What Is Roaming and How Does It Work?
Roaming allows you to use mobile services from your home network outside of their service zone. So when you’re abroad, you can activate data roaming and still use communication services, even if your domestic carrier doesn’t operate in that location.
Your domestic carrier has contracts with third-party carriers that allow their customers to use the third-party’s networks.
What Happens When You Go to Another Country?
Once you reach your destination, your phone will need to perform a series of tasks to access networks in the new country. It’ll take time for your phone to search through the signals and frequency bands it supports, especially for phone models that support a wide range of technologies. The roaming process varies based on the type of network, but generally the process is as follows:
- The phone will first search for the home network. If that’s not not available, it’ll look through the networks that are stored in a list on the SIM card. Next, the phone will go through all other networks as signal strength decreases. If roaming is not allowed between cellular networks, the device will try to register itself on the network. If the guest network is located in the same country as the home network, the phone will periodically check to see if the home network is available.
- Next, the guest network will connect to the home network and request service information about the device using its IMSI number. Then it’ll check whether the service is allowed.
- If the previous steps were done successfully, the guest network starts serving as a user’s temporary account for the device and the home network configures redirection towards it.
For example, let’s say you’re calling a phone number that’s using data roaming. In this case, the phone network is directing your call to the domestic carrier which already has that number registered. The domestic carrier, in turn, is sending this call to the guest network carrier. The guest network is providing a temporary internal phone number to this mobile device. Now, the home network is routing your call to the provided temporary phone number.
What Network Search Mode Is Better to Use In Roaming: Manual or Automatic?
When you turn on your phone, it automatically uses the network selection that was on before you turned it off. If your phone was in manual mode before you turned it off, for example, then it won’t be able to automatically select a network when you turn it on. Now, you won’t be able to communicate with anyone until you manually connect it to an available network.
Don’t forget that when you’re in roaming mode, you might get into an area where the coverage for the carrier you manually selected will disappear. As a result, you’ll be left without a mode of communication for some time. That’s why it’s better to use the automatic network selection mode. Doing so will allow your phone to search for available networks and register them on its own, providing you with an uninterrupted connection during your entire roaming period.
Types of Roaming
Depending on the network coverage, roaming is divided into several types.
Regional – allows you to use the connection in the same network between regions of the same country.
Inter-network (national) – allows you to use the networks of other operators within the same country. It’s usually used by new telecommunications companies because they don’t have their own networks and communication towers. They rent resources from larger operators and provide services to their customers through them until they build their own network.
International – allows you to stay connected in other countries with your phone number. International roaming is supported by most mobile operators. It works best in the GSM standard. But there still may be some difficulties, since not all countries operate on the same frequencies. The majority use a frequency of 900/1800MHz, but in the US, for example, 850/1900MHz is used. Therefore, in order for the phone to work in a country with different frequencies, it must support both frequencies and it should be a tri-band or quad-band phone.
Inter-standard – allows you to use a network that differs from the standard subscriber network. Because mobile communication technologies have developed independently on different continents, different standards appeared, which caused some difficulties in this type of roaming. In order to solve this problem, major mobile phone manufacturers have begun working together to achieve interoperability between technologies. For example, if your home network is CDMA, and you went to a country that has a completely different standard – GSM. You’ll be able to use this other network and make calls, provided that your phone supports this standard.
International roaming with POND mobile
POND mobile is an international mobile service operator that provides its customers with international roaming in 210+ countries around the world. The “World Phone” and “Global Data” plans are designed to provide reliable communication and high-speed Internet during your travels.
Each rate plan includes a certain number of minutes for calls, SMS and GB of high-speed Internet, so you can pick the plan that meets your specific needs. Our pricing is transparent– you pay the fixed monthly subscription fee specified in your rate plan. There are no hidden costs or additional roaming charges, and taxes and fees are already included.
With our service, you no longer need to worry about buying a local or international SIM card and spending hours researching the various local carriers in each country. When you need to use the Internet, you can use it freely without worrying about roaming charges or looking for free Wi-Fi. This also protects you from the risk of scammers stealing your data when using public Wi-Fi!
By having the ability to add local numbers for 90+ countries, in addition to the U.S. number you receive, your family, friends and colleagues will be able to call you at their local rates without extra charges in their phone bills. POND mobile has made sure that you always stay connected no matter where you are, on land or out at sea!