Domestic roaming data

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. While roaming, there are limitations to data use. T-Mobile does not charge an additional fee for this service but because we do not own these networks, while roaming, there are limitations to data use. Click here to view the network and roaming areas.

 

 

How it works

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. T-Mobile coordinates with these partners to give our customers connectivity outside of our network. While there is no additional charge for this service, because we do not own these networks, there are limits on usage.

 

How do I know if I am 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. This specific process varies by device and we advise you to consult your user guide for details. Also you can review the T-Mobile coverage map prior to traveling to determine if your destination is within a T-Mobile or partner network area. See 4G LTE Coverage map > FAQs > Where does T-Mobile offer partner coverage?  for more details.

 

In addition, 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.

 

 

How much domestic roaming data do I get?

Recent postpaid plans (On or after 11/15/2015)

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.

 

Once you have used 200 MB, data will be unavailable until you return to a T-Mobile coverage area, roam in an area where we offer courtesy data from one of our preferred network partners, or your next payment / bill cycle. If you have a Wi-Fi-capable device, you can still connect to Wi-Fi to access the Internet while roaming domestically.

 

If I am on a recent plan, can I get more than 200 MB?

T-Mobile has two classifications of domestic roaming networks. Networks are determined to be standard or preferred based on the agreement we have in place with each partner. 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. We work to negotiate the best roaming experience possible with each partner and to expand the availability of preferred networks.

 

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. You will receive a free usage alert via text message to notify you when you’re approaching the end of your courtesy domestic roaming data available on the preferred networks, and a second alert when you reach it.

Older postpaid plans (Before 11/15/2015)

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, follow these steps:

 

  1. Go to My T-Mobile, and log in to your account.
  2. Click Account at the top of the page.
  3. Find the line you want to check.
  4. Click the > next to ADD ONS.
  5. Click the > next to PLAN.
  6. Check the limit of your high-speed data feature in the following table:

    Data feature / plan

    Domestic data roaming limit

    Less than 200 MB5 MB
    200 MB to 1 GB10 MB
    2 GB to 4.99 GB50 MB
    5 GB to 10.99 GB100 MB
    11 GB to 21 GB200 MB
    Unlimited high-speed data w/ SMHS50 MB
    Limited high-speed w/ SMHS50 MB
    Mobile Web Pay Per Use10 MB
    Tourist Plan200 MB
Prepaid plans

Please contact us if you're unsure how much domestic roaming data you have, because this varies between our many plans.

 

 

Track or reduce domestic roaming data use

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. 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 the T-Mobile network.

 

To reduce data usage when roaming:

 

  • Adjust the settings in your phone to disable data roaming. Head over to the Devices page, select your device, and you'll find steps to change these settings. Don’t forget to turn your data roaming back on when you are ready to use it again!

  • Use Wi-Fi whenever possible, especially when streaming or downloading.
  • 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.

 

 

Things to keep in mind

  • Use the coverage map to see the T-Mobile network and areas of domestic roaming.
  • T-Mobile does not charge for domestic data roaming.
  • Once you have used all your domestic roaming data, your data services may be unavailable until you return to the T-Mobile network or your next bill cycle.
  • When roaming on a partner network in the U.S., you'll receive a free usage alert by text message to notify when you're approaching the end of your monthly domestic roaming data, and a second alert when you reach it.
  • 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 above to reduce data usage.
  • 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 apps may use data.

 

 

What can I do if I used all my domestic roaming data?

If you have a Wi-Fi-capable device, you can access data on any available Wi-Fi network. 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.

 

 

FAQs

How do you determine which networks are standard or preferred? Why do preferred networks get more data than standard networks?

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. We are constantly working with all of our network partners to give our customer’s the best options.

 

What happens when I use all my domestic roaming data in a billing period?

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 the T-Mobile network.

 

  • If you have one of our more recent plans activated on or after November 15, 2015 and are roaming on one of our standard network partners, you will have 200 MB of domestic roaming data per billing cycle. Once you hit 200 MB of data usage, data will be unavailable until you return to a T-Mobile coverage area, begin roaming in another area covered by one of our preferred network partners, or your next payment / bill cycle. If you have a Wi-Fi-capable device, you can still connect to Wi-Fi to access data in non-T-Mobile network coverage areas.

  • If you are roaming in an area covered by one of our preferred network partners, you may receive more than the amount of domestic roaming data included with your rate plan (typically 200 MB per billing cycle) at 2G or greater speeds. 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.

 

How can I track how much domestic data roaming I am using each month?

You will be notified of usage via text message while domestically roaming. When you use 80% of the domestic roaming data available, we will notify you. When you use 100% of your domestic roaming data, you will receive a second text message.

 

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.

 

When will we get T-Mobile coverage in X location?

We are working everyday to expand our network. For example, we’re deploying 600 MHz Extended Range LTE at breakneck speed - nearly 6,600 cities and towns in 46 states and Puerto Rico are already live on 600 MHz LTE. The benefit of Extended Range LTE is that it travels twice as far from the tower and is four times better in buildings than mid-band spectrum. In the meantime, we have domestic roaming partners that provide coverage in places that T-Mobile does not yet have network and we will continue to negotiate with these network partners to give our customers the best option for coverage in more locations.

 

How is T-Mobile continuing to expand their network to cover more Americans and reduce domestic roaming?

T-Mobile continues to invest billions of dollars to both expand network coverage and improve its speed and performance. This includes activating additional wireless spectrum as well as adding cellular towers to the network support it.