'Roaming' Holiday


Active Member
Interesting observation about our cell phones.

My wife and I have cell phones with Tmobile. We have identical phones, purchased on the same day. Our phone numbers differ by only the last digit, as do the serial numbers and other unique identifiers on our phones.

What's weird, is that we're roaming outside of our normal service area (San Antonio, TX) as we are vacationing in NC. The weird part is that each phone is roaming on a different network, even when side-by-side. Mine is roaming on Verizon and the wife's on SunCom. You'd think they'd of both linked into the same network, given there similairities.

Fortuneately, we have a national plan, so our calls (as long as we stay below our minutes) are free no matter where we are in the US, but I just thought this was an intersting observation some of y'all might appreciate.

I wonder if I power them both down and restart them if they'll choose different networks or what?


One of your phones has gotten switched to the wrong carrier. Somewhere in your menu options for the phone you have a switch that allows you to select either the "A" (non-wireline) carrier or the "B" (wireline) carrier. Which one you want depends on whether or not your home carrier is the "A" or "B" carrier.
Since you are roaming you will not be able to dial *611 (or whatever your customer service number is) because you will get a NC phone company and not your home company. However, I would reccommend calling tmobile's 800# and finding out which channel you need to be on because what happens is the phone company in NC (Verizon and SunCom) sends your phone company (tmobile) a bill (this is also, btw, why roaming charges take a couple bill cycles to show up on your bill) for using their infrastructure while roaming. Tmobile has a deal with ONE of them (usually the same A or B carrier that they are) but not with the other. When you get your bill for the one they do not have a deal with it will be outrageous and there will be no talking them out of the money.

...At least this is the way it used to be back when I worked for GTE...


Active Member
The only options we have anywhere near that are network services. In that menu item, I can choose auto or manual. Going to manual lists the available networks to choose from, in this case Cingular (I thought it was Verizon for some reason) or SunCom. What's funny, is my wife's lists both as options, but mine only lists SunCom.

Anyway, I guess we'll see what happens when the billing catches-up with me. So far, the account info at the TMobile website says they were in-plan minutes... only time will tell.


Active Member

I had the same thing happen when my wife and I were in Europe this summer. We are both on TMobile and would get different carriers almost every time. We never had a problem with the roaming even though they were on different carriers.