Mar 2, 2003, 9:49 PM
Post #12 of 12
Synopsis of Private Message:
Re: [weburke] Additional Info Regarding T-Mobile Roaming Problem
Can't Post | Private Reply
1. With phone set to "Automatic" network selection phone does not display network provider name. Message sequence of "No Service" followed by "Emergency Service Only" displayed. Weak to moderate signal strength.
2. Use Location - Tijuana - Ensenada Corridor
3. Other users with AT&T, Nextel, Sprint, and Verizon are using roaming service.
"weburke" - Immediately to the right of "Private\n Reply" you should see "Reply" which will post your message to the forum.
Well, in a quasi-tragic turn of events, Ms. Zeta-Jones dumped me for some guy with a dedicated purpose electron-capture detector equipped gas chromatograph ("please try to understand - it sees two orders of magnitude below your spectrometer and has 1/10th the latency time....it's what I need when I'm passing gas at Manny the Mannequin...."). Only a quasi-tragedy though, as I was only really keeping her around because she knew how to program the VCR and stop it from blinking "12:00" continuously. That and I was getting sick of her getting together with her hoodlum friends, drinking all the beer in the fridge, and staying up all night trying to hack my Xserve and gain root access.
My loss is your gain, however, as I no longer have any compunction about spilling the dirt on T-Mobile. It sounds like you've got at least 1 solvable problem, plus quite possibly another which isn't, at least immediately. I haven't worked with your model of phone, but the "No Service" -> "Emergency Service Only" sequence hints that your T-Mobile account hasn't been properly provisioned to allow for international roaming. The "Emergency Service Only" message is used by a number of cellular terminal/SIM combinations when a network you're not authorized to use is the only one detected (theoretically E911 is still supposed to be accessible, henceforth the "Emergency Service Only" label). As I indicated in my original reply to you, you should switch the phone to Manual Network Selection and note the names of the network(s) detected (You'll need to wait as the phone performs a scan to locate networks. Also make sure to scroll up or down to see if there's more than one network listed). Even an <<UNKNOWN>> entry on the list is of interest here, as it indicates that the phone is detecting the presence of a network ("unknown" simply indicates that there's no entry in the phone's lookup table for the MCC/MNC combination detected). While in the Manual selection mode you can also try to manually select (imagine that....) any network detected to see if this forces the phone into roaming.
As an alternative to the "Emergency Service Only" scenario painted above, you should also be aware, that in at least one mobile phone forum, your particular brand and model of phone has also been painted as resorting to the "Emergency Service Only" tag excessively because it's got a relatively small vocabulary. If this is the case about all you can do is take solace in the fact that you really didn't want a cellphone that's more literate than you are.
Even if it turns out to be an account provisioning problem, and you get international roaming activated, you shouldn't have huge expectations at present regarding GSM cellular service. As I indicated in my first posting in this message thread, Telcel is in the very early stages of GSM deployment. Although both Tijuana and Ensenada are listed by Telcel as having GSM service, (a) like a certain US provider who's initials are AT&T, Telcel seems to be rather optimistic in their listings of areas with GSM service, and (b) my guess is that Telcel is focusing the initial stages of their deployment on the commercial cores of urban areas. In such areas you'd be more likely to find early adopters of new technologies as well as those who have the greatest interest and need for roaming services (which are worth big dollars). Additionally, in the particular case of the 3G GSM overlay, urban cores are where you'd expect to find the highest demand for the profit-generating GPRS data network, which is one of the motivators for the 3G upgrade in the first place. As it's not a major commute corridor, I wouldn't expect the actual highway connecting Tijuana to Ensenada to get GSM service until after deployments are completed in the associated cities (as well as other cities in Mexico) and/or if/when Telcel activates GSM-800 service (which won't do you any good with your existing phone).
Finally, neither Nextel, Sprint, or Verizon are using Telcel as their Mexican roaming partners, as they're using incompatible technologies (iDEN in the case of Nextel, CDMA for Sprint and Verizon). Until three days ago, AT&T was only roaming on Telcel's TDMA network, which is considerably more extensive, at present, than Telcel's GSM network. If you're dead set on getting roaming service in the Tijuana/Ensenada corridor right now, you should consult with some of these users to get their impression on the quality of their service.
Now pay David $30 USD for membership, or I'll make sure Ms. Zeta-Jones denies you service forever.....