Question

International roaming / India - has issues

  • 19 September 2021
  • 39 replies
  • 22054 views

Badge

I have international  roaming available as part of plan,  but  phone won’t  connect to  internet.  I am currently  in a city  called  Coimbatore,  Tamil Nadu,  India.   The  phone connects to  a  strong  signal  from  Vodafone - India  (and  shows all bars  are up on signal anywhere in  city).   

 

But,  when i try to  start up chrome  browser,  it  immediately  shows  “NO  INTERNET”.    Has  been consistently  doing it  for past  few  days  that  i have been here.  The  obvious  checks  (Mobile data,  Data  roaming,  Network  operator etc)  have all been  checked.  So,  i am starting to  think  that  vodafone  india  is  throttling  or  cheating  Tmobile  on  their  end of the  deal.

 

If  not,  how can  tmobile  give  me  data  service  here ?  I need to get this working soon, since i  will be  india  for a while…..currently,  i am getting  by  only  on  wifi connects.


39 replies

I have been a T-Mobile ONE plan user since 2017. I have successfully used international roaming in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Switzerland and the UK. As recently as 2019, I used international roaming in India with the IDEA network. 
I am in India right now in a not-small-at-all city called Pune. More people live here than in Michigan. Here, I have been getting Vodafone IDEA (Vi) India Talk and Text network but no data at all. It is such a struggle being abroad and not even being able to use Uber or Maps or Translate. I am not a heavy user at all so 2G speeds work very well for me as long as I can I can travel independently and safely. However with the current situation, that’s just not possible. I have had to go and buy a different Indian SIM card for my visit.

My colleagues have told me that IDEA was taken over by Vodafone India in September 2020. Maybe this change is affecting our ability to use International Roaming Data on our T-Mobile plans. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

When you complain, be sure to mention that T-Mobile’s roaming maps show service in Pune and that they should either fix the roaming or the map.

RESOLVED: Intl’l roaming add-on but no data (India)

this happens when the roaming partner selection is automatic and phone ends up selecting a partner that cannot extend roaming. I tried sim poping, restart phone, toggle airplane mode and each time phone selects Vi india while i am in Amrtisar. I found this because my wife’s phone was somehow staying on the right one but mine did not. So, after i forced my phone on airtel with steps below, i got internet !!  T-Mobile won’t have roaming with every small operator in India or Internationally. 

anyway an easy fix is — 

On the phone goto:

Step1: Cellular data > Network selection : change from automatic to manual selection (or disable auto)

Step2: Wait for list of roaming operator's to populate

Step3: select a national operator in your area (airtel worked for me in Amritsar for example)

You may need to restart phone after step3 And recheck step3 to make sure correct operator is actually selected. Once set it should remain until next restart or airplane mode.

Enjoy Magenta !

 

 

 

 

I just landed in India a week ago and have been experiencing the same problems described by others here.

Phone shows LTE/4G full bars, and “Connected” in network status, but there is an exclamation point over the indicator icon, and all apps claim no internet available.

However, while trying different apps, I opened my work VPN (Cisco) and it gave a more detailed error message than just “no internet”, it said “DNS name lookup failed”.

Unfortunately, I did not have a terminal/ping utility on my phone, but using hotspot I was able to connect my laptop and behold, there was internet, but no name resolution
ping/nslookup google.com fails
ping 8.8.8.8 worked fine

With that info, I changed the settings on my laptop to use google’s dns server (8.8.8.8) and had internet working at that point, albeit just via hotspot.

I could not see a way to force use of a specific DNS server on my phone (Pixel, android 12) for mobile data, just in manual wifi settings.
The private DNS feature only accepts a hostname, not an IP address, and so that too fails, since it can’t look up the new server to switch to in the first place… a bit of a silly limitation, I think.

Before India, I had been in Japan and Singapore, and had no issues with roaming at all.
So it seems that T-mobile’s own roaming data settings may have a DNS server that is often blocked within India for some reason.

Hopefully this helps some of you too, and maybe T-mobile can help fix this soon.

 

@BoulderColorado Thank you for these suggestions. Strangely, when I travelled to other cities like Trichy and small towns on the way, I was getting the LTE speed. After coming back I was getting LTE speed in some parts of Coimbatore and almost dead on other areas. Vi may not be too stable or strong in Coimbatore perhaps.

I am facing the same issue in Bhopal, India. My phone shows full bars but intermittent data connection. This is a complete farce. This was one of the main reasons and I switched to T-Mobile from AT&T and selected Magenta Max. This is not fair to the customer. I am okay with having 2G data speeds as long as it is consistent and I don’t lose data.  But this is a joke what I am experiencing. T-Mobile can not make the claims of unlimited 2G data on international roaming if the service is not reliable at all. 

I traveled to India for 4 weeks in September and October 2022, after reading this forum. Given the mixed comments so far, I wondered “will the cellular data with T-Mobile work or not in India, and will there be surprise charges”? I am back and here is my review. Well, it worked almost everywhere during my 4000+ kilometer zig-zag drive journey in India, as I visited various historic sites and infrastructure projects to review in the field. T-Mobile free data service driven Messages, WhatsApp etc worked in Delhi including Delhi airport, and numerous small towns of Chhattisgarh, towns and cities of Madhya Pradesh including Bhopal airport, of Uttar Pradesh, small towns and cities of Odisha including Bhubaneswar airport, and most of West Bengal including Kolkata airport. Only exception were isolated parts of Raipur city and parts of Asansol city (may be one or two tower issues?). No bill surprise afterwards too, now that I have received and paid the monthly bill that covers the period of my travel. Slow speed data is indeed included free by T Mobile in India, and for me, it worked nicely in the states mentioned above. I was traveling with the recently released iPhone 14 Pro. I have the Magenta Unlimited plan. These were my phone options → Settings : Cellular → then Cellular Data : On (Green); Cellular Data Options : Roaming On; Personal Hotspot : Off. T-Mobile Turn On This Line : On (Green); Scrolled down and confirmed that all the desired Data-driven Apps were On (green).

Day 2 of 2w trip and I am experiencing the same issue as reported above for Pune. when in Mimbai, I was able to connect and use data as normal, but in Pune, I see all bars but no data. When trying to connect on other TMO roaming partner manually - Airtel or JIO, get the error that cannot register. 2 years ago, this was working fine here but now the issue is very bad. Have asked TMO to issue a service request towards Vi India, hopefully they can fix the issue. 

 

Someone in the technical team at TMO should be reviewing these and trying to identify how to fix for international roamers as it is very difficult to manage without data connectivity

Hi I am also facing same problem now when in India. For last 1.5 weeks not able to get 4G Data service while in roaming using TMobile service from USA. I have the HIGH speed services activated for roaming in India for 1 month (paid for that), as I will be in India for 30+ days, need high speed data while I am in my Home town (near Kharagpur, West Bengal).

Looks like TMobile has roaming agreement only with Vodafone, Even though there are other 4G n/w coverage (JIO/Airtel) and Vodafone-4G at my location now, but I am not able to connect to any of the 4G n/w. It just gets service over Vodafone - 3G n/w. 

Looks like TMobile is not doing fair job for their customer, although they said/promised to provide High speed data services (like 15 GB high speed data while in roaming for 1 month) while in Roaming in India, but they failed to provide 4G data service in rural areas of India. This become helpless for us, TMobile should take corrective action ASAP now. Its really frustration for us.

Please suggest if any tips.

Badge

Towards the end of my trip, for couple of days,  I noticed that the phone was able to get  data  (but  in  2G  speed.  I saw a  2G  icon at top of  my  android phone  for  last  2 days,  during a 40 day trip to India).   So,  this is still not working,  but  at least we know  they are trying to  do something about the issue  (though  unsuccessfully so far).  

 

Has anyone else noticed  data connection  issues  in the small cities  of  India ?  I used to  get 3G  speeds  (even  in very small cities of  the southern states of  India)  when  i visited  couple of years ago.  Now  even in a  significant  city  of  india,  i  got  only  2 G  speed - that too after  bugging  Tmobile  about it  for  many days, wasting  hours  of  time  with  customer service.

I think we should not give up. We are being cheated here by T-Mobile. I think a lot of us with families back in India, we signed up for T-Mobile because of the draw of Simple Global. I know I did. Otherwise, I was a happy AT&T customer for 20 years. My phone bill was lower with AT&T as well. I am paying higher because I thought Simple Global will be simpler on my trips to India. But it is not. As soon as you go out of metropolitan cities, roaming just doesn’t work. I was in Agra for two days on my last trip and it didn’t work. Imagine, going to one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and Simple Global not working. How can T-Mobile even advertise Simple Global Roaming coverage in India with a straight face? 

Has anyone found out where, which department, which phone number we need to complain to fix this? We cannot let T-Mobile off the hook for this. 

RESOLVED: Intl’l roaming add-on but no data (India)

this happens when the roaming partner selection is automatic and phone ends up selecting a partner that cannot extend roaming. I tried sim poping, restart phone, toggle airplane mode and each time phone selects Vi india while i am in Amrtisar. I found this because my wife’s phone was somehow staying on the right one but mine did not. So, after i forced my phone on airtel with steps below, i got internet !!  T-Mobile won’t have roaming with every small operator in India or Internationally. 

anyway an easy fix is — 

On the phone goto:

Step1: Cellular data > Network selection : change from automatic to manual selection (or disable auto)

Step2: Wait for list of roaming operator's to populate

Step3: select a national operator in your area (airtel worked for me in Amritsar for example)

You may need to restart phone after step3 And recheck step3 to make sure correct operator is actually selected. Once set it should remain until next restart or airplane mode.

Enjoy Magenta !

 

 

 

 

This worked well for our recent trip to India (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Coimbatore).  We purchased an International add-on package and had to switch between VI and Airtel depending on location, however, it worked well, got 4G/LTE service.  

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Has anyone found out where, which department, which phone number we need to complain to fix this? We cannot let T-Mobile off the hook for this. 

 

I used to know the names and e-mail addresses of the international roaming managers in Bellevue, but they have moved on to other things. Unfortunately, T-Mobile is (IMHO) really bad about passing customer complaints to the appropriate management. Bellevue seems to almost exist in a bubble.

 tried nebulo, but perhaps I am not doing it the right way. can somebody provide clear instructions?? i dont see any LTE/data bars, so pretty sure its not just DNS issue. perhaps ninjit’s scenario was different

city: Bhopal, India.

cellular connectivity VI (vodaphone). good
actual network: VI India 3G
however, no data connection (and tmobile connectivity chart is deep purple, and deep fake!!)

 

I found a few apps on the google play store that let you use any DNS server you wish, by creating a minimal vpn connection on the device itself.These send the DNS requests to your server of choice, while just passing through all remaining traffic.I settled on Nebulo (because it was free with no ads or purchases)

 

The same developer has an older app that I found worked a bit more reliably than nebulo
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.frostnerd.dnschanger

Try that one

I received message on arrival that my T-Mobile plan gives data at up to 256 Kbps.. however this is false. I was never able to get Internet during the 2 weeks stay in Pune.  Even adding the 15 GB international data pass was of no use…T-Mobile is providing false and misleading information about the data roaming service in India.

The tech team are so disinterested in actually solving the issue. They literally claim it is a signal problem with the local tower. I have another phone with an Indian plan that is getting great signal with Vi as well as data. They made me change phones and try as well. No dice.

I spent 3 hrs daily for 3 consecutive days with the techs on the phone trying to resolve the matter. Tried all sorts of things but no luck. They kept on saying everything looks OK on our side, so issues with roaming partner Vi. Even got a high speed data pass added to check, no luck! 

the other question is - if there are multiple roaming partners in India & Pune, why can we not manually select other partners? Ever since I got attached to Vi, it wouldnt connect to another partner even when I forced it to. Power off, keep network selection in Manual should allow other TMO roaming partners (Airtel, JIO) to register, but no, it would only attach to Vi. Looks like roaming relationship needs to be evaluated and this issue to be brought out by TMO to their partners. 

My parents just went to India for the past three weeks,and the went to Gujarat, Ahmedabad, Banglore, and Mysore and surrounding areas. We the magenta plus for business plan. My mother was able to use WhatsApp for texting, audio and video, along with gps waze/Google maps. We had a great experience with the service and it was working in both the city and also rural area. We were able to able over hour long conversation with very little drop in call.

The only recommendation I have have which might make a difference is to make sure you have roaming turned on your phone. Each phone does it differently, but make sure you turn on roaming in all settings in for phone.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Problems when roaming in India are just par for the course. Do you have a PING utility on your phone? Try PINGing the numeric address “8.8.8.8” to see what happens.

There would be no advantage to Vodafone in not connecting your data.

Call International support at +1-505-998-3793 (free from your T-Mobile phone)

https://www.t-mobile.com/support/coverage/international-roaming-checklist

I have the same stupid issue in a place called Trichy and it’s the same answer - Tower problem. It’s pathetic and I feel, TMobile has to do something. On call with Tmobile.

Anyone found any fix for Tmobile-Vodafone coverage issue in Pune ? With E after the strong network bars, there is no connection or data flowing at all. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

oh im sure they have data roaming over there..however they dont have to much control on forcing them to fix their towers or for them to make adjustments to their roaming...that would be on the tower owners over there to handle.

I have been trying to use my T-mobile service on several of my trips to India over the past 10 years- Come back from each trip frustrated whenever I tries to use. In large cities it works good percentage of times, but once in the country side, and that includes National Highways, it rarely works. Initially, I spent lot of time talking to the customer service of T-mobile and also local partners. Yes, I am talking about the areas where T-mo maps show it’s in the covered areas. Now I just turn it on only when I have wifi access. I understand the frequency bands used for the handsets sold in USA may be sometimes different from the ones Indian cell sites use (there are always at least some common bands where the handset should lock on), but I even tried using T-mobile sim on  Indian handsets, but still they don’t work. It’s same whether you buy a roaming package or use free slow speed data you get with the magenta plans - I tried both. This probably is the problem with the setup with the Indian carriers, but it’s for T-mobile to coordinate with them and get it fixed. We cannot take it up with them individually where we are not even their paying customers. I don’t think T-mobile cares.

I paid extra to use faster data in Coimbatore, India and like others here in this thread, I get almost no data connectivity with Vi network. This has been a very frustrating and disappointing experience. TMo needs to resolve the issue. This is completely unacceptable.

 tried nebulo, but perhaps I am not doing it the right way. can somebody provide clear instructions?? i dont see any LTE/data bars, so pretty sure its not just DNS issue. perhaps ninjit’s scenario was different

city: Bhopal, India.

cellular connectivity VI (vodaphone). good
actual network: VI India 3G
however, no data connection (and tmobile connectivity chart is deep purple, and deep fake!!)

 

I found a few apps on the google play store that let you use any DNS server you wish, by creating a minimal vpn connection on the device itself.These send the DNS requests to your server of choice, while just passing through all remaining traffic.I settled on Nebulo (because it was free with no ads or purchases)

 

Reply