That is not my experience; my previous T-Mobile G2 (HTC) 3G phone provides overseas data service in several countries to its U.S customers without an additional SIM or unlock. I'm afraid your facts are incorrect, the issue is with the availability of 4G networking, and the lack of fallback to 3G etc on the device in the absence of 4G.
T-Mobile is also not exclusively a U.S company (the parent is german)
Yes, Deutsche Telekom is the parent company; T-Mobile, however, is a U.S. company.
Your GSM phone may have international roaming but nothing is guaranteed overseas - nothing is even "guaranteed" in the U.S! You're talking about technicalities of frequencies for networks and all that.
If you want to do your homework better, try some reading:
I travel overseas extensively with my SGS2 (...and my G2x, and my HD2, and my Nexus One, and ...). However, I never encountered this "no-data" problem beacuse I always turn off all data roaming when I leave the USA.
I use WiFi for data especially since there are no international data roaming plans and phones like our SGS2 like to "always be connected". I read too many horror stories about outrageous data roaming bills for even short trips.
This being said, I have not switched SIM cards for one from a local carrier. My international phone calls and text messaging are reimbursed and as I turn off data roaming, I have not seen any heart-stopping charges from T-Mobile ;-)
The GSII has the required bands to roam in both the UK and continental Europe. It sounds like you had data roaming disabled, or your phone was perhaps set to use WCDMA-only and there wasn't any 3G service available in the area.You maybe inadvertently did yourself a favor though... At $15 per mb, data roaming is extortionate. The best option is to get your phone unlocked and use a local SIM for a fraction of the cost... Or use wifi when available.
I did a little research, and you are correct that the phone should support UMTS band 1 in europe (band IV US), therfore it should have worked!
The phone was configured with GSM/WCDMA in "auto" mode, packet data and data roaming enabled; I used the phone in several locations in the UK and Germany where I have obtained 3G service before on my G2 previously (e.g: LHR and FRA) on t-mobile UK and DE netorks, and it still did not have internet access, so something else must have been wrong...
either my account access changed when I upgraded to the IIs from the G2 or the APNs were not configured properly...
I guess I will have to contact support...
I will post the solution, if I find one...
thanks for your post!
Presumably, you had voice service from one of the local providers? Did you try TMo UK (or Everything Everywhere, as they are now hideously tagged)?
Scanning and selecting their network should have led to the correct configuration of their APN, but with all the other settings correct from your description, the APN setting looks the likely cuprit.
A couple of trips back, I couldn't get my phone unlocked before traveling to the UK and so I had to use the roaming service while waiting for the delivery of my unlock code by email (the only way they would send it). Over the course of 2-3 days, first waiting for the code and then dealing with the fact that they sent the wrong code, I managed to run up a data roaming charge of over $200. That's from less than 15mb of data downloaded. Not good at all.
Yes the phone registered properly on T-Mobile UK and DE for both GSM voice and SMS messaging...
turning data and data roaming simply failed to change the access mode on the phone (at least the service indicators did not change) and no apps were able to connect to the net ... so I guess that either there was a registration or configuration problem...
given the data roaming costs a local sim seems like the right way to go ... but its a PITA from a convenience POV...
It is a bit of a pain, but there are ways to soften the impact (the biggest being the huge savings you facilitate). I use Google Voice for most of my calling and it's easy enough to leave a voicemail message to have the caller dial your overseas number, or leave a message resulting in a notification being forwarded by email or SMS.
Once you get a SIM for the UK (or any other destination) it can be re-used, as long as the interval isn't too long. I got one back in the summer which has been re-used on four trips by different members of my family. I think the total amount invested has been less than $150 for those four trips and I never ran out of data allowance even when roaming in other parts of Europe, which is charged at a fraction the rate that we are billed by TM.