What is Data Roaming?

Everything you need to know.

Reading time: about 3 minutes

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At a glance

Understand what data roaming is and why it’s important.

Discover when you should have data roaming on and off.

Enjoy free data roaming for Metro by T-Mobile customers.

Welcome to Data Roaming 101

For Metro by T-Mobile customers, data roaming isn’t usually top of mind. That’s because Metro customers get free domestic data roaming. But what does that mean? Here's what you need to know about data roaming—when and where it matters.

Data roaming meaning

Data roaming” is when you use data while you’re located outside of the network coverage area of your carrier. With it, you can connect to another carrier’s network and still access the internet, send messages, and make calls.

Why does it matter?

Metro customers enjoy free domestic data roaming. But some carriers could charge you up to double or triple your usual rate if you “roam” outside of your coverage area—which could lead to big surprises on your bill if you’re not a pre-paid customer.

Should data roaming be on or off?

It depends. If you're in an area with reliable coverage, you won't need to enable data roaming. (Tip: You can check Metro’s coverage map ahead of time).

Let’s look at 3 scenarios where you might consider turning your data roaming on:

1.  Moving

Make sure your current network has coverage in your new area. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to rely on domestic roaming to stay connected on moving day and while you find a new provider.

2.  Going camping (or other remote travel)

Find out if your network covers the area you’re visiting, especially if it’s rural or remote. If it doesn’t, consider turning on data roaming. As a fail-safe, consider ways to prepare to rely on offline navigation and emergency communication.

3.  Travelling internationally

International travel always requires data roaming if you want to get online without Wi-Fi. It's important to plan ahead and explore your options to avoid surprises.

Free domestic and affordable international roaming

Metro by T-Mobile offers free domestic roaming to all of our customers. Stay connected without worrying about additional data fees when you’re moving or traveling remotely within the U.S. And when you’re headed abroad, we have international plans that start at just $5 a month. These plans offer fixed rates for data usage in select countries, so you can stay connected without breaking the bank.

Bottom line: Plan ahead

Avoid the surprise of finding out your phone doesn’t have data when you travel. By planning ahead you can:

  • Find out if you get free data roaming (domestic or international)
  • Check Metro’s coverage map in advance
  • Purchase an affordable international plan if necessary

Now go get roaming!

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