Question

Domestic Roaming Gulf of Mexico

  • 20 July 2020
  • 6 replies
  • 162 views

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I work offshore and recently added a T-Mobile pre-paid plan because of several of my crew members still had full service with them out there (call, text and data). I use Straight Talk on land and works great, but cuts out a few miles offshore so I started using T-Mobile once it cuts out (Samsung A30s dual-sim). It works great until I am right at our work area and swaps to roam on Tampnet (call and text only, no data). I have several co-workers that have full service while operating on the Tampnet network and even says on their website that T-Mobile is one of their carrier partners. T-Mobile has also teamed up with Rignet recently, who also covers a broad area of the GoM. My co-workers have the same plan as I d. Some of them bought their phones through T-Mobile and some have purchased the sim as I did. I have called customer support 5 times already with no avail. I have tried changing setting to my APN and still have the same issues. Any ideas?


6 replies

Living on the MS Gulf Coast, this topic is one I’ve been following for a while.  T-Mobile was awarded a 600 MHz license covering the whole northern Gulf of Mexico and began deploying service, apparently in partnership with Rignet, This service seems to be active mostly west of the river mouth. T-Mobile also has had a long-standing roaming agreement with Tampnet (formerly Petrocom) but LAC-blocked about four of their land-based towers where coverage overlapped T-Mobile’s native service. T-Mobile’s maps have never shown coverage over water, more’s the pity. So, you don’t know where you’re supposed to have service and where you’re not.  It may be that T-Mobile has been LAC-blocking more of Tampnet’s sites, in areas where they overlap with T-Mobile/Rignet coverage.

Now, one thing that I question is the issue of prepaid vs postpaid accounts. Would you say that postpaid accounts connect to Tampnet better than prepaid do?

BTW, if any of your crew are using Android phones, please have them install and run CellMapper while in-route to and from work sites. It’s the only way customers will get a better picture of where T-Mobile has coverage in the GoM.

 

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I am not sure about T-Mobile, but I have heard about issues with At&t not being able to get data service unless they had a post-paid account.

Userlevel 4
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There are a few other points. The first is if you’re connecting to Broadpoint’s (a.k.a. Tampnet, 311-170) GSM or LTE signal. The GSM signal may have data but it would be so slow, you’d think there wasn’t any. The other thing is that there may be a monthly data roaming quota, which you could expend without even knowing it. Finally, if you’re more than 18 nm from a GSM tower, your connection could be via extended-range GSM, which only works for voice and text, not data.

Userlevel 4
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AND one other thought, often with dual SIM phones one of the SIM slots is only for text & calls so try trading the positioning of the SIMs.

Userlevel 4
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AND one other thought, often with dual SIM phones one of the SIM slots is only for text & calls so try trading the positioning of the SIMs.


I was thinking about the SIM position but then why would data work on T-Mobile’s network but not on Tampnet if the T-Mobile SIM is in slot two? Some dual-SIM phones are only 2G on the 2nd SIM but how could T-Mobile work at all, their Gulf service is all LTE?

Userlevel 4
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It’s worth a try! 

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