Roaming, device not registered on network?

mrdoh

    I have a T-Mobile Samsung S9 that I unlocked from T-Mobile the other day. I've retained the T-Mobile firmware so far, and everything seems to work fine in my home area. And I'm on the 55+ phone plan, a single line. I also have data roaming turned on, if that's significant *smile*.

     

    Took a trip this week, and found myself in several areas of the central California coast that had low T-Mobile signals. A couple of them showed a stronger signal, but didn't say T-Mobile under "Network Operator". So I assumed that I'd roamed onto a different network. However, when I tried to make a call I saw "device not registered on network", first time I've ever seen that over 12 years of using various cell phones. The signal was showing 3 or 4 bars, and should have been usable, but wasn't.

     

    What can I do about this? Is this a common thing? Seems like a problem of some sort if my phone shows a fairly strong signal and yet is "not registered on network"?

     

    Anyways, I need to know what I can do about this situation in the future? I'm back in a T-Mobile coverage area now, and my phone shows what I expect to see, "T-Mobile" under "Network Operator". No problems here...but it doesn't look like roaming is working the way that it should on my phone?

     

    Thanks!

      All replies

      • tmo_marissa

        Re: Roaming, device not registered on network?

        Hey there, mrdoh! Personally I've only seen that error message when I'm in an area with no service whatsoever (no roaming partner coverage, either). Sometimes the device display might still show the last reported signal; basically, not catching up to the reality of the situation. Would you be able to give me an approximate location (like a cross street or landmark) of where you were located when this happened? I'd like to take a look on our side and see what type of coverage we reflect!

          • mrdoh

            Re: Roaming, device not registered on network?

            This was in Cambria and Cayucos, California. A couple of locations were the "Cambria Shores Inn" on Moonstone Beach Drive, and the "927 Beer Company" on Cornwall St., both in Cambria. Don't remember where we were in Cayucos, but no T-Mobile there either as we walked and drove around.

             

            When we got back home to T-Mobile land, I looked at the online T-Mobile coverage map, and it showed coverage there. Pretty frustrating...luckily, the Cambria Shores Inn had wifi.

             

            It was fine in Paso Robles, though, good T-Mobile coverage there.

             

            You're right, it could also have been no coverage in the Cambria and Cayucos areas whatsoever.

             

            Thanks!

          • tmo_marissa

            Re: Roaming, device not registered on network?

            OK, so I took a peek at the area around the Cambria Shores Inn, and the coverage there is definitely very light. Basically, we would anticipate primarily outdoor coverage. With 700 MHz, you may be able to connect in a vehicle and indoors in some areas, though I wouldn't expect many. Based on personal experience (not necessarily in this area, but with a similar patch I drive through on I-95 on the way to my folks' house over here on the other coast), I can see how this area might have spots where you would have trouble getting connected. Connection fails overall, though, would be something I'd encourage you (or anyone there!) to reach out and report to our Tech team, because that might signal an outage!


            Which brings me to the next issue -- Cayucos! Without knowing exactly where in Cayucos you were having trouble, I have to say that the area the map defaults to (which looks like maybe a downtown-ish region based on the number of streets?) should have good coverage. It's a pretty big difference from Cambria; in Cayucos we show 700 MHz, U1900, and 2100 MHz, alll of which should offer outdoor and small building coverage, and 700 MHz/U1900 should be strong enough to cover folks indoors in some big buildings as well. Your experience there is one I wouldn't expect! I don't show current outages there -- the only other thing I can think of is whether maybe your device was hanging on to a tower it had a weak connection to back in Cambria, instead of connecting to available towers in Cayucos? That's a big what-if, and I know we can't redo the situation, but just throwing it out there as a possible explanation.

             

            The good news is that it doesn't seem like your device has any roaming trouble based on this situation.The bad news, though, is that you had a bummer experience that at least in part definitely doesn't line up with the expectation we'd have for your coverage on your trip! If you're in a spot like this again, at least you'll know that it's not device trouble per se -- but I'm still sorry you found yourself without service!

              • mrdoh

                Re: Roaming, device not registered on network?

                Thanks for the reply. This makes me wonder, though, how can I get my phone to give up on a cell tower that it's "hanging onto"? Toggle Airplane mode, thus turning cellular off and back on again? Power-cycle the phone? Obviously toggling Airplane mode would be better than restarting, less time-consuming *smile*. Just wondering if there's a standard procedure for that for Samsung phones. This is my first Samsung phone since the Galaxy S3, by the way.

                 

                Anyways, can't replay it at the moment, but will be able to again some time. We do go to that area occasionally, since it's very scenic.

                 

                Again, thanks, lack of signal in some way makes sense to me...I haven't had real roaming on T-Mobile yet if that's the case. I did experience that on Project Fi with a Nexus 6P phone, though, and it worked really well (Vancouver Island, Canada). Come to think of it, that would have been on T-Mobile...

                  • tmo_marissa

                    Re: Roaming, device not registered on network?

                    Airplane mode is usually a pretty good bet for resetting your network connection, but if the phone's really being stubborn and airplane mode and a reboot don't do the trick, you'd want to reach out to an internal team for a refresh on our side. Hopefully that sort of need is minimal, but it is something that our Care and T-Force teams can take care of quickly if you're ever in that situation.

                     

                    Please keep us posted when you visit gain! I'm definitely curious to hear how it goes. If you bump into the same issues in Cayucos especially we'd love to have you Contact Us to report the trouble -- we might need to get a ticket filed for the area!

                • chris1rt

                  Re: Roaming, device not registered on network?

                  Hello-

                  SAME ISSUE. I will have Full bars with my Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus and unable to make phone calls and/or send a SMS text message in rural areas where I am roaming.  I have tried EVERYTHING. I get the message "not registered on network".

                   

                  Any resolutions from anyone else?  Right now I have gone through multiple techs and we are going to try a new phone, however, it's doing with both my phone and my wife's

                  • magenta3613982

                    Re: Roaming, device not registered on network?

                    My wife and I were in Pembroke, VA and Pearisburg VA the past few days.  We have Samsung S8 active phones.  We got this message continually and could never connect and make a phone call.  Very frustrating.  This happens to our phones frequently when we are not in a major population area.  Why won't the phone roam to another network carrier?