Data works a little differently when connected outside the T-Mobile network in the U.S.
T-Mobile continues to invest billions in expanding network coverage and improving its network speed and performance. In locations in the U.S. where we do not yet have network coverage, we currently partner with other networks. When you use your phone in one of these areas, you are domestic roaming.
On this page:
When you travel outside of T-Mobile's U.S. network areas, your phone automatically switches to use one of our wireless network partners where available when you have data roaming enabled. Click here to view the network and roaming areas.
T-Mobile coordinates with these partners to give our customers connectivity outside of our network. T-Mobile does not charge an additional fee for this service, but because we do not own these networks, there are limitations to data use.
There may be times when your device still attempts to roam on another U.S. wireless network, even when you're within the T-Mobile coverage area. If you’d like to limit this, try the tips to reduce data usage below.
How to know if you're roaming domestically
The best way to see your active network is to go into the phone settings and look for the mobile network or phone status options. The process varies by device, and you can find it in your user guide. Additionally, when roaming on these networks, you'll receive free usage alerts via text message to alert you if you approach/reach your available domestic roaming data.
You can review the T-Mobile 4G LTE coverage map prior to traveling to determine if your destination is within a T-Mobile or partner network area.
If you have one of our more recent postpaid plans from the last few years (all Magenta plans, T-Mobile Essentials, all T-Mobile ONE plans, or a Simple Choice plan activated on or after November 15, 2015 - both voice and mobile Internet), then you have 200 MB of domestic roaming data per billing cycle.
Preferred roaming partners
T-Mobile has two classifications of domestic roaming networks based on the agreement we have in place with each partner, standard and preferred.
In some parts of the US, preferred partners may provide additional courtesy data beyond the amount included in your rate plan while domestically roaming; standard partners do not. If roaming on a preferred partner network, you may continue to receive data at 2G speeds or higher until you return to a T-Mobile coverage area, begin roaming in another area covered by one of our standard network partners, or begin the next bill cycle. This additional amount of data is provided as a courtesy and is determined by the individual partnership, varies across network partners, and may change or even be removed at any time.
If you're on a postpaid plan activated before November 15, 2015, your data roaming eligibility depends on the high-speed data included in your plan. To determine your data roaming eligibility:
- Go to My T-Mobile, and log in to your account.
- Click Account at the top of the page.
- Find the line you want to check.
- Click the > next to ADD ONS.
- Click the > next to PLAN.
Check the limit of your high-speed data feature in the following table:
Data feature / plan
Domestic roaming data limit
Less than 200 MB 5 MB 200 MB to 1 GB 10 MB 2 GB to 4.99 GB 50 MB 5 GB to 10.99 GB 100 MB 11 GB to 21 GB 200 MB Unlimited high-speed data w/ SMHS 50 MB Limited high-speed w/ SMHS 50 MB Mobile Web Pay Per Use 10 MB Tourist Plan 200 MB
Please contact us if you're unsure how much domestic roaming data you have, because this varies between our many plans.
You will receive a free usage alert via text message to notify you when you’re approaching the end of your domestic roaming data for that area and a second alert when you reach it.
Android phones can use apps like My Data Manager to track and control usage. It's not a T-Mobile app and may not show accurate network usage, but it's useful for general reference. The app may use data.
To reduce data usage when roaming:
- Use Wi-Fi whenever possible, especially when streaming or downloading.
Adjust the settings in your phone to disable data roaming, and then turn it on only when you need it. Head over to the Devices page, select your device, and you'll find steps to change these settings.
- Avoid using apps that use a lot of data when roaming, such as streaming video.
- Turn off background data sync for apps. Set email and other social networking apps that sync data to "manual" mode instead of "automatic" or "push," so you can control when they use data.
T-Mobile does not charge for domestic roaming data. You will receive a free usage alert via text message to notify you when you’re approaching the end of domestic roaming data available for that area, and a second alert when you reach it.
Once you've used all of your domestic roaming data in a bill cycle, your data services may not be available until you return to a T-Mobile coverage area or until your next bill cycle.
- If you have a Wi-Fi-capable device, you can still connect to Wi-Fi to access the Internet while roaming.
- If you'd like to inquire about other solutions, you may call 611 from your T-Mobile number, or call T-Mobile Customer Service at 1-800-937-8997.
Why are some networks "standard" and others are "preferred?"
Networks are determined to be preferred or standard based on the agreement we have in place with each partner. We work to negotiate the best roaming experience possible with each partner and to expand the availability of preferred networks.
How do I know if I am roaming on a preferred network or a standard network?
When you are roaming in the US, you'll receive a free usage alert via SMS to notify you when you have used 80% of your monthly domestic roaming data on standard networks and another when you reach 100%. We also notify you when you’re approaching and reach the end of the high-speed data available as a courtesy on preferred networks.
If I am traveling across the US, and hitting multiple roaming networks, can I get another 200 MB if I am on a different partner network?
No. The domestic roaming data is based on monthly bill cycle, not network.