international roaming in Romania

  • 19 September 2016
  • 7 replies

I am currently on a trip in Bucharest, Romania. I have had very inconsistent connections on my iPhone 6 for data but rock solid connections on my wife's iPhone 5s. Both are running iOS 9.3.5. We are on the Simple Choice plan which is supposed to give us unlimited international roaming at 2G speeds (128 kbps). The customer support people have been nice but not able to resolve the problem. They granted me a 24-hour high-speed data pass, which has now enabled my iPhone 6 to have a solid data connection, but this is not a sustainable solution. My guess is this is a link level (L1 or L2) failure at the tower near where we're staying that is preventing the 2G connectivity from being reliable. I suspect that the local partner carriers (Orange,, Vodaphone) are not very concerned about providing reliable 2G service to T-Mobile USA's customers. I have tried all the usual troubleshooting on my phone and nothing has helped other than the high speed data pass, which I am not willing to pay extra $$$ for. Has anyone had a similar experience?

7 replies

We roamed ALL OVER Romania a couple years ago - driving rental car in even fairly remote areas.  Never lost signal and Google Maps worked perfectly.  We had 2 Android phones.  Therefore, didn't encounter "oddities" some Apple users have reported here.  Apple seems to generate 2 or 3 times more problems on this board from travelers than others.  (Not many problems, tho, reported by anyone.)

  We  roamed at SOLID 110-112 Kbps.

‌Thanks, MikeT. Yes, I think you're right. The iPhones are finicky. After traveling by train from Bucharest to Sibiu I have had pretty good connections on borh iPhones. Strangely, the iPhone 5s seems more stable than the iPhone 6. Perhaps I should switch to Android. Thanks again.

One thing you might try is manually try to log on to a different network.  We've been in places where our 2 phones are on diff. networks. (Doesn't happen often.)  

One problem that sometimes occurs has to do with IPv6 and/or the APNs. It sometimes helps if you can turn off IPv6 and set the APN to but I don't think the iPhone 6 allows that.

‌Indeed. I have noticed quite often that my wife's iPhone 5s is usually connected to Telekom.RO while my iPhone 6 is usually connected to Orange when the carrier selection option is set to "Automatic". I don't know why this is. It is possible to manually select the carrier and sometimes I have found it useful to do that. Thanks again, MikeT.

Thanks, drnewcomb2. Yes, I believe this may be the reason why the iPhone 6 has been less stable than the iPhone 5s in Romania. You are right that it is not possible to change these settings on iPhones.

Userlevel 6

Hi @curtk‌, I'm glad you were able to get some helpful input from experienced users here.  How did the rest of your trip go?  Have you returned yet?  Just checking in to see if everything's going well.

- Marissa