India roaming

  • 2 February 2017
  • 32 replies

I have been traveling in India for a week. I've had roaMing with Vodaphone in Mumbai and Kolkata with no issues. Now in Assam I have no service at all. I've tried Manually connecting to all the carriers with no luck. Tech support was no help. My traveling companion has Vodaphone.In service with her Indian SIM. Any ideas how to get service with T Mobile??

32 replies

What TM plan do you have?

Not sure if what's it's called but it includes free international data and SMS and phones calls at $0.20/min.

Sent from my iphone.

Userlevel 6
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Oh man. We really want to make sure we do everything we can to get this working for you. When you tried the manually connecting, did you get an error message? If so, what did it say? Have you also tried taking out the SIM card for a moment, putting it back in and seeing if it connects once the phone is turned back on? Sorry you weren't able to get this resolved before, but I'm curious what Tech support told you after you contacted them. Thanks for posting and please let us know if you still need help.

I got a text with a trouble ticket# and saying please allow 72 hours. That was a week ago. I'm home now but I'll be returning frequently to this area so I need to resolve this or get a new carrier.

After manually connecting to any of the 7-8 local providers, I received no message. Just "No Service" message where the connection bars would be.

No I did not remove the SIM but did a hard reset on my iPhone several times.

Sent from my iphone.

The interesting thing is I successfully used in south India with no problems. My girlfriend who is Indian had service with the entire time with no service issues.

Sent from my iphone.

Unlikely -

  But is it possible  (1) TM has no roaming agreement w. Vodaphone in that area   or (2) phone doesn't work on right freq.  Is anyone else w. you on TM who works there?

No. It's an area not frequented by many westerners.

Sent from my iphone.

Userlevel 6
Badge +14

Okay. Filing the ticket is normally the last step. There should be some updated information on that ticket since it's been a week. The tough part is if it came back as resolved, we won't be able to test it until you travel there again. I'm curious, do you happen to remember any other carriers you saw when you searched for networks? I'd just like to make sure we don't have any reports of connection troubles with our roaming partners there.

There were at least 6. Vodaphone, Airtel, IDEA, Reliance, Aircel are the ones I remember.

Sent from my iphone.

Userlevel 6
Badge +14

Thanks for that info.

I'm definitely not seeing any issues with the roaming partners we have there. At this point, we could have Care take a look at the ticket to find out what our engineering team said about this. Ultimately, we'll need to see if the issue comes back on your return trip. That way, engineers can sort this out as it's happening. The other possibility is that you'll get there and your connection will work just fine. So, I got my fingers crossed that you're just able to get signal and this issue's been resolved.

Not sure why TMO can't give you a direct answer. So I will.

Your TMO SIM card on an iphone WILL NOT work in India. Period.

The reason for this a bit complex and should be solved at some point. India operators continue to use IPv4 for their roaming gateways. TMobile's default gateway only support the newer IPv6. So when you fire up your phone, the local India operator attempts to reach Tmobile APN (Access Point Name) on IPv4 which TMO rejects and doesn't redirect (because it only speaks IPv6). So your phone doesn't work.

AT&T in India, does work, however it's APN is smart enough to re-direct queries to it's primary IPv6 platform to an older IPv4 platform. Sadly, TMO doesn't support this. Bad TMO!

This is not solely the fault of TMO, older versions of the iphone IOS allowed you to manually type in an APN to override the default (so you could point your phone to the correct server). However, after intro of IOS v9, Apple thought we were all too stupid and removed this capability.

Android phones are a bit smarter and allow you to program multiple APN's into the network field, so it can 'hunt' to the IPv4 APN.

I ended up getting a local India SIM card after much frustration and I got the same TMO service "we will put in a trouble ticket" to which they never responded. They know what the problem is, they either can't or won't fix it.

ckoehncke wrote:

Not sure why TMO can't give you a direct answer. So I will.

Your TMO SIM card on an iphone WILL NOT work in India. Period.

I ended up getting a local India SIM card after much frustration and I got the same TMO service "we will put in a trouble ticket" to which they never responded. They know what the problem is, they either can't or won't fix it.

       I am a little confused.  You say it's a problem because of the way Apple designs their phones.  Then you close by saying TM should fix it. 

TMO has the ability to re-direct an IPv6 query to IPv4, they just haven't done it (I have no idea why, ATT does with no problem). So this 100% a TMO problem to fix.

I simply denoted that :

> India is living in the stone ages with their mobile technology still using IPv4

> Tmobile won't fix it

> Apple took away the option to fix it yourself

As I denoted, Android phones work fine with a TMO SIM card in India because it will try alternatives. Apple won't

I have NOT tried but google IOS APN CHANGER and several websites will generate up a new APN profile you can install manually. However you need to know the APN address for TMO that will support IPv4 (the older APN for TMO is

In short - TMO knows exactly what this is not working. India is not some tiny Asia Pacific Island. The iphone with newer IOS isn't some obscure mobile device. So 100% their problem IMHO.

Thanks for the info. However my TMobile IPhone 6 Plus worked fine in Mumbai area for 2 weeks and Kolkata on a stop over. I only experienced the probs in Northeast India.

I don't know what that info does to your theory.

Sent from my iphone.

Apple is planning to manufacture and distribute iPhones in India this spring. Maybe that will encourage a fix.

Sent from my iphone.

Indeed, your mileage will vary. India is a big place and operators actually run separate networks in various regions. I was in Bangalore and never could make a connection. I denote I arrive earlier with an Android phone (same TMO sim card) and just fired up the phone and it worked.

In short - in India TMO service may not work on your iphone.

I am about to visit again in a few weeks and will advise my new luck.

I have continued to research this. TMO issued a carrier update to IOS earlier this year. It fixed a number of problems people were having with VPN so I hoping it fixed India issues (hope is eternal).

Go to SETTING / GENERAL / ABOUT on your iphone and scroll down to Carrier. The current T-Mobile settings should be 27.2.

If you don't have 27.2 you should reset your network settings and force a new download.

Mine is set to 27.2. I have no idea if it was like that when I was in India. I didn't knowingly update it unless it automatically updated somewhere along the way.

Sent from my iphone.

** UPDATE ** March 2017

I'm in Bangalore India now with iphone 6s plus with IOS 10.2.1 and T-Mobile Carrier version 27.2. I am happy to report that I was able to get service running with a tiny bit of work as shown below:

The default carrier I was able to roam onto was Vodafone IN. The phone should go to Vodafone when you power on.

Unfortunately, the default is LTE-enable, which did not allow me to use data. To data to work go to SETTINGS / CELLULAR / CELLULAR DATA OPTION / ENABLE LTE -- turn LTE off. Phone should now show Vodafone with 3G symbol.

I was also able to roam onto Reliance (again with LTE turn off) it showed 2G service and appeared to work as well. None of the other listed "manual" roaming partners were able to connect (though you do have to wait a bit for the connection to authenticate).

So good news - India does work, albeit at 2G speeds.

This is probably a month and half late - but here goes .....

User ckoehncke is absolutely right when saying it's a problem because of the way Apple designs their phones, then closes by saying TM should fix it. The core problem is still TM's for launching international roaming without allowing for the "lowest common denominator" of technology like ATT has done. This lack of flexibility is inexplicable. Meanwhile, Apple failed us by taking away a phone setting that gave us a work-around to the TM's lack of flexibility.

This is why I prefer Android OS, which offers a "Preferred Network" option as opposed to a hard enable/disable. I leave my Preferred Network set to LTE and when the phone radio doesn't find any LTE it shifts downward to 3G. My phone has LTE band 3 which gives me 4G speeds on Vodaphone in Chennai, Bengalure, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mubmai. I get a solid 3G signal on all other operators. I did some research on the web and figured out I don't get 4G on the other operators as they use LTE band 40 which my phone doesn't have.

On the road, all of the highways have 3G, but several areas are spotty with sudden drops. Haven't traveled to a rural area yet, but I assume you will get atleast 2G there .....

I would say a large majority of such problems reported are from Apple users - even tho they are less than half th cell fone market in the world.  Apple simply refuses to agree to follow industry standards followed by every other mfr.

  Primary example was years ago when EVERY mfr. of cell phones and other products agreed to the USB cable connection for charging.  The came out with their own charging plug forcing users to but expensive cords.  Then a few years later "obsoleted" those cords to be replaced by other expensive cords.

   The same holds tru in things like not giving TM users wifi calling.  That was not TM's fault.

I landed in Lucknow, India, yesterday, and Vodafone shows up as the local partner for T-mobile on my phones. Unfortunately, data is NOT working on either my iPhone 6 or on my Android Coolpad.  Called TMo Customer Support and they said that they could not do anything about it, and that I needed to contact Vodafone in India.  Called them and they would not help because I am not a customer of theirs (in India).

Any suggestions?

BTW, I have done all the normal troubleshooting -

- restart the phone

- manually try to select a different carrier -- none of them worked (included Aircel, IND airtel, Tata Docomo, IDEA, CellOne, IN Telenor)

The only thing that's working is TMobile on WiFi.

If I can't get TMobile to work without WiFi, I'll need to buy a local SIM instead. That would suck - needing to juggle two different number and phones.

Just found the trick (H/T @ckoehncke ) of disabling LTE under Cellular > Cellular Data Options   (on my iPhone6); I now have 3G with Vodafone IN on the iPhone.

Still trying to figure this out for the Android Coolpad phone. I don't see an option to disable LTE. The only options shown are: 3G / 2G, 3G only, and 2G only.  I get connectivity (without data) with the 3G / 2G setting; the other two don't work at all (No Service message).