion of their network in the last few years, and the in process expansion via B71, compared to Sprint’s network (and financial position) it is clear which was the right strategy.

In any case, that means that the expectation that a T-Mobile activate phone will roam simply because AT&T has coverage in the area will be wrong far more often than it is right.

That is helpful. Thanks for the information.

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