Roaming in Alaska

I have a Samsung S8.  It working great and I loved my phone but in early Dec 2017, I stupidly did an update on the phone and since then my phone says I'm roaming and I am limited to roaming data.   I habe sent my phone into Samsung 3 times.  This last time they changed the mother board and is still says I'm roaming.   I have contacted T mobile and was told that they would get back to me within 3 days and is been 2 weeks.  I haven't try contacting T-Mobile again because my phone was with Samsung.   I got it today and I'm still roaming.   Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Best answer by tmo_chris 13 January 2018, 17:57

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Userlevel 4

Just checking in here to see if you saw my last comment to you.

Userlevel 4

Haven't heard from you in a couple days 😥 Everything okay?

I'd love to add to this.  I visited Anchorage in Oct 2017 with no problem.  Then Fairbanks in Nov without issue.  When I returned to Fairbanks in January I had service the first day or so then nothing after that.  I arrived 11 Jan and left 14 Jan. Service up until Saturday.  While I don't live in Fairbanks, I visit often enough that this is a big problem for me.

I have no service now unless there's WIFI somewhere.  I don't even have calling.  I'm on a Samsung S6. Shouldn't be an issue with 2G. I get the same exact messages as the person who posted the GCI screenshot. (No service, not registered on the network.) I don't recall an update in the day between having service and not.

There's got to be a problem whether TMobile is aware or not for Fairbanks to be the only place where my service is non-existent suddenly.

Userlevel 4

Hey @magenta4468153

GCI is our roaming partner in Fairbanks so you should be able to connect there. We are going to need to pull up your account and get a service ticket opened for you. Since you are not getting service, if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, you can use the links in my signature to send a message to our T-Force team. They will be able to get this ticket started for you so our engineers can take a peek at what is going on.

I was just in Alaska over the last weekend and my phone didn't work ANYWHERE in the state. Not even Juneau or Anchorage. I was in Cordova and had to buy a wifi pass from the local phone company. The problem is that nearly everyone else that didn't have an ATT or GCI phone had the same problem. My phone is fairly new, I just bought it in December. I got a strong signal, but got that "not on a network" error.

Userlevel 3

GCI is a roaming partner in many areas. Do you know if you have a rate plan with roaming capabilities?


I have a prepaid plan, but never had problems with roaming. I live close to the Mexican border and hit the towers there regularly with no problem.

I talked to someone else from T-mobile and they said the same thing you did, GCI usually covers T-mobile, but there must have been a problem there at the time I was there or something. I've heard other GCI people say they had problems with their phones, too, but it could have been the town. I don't know what else it could be unless I was supposed to turn something on with my phone. I also had a data plan and had the roaming option turned on. I know that prepaid phones can't do data plans internationally, but Alaska is part of the U.S.

The small town where I was actually staying the most was not covered by GCI, so that explains the lack of coverage there.

Userlevel 3

Can you tell me what prepaid plan you have? Some prepaid plans actually do not have full domestic roaming options, but it's dependent on the specific rate plan you have! 😊 If you can tell me what plan you have, or if you contact T-Force on FB or Twitter (found in my signature) they can also tell you! That said, if people who are GCI users and they didn't have coverage, it's likely GCI was having an issue or didn't have coverage in the area!


I have the $3 prepaid plan. Never had a problem in the lower 48 or near Mexico, just up there.

It doesn’t matter if you have 2g or better. I have an iPhone 10, got to Anchorage, connected to the GCI network, had full bars and LTE but I couldn’t use data. Called T-Mobile support who  me try several different things, then made me buy a $15 data plan... even after I bought the additional data package, it still didn’t work. Spent a good chuck of my vacation talking to T-Mobile support Who didn’t know the issue. Had to survive using my friends hotspot who has Virgin. I regret switching over from Virgin, mainly to take advantage of the unlimited global data, but after traveling, I’ve noticed the connectivity is so scarce that I usually have to rent. wifi device where I go. For those in Alaska, it’s not you, it’s them. And their support had no idea how to fix it.

I am currently in Anchorage. I am connecting to GCI, but I am only getting 3G calls and texts. Texts only work 1-to-1. Group texts fail. Any text with attachments/images also fails. It looks like I should be getting 4G LTE based on the coverage maps. What’s going on? Can this be fixed? I have the Essentials plan and a Moto G Power.