Data roaming, does it actually work?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by zali0n, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. zali0n macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2006
    Kent, UK
    I've got a few questions, does data roaming actually work when you switch it off or do you need to be abroad?

    I've got an unlocked first gen and whenever I switch of data roaming I can see receive data. Does it simply turn off the automatic features of using data (i.e the pre-check times for Mail) or does it stop any data being transferred at all.

    I've always found even setting it to off I still recive my email etc when I haven't manually requested it.

    So basically...someone explain how the data roaming option actually works :rolleyes:
  2. iFerd macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2007
    I'm not sure what turning off data roaming does in the US. I've never thought about it since the data plan is national and there is therefore no reason to turn it off.

    I do know that when I took my iPhone to Italy last Fall and turned data roaming off for the whole time I was out of the US, I did not have any overseas data charges when I returned. I did turn the phone on from time to time, and when I had access to Wi-Fi I used that for some email and web surfing.
  3. dave006 Contributor


    Jul 3, 2008
    Just West of East
    As long as your provider and your plan support data in the location you are in data roaming has no practical benifit. If you are near the border of your country or in another country where your provider does not have service prepare for a very big bill.

    Data roaming is defined as: If you’re outside your carrier’s network, you may be able to access the Internet through another carrier. To enable email, web browsing, and other data services whenever possible, turn Data Roaming on.​
    Important: Roaming charges may apply. To avoid roaming charges, make sure Data Roaming is turned off.

    What you are describing sounds like you are confuing the ability to turn off EDGE or 3G and the easiest way would be to use "Airplane Mode" and then you could enable WiFi for Internet access if it is available.

  4. -Garry- macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    Just for extra clarity...

    'Roaming' is when you're abroad and your phone finds a compatible network in the country you're visiting from which to makes and receive phone calls/SMSs/etc

    'Data roaming' is the same, except it applies to data. So while your phone might roam onto a foreign 3G network and be able to make and receive calls, it won't receive or send any data if you turn this option off.

    The reason the option is available is because most (all?) iPhones are sold with Unlimited Data plans meaning we never pay for the data services like the Internet, E-mail, App Store, Maps, etc. When you're abroad, if your phone roams onto a foreign network you might be charged a hell of a lot of money to use those services - especially if your phone is receiving e-mail every few minutes, so you have the option to turn off data roaming.
  5. zali0n thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2006
    Kent, UK
    Ah cool I think I understand now, I always remove my APN settings anyway just to be safe. Off to Morocco soon and don't fancy a huge bill when I get back :)
  6. fedup flyer macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2008
    Yes, the data roaming OFF switch does work as advertised. I travel all over the world and I use my international data plan very sparingly.

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