Question

International roaming / India - has issues

  • 19 September 2021
  • 37 replies
  • 11441 views

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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.


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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.

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.

 

A quick follow-up:
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)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.frostnerd.smokescreen

and now have working internet over mobile data on my phone when it is enabled.

 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)

 

 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 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).

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.

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.

 

To get better help in this forum, please mention (a) the device and model you are using, (b) Data roaming and other settings in your device, (c) in Coimbatore, at your location, does your device get any signal (how many bars) with Vodafone India or another provider?

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.

 

To get better help in this forum, please mention (a) the device and model you are using, (b) Data roaming and other settings in your device, (c) in Coimbatore, at your location, does your device get any signal (how many bars) with Vodafone India or another provider?

 

I am using Pixel 6 with roaming turned ON. I get full strength signal with Vi India (only EDGE, no 4G/5G) here in Coimbatore.

 

Assuming help ticket and customer service of TMobile has not resolved this for you…

 

Try the following with Pixel 6, if its settings in India allow these:

 

Settings : Network & internet : SIMs : Mobile Data (On) 

Settings : Network & internet : SIMs : Roaming (On)

Check also Data Warning & limit : Turn off, or clear any data limit

if your phone has multiple SIMs (eSim), ensure that your TMobile sim is active for data. See PIxel 6 manual on how to reset default SIM preference for Data, Calls and Texts.

After setting all this, power off your phone, wait 30 seconds, reboot your phone.

 

I use iPhone. The above is based on a friend’s comment who uses Google Pixel. Good luck ji.

 

@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.

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 !

 

 

 

 

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