Roam only option

davidra

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 12, 2011
413
4
Given that CDMA phones cannot turn off 3G without losing voice, it is a real problem for many (especially on Sprint) when in a low signal area. I was in a marginal area this weekend, and was roaming on Verizon with no problems. As I got closer to a Sprint signal, I could see the switch in networks with no bars. I couldn't text, or use data at all until the Sprint signal was dropped and I returned to roaming. The major problem was that I could see the battery dropping precipitously when I was in this marginal area. The phone keeps searching for its home network and burns up a lot of battery doing it. A hack on my old Pre allowed a toggle to "roam only" which worked wonderfully for this problem and conserved a significant amount of battery life. Given the closed iOs system, I imagine this will never be made available natively. Is it available when jailbroken? I keep having people say "just turn off roaming data" which misses the point entirely. I want data, I just don't want the phone constantly searching for a native signal.
 

Daveoc64

macrumors 601
Jan 16, 2008
4,057
49
Bristol, UK
Given that CDMA phones cannot turn off 3G without losing voice, it is a real problem for many (especially on Sprint) when in a low signal area. I was in a marginal area this weekend, and was roaming on Verizon with no problems. As I got closer to a Sprint signal, I could see the switch in networks with no bars. I couldn't text, or use data at all until the Sprint signal was dropped and I returned to roaming. The major problem was that I could see the battery dropping precipitously when I was in this marginal area. The phone keeps searching for its home network and burns up a lot of battery doing it. A hack on my old Pre allowed a toggle to "roam only" which worked wonderfully for this problem and conserved a significant amount of battery life. Given the closed iOs system, I imagine this will never be made available natively. Is it available when jailbroken? I keep having people say "just turn off roaming data" which misses the point entirely. I want data, I just don't want the phone constantly searching for a native signal.
As you say, iOS is a closed system and Apple favours the Carriers when making feature decisions (and allows them to disable certain features with the "Carrier Settings" file).

It is unlikely that they'd ever put in such a toggle themselves.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,878
3,413
Boston, MA
I know many (including Sprint) have clauses about customers who are always roaming anyway. Sprint specifically limits your roaming data to something like 300mb a month (it's close to that number, I don't remember what it is). They also reserve the right to terminate your contract if you are constantly using their services only while roaming. The idea, I'm sure, is that it is pretty cost prohibitive for Sprint to service a customer who is constantly roaming (read: costing Sprint more money than a customer who is not). In short, even if you could do this, I wouldn't recommend it. Your data will be limited, virtually guaranteed, and maybe worse. If you are having huge issues with Sprint try talking to their retentions. They will do anything, including crediting your account for a while. If you call them enough, they may even let you out of your ETF if you wish.
 

davidra

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 12, 2011
413
4
Realizing this is an individual issue for me, I have no problem with data limits when roaming; I just want to be able to have my battery survive weekends, when I am always in a non-Sprint area. I also realize this is a Sprint issue, but was just wondering if others have this issue. I have a decent Sprint signal at home, but I'm sure others have marginal coverage and I expect this situation dramatically decreases their battery life.
 

verwon

macrumors 68030
Jul 26, 2011
2,675
2
Seattle
No, I rarely roam, but I am in a major metropolitan area, though.

And that tweak on the Pre forced roaming all the time, even when supposed to be on the Sprint network, so there was no way to control your off network usage, other than to undo it.

As said they've gotten very picky about this now, so it's not a good idea.