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Thread: FAQ: Why does my handset say roaming? and other similar questions

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    FAQ: Why does my handset say roaming? and other similar questions

    The purpose of this FAQ is to explain why Fido customers’ handsets indicate roaming, why a different network name may be displayed, and why Nokia Custom Operator Logos no longer function, as well as talking a bit about battery life. The information contained herein is accurate to the best of my knowledge as of 31/01/2006.

    Technical Background

    I will begin with a bit of technical knowledge which will better help explain the rest of this article.

    As with anything in the world, GSM networks need to be identifiable and differentiated from one another. All GSM networks have what is called a ‘network code’. This five or six digit number is how your phone identifies the network, and is comprised of two parts: the MCC and the MNC.

    MCC stands for Mobile Country Code and is a three digit number. Like the title implies, it identifies what country a network is in. Therefore, all networks in the same country will have the same MCC. Canada’s MCC is 302, the US is 310, the UK is 234, Israel is 425, and so on.

    MNC stands for Mobile Network Code and is a two or three digit number, which is used to identify the network in a particular country. Fido (Microcell) was the first GSM network in Canada, and its network code is/was 370. Rogers' network code is 720.

    Therefore, we have Fido at 302-370 and Rogers at 302-720.

    Network Integration

    Shortly after Rogers bought Fido, they stared a process called Network Integration. Since it would be costly for them to run two different networks, Rogers integrated the original Microcell/Fido network (302-370) into its own Rogers Wireless network (302-720), and then went in and removed redundant towers.

    As it stands right now, there is only one* network in the Canadian provinces – The Rogers Wireless Network (302-720). The Microcell/Fido (302-370) network no longer exists.

    *Up north in the territories, there is a new GSM provider called ICE Wireless. They run their own GSM network at 1900MHz with a network code of 302-620.

    I’m a Fido customer, and my phone is displaying a roaming triangle or other indicator. Am I really roaming? Will I be charged extra?

    As mentioned above, Rogers has integrated the Fido network into its own and provides both Rogers Wireless and Fido services from its own network.

    The reason your phone shows a roaming icon is because technically, you are. All GSM SIM cards can be programmed with a home network code, which is the network it always looks for and in which the roaming icon will not display. Fido SIM cards, both old and new are still programmed with the original Fido network code of 302-370 as their home network. Since only the Rogers network exists now, the phone obviously cannot find the original Fido network and attempts to register on the Rogers network (which it does). Since the network you are using (302-720) is not the same as the home network programmed in the SIM (302-370), the phone says you are roaming. It is possible for Fido to reprogram the home network to 302-720 using an OTA (Over-the-air) SIM update which will eliminate the roaming indicator. They have not done so as of yet.

    You will not be charged extra if you are using your phone in Fido’s original digital coverage area.

    What is this Fido’s Original Digital Coverage Area you speak of?

    Prior to the Rogers buyout, Fido had a much smaller coverage area than Rogers. When Rogers integrated the networks and in order to keep Fido marketed as the cheaper option, they zoned the network into two.

    There is the Fido Basic Zone, which is comprised of essentially the original Fido coverage footprint. This covers all major urban centres. There are no additional charges, barring long distance, to use your phone in these areas.

    Areas which were never covered by Fido originally are apart of the Fido Expanded Zone. This includes certain fringe areas and highway corridors. There are additional charges for using your phone in these areas. It is 25c per minute billed by the second as a pay-per-use option, and is available as an add-on to most plans for $5/month. Certain plans include it for free if you sign a Fido agreement.

    The system which Rogers has implemented for checking which zone you are in is not the best but it’s all we have for now. To check which zone you are in: Dial *#123# [SEND]. Your phone will display something like “Requesting….” Or “Please Wait…..” and then one of the following messages will appear:

    Fido Basic Network – This means you are in the basic zone and no additional charges will apply.

    Fido Expanded Network – This means you are in the expanded network and calls will cost 25c per minute extra.

    NO TARIFF AREA INFORMATION AVAILABLE – This means that you either pay for the $5/month option or have it included in your plan. No additional charges for you.

    INCORRECT SYNTAX FOR TARIFF AREA INTERROGATION – This means you dialled the 123 part of the code right, but made a mistake on the * or #. (i.e. you dialled *123#, #123#, ##123# etc.)

    Please note that the roaming indicator (if your phone has one) will always be on regardless of the zone you are in so do not use it to indicate whether you are roaming or not.

    Both the basic and expanded network use 1900MHz and 850MHz everywhere.

    Why does my phone not say Fido, or why does one of my phones say Fido and the other say something else?

    The network name on the display is referred to as the Operator Logo and its purpose if to tell you the name of the network you are using. There are many different ways of displaying it. Some phones will display it from a database in the SIM card. Others will use a database in the phone itself. Others will use a network name transmitted by the network itself. What you see on your phone’s display will depend on your phone, its firmware, whether or not it is and official Fido phone, and your SIM card revision.

    Newer Fido-branded phones and Fido SIM cards have programmed the Rogers network (which Fido operates on) to display as Fido, while some older phones, non-Fido phones and older SIM cards may say Rogers. This is a list of all the possible names you may see on your handset display:

    Fido
    FIDO
    Microcell
    MCELL
    ROGERS
    ROGERS AT&T
    Rogers Wireless
    ROGERS WIRELESS
    ROGERS AT&T WIRELESS
    Rogers AT&T Wireless
    CAN ROGERS
    CAN Rogers Wireless
    CAN Rogers AT&T
    302-72
    302-720
    CAN-72
    CAN-720

    All of these refer to the same network. Some SIM cards have what is called a ‘2nd line operator logo’ and may display Fido, FIDO, or www.fido.ca underneath the first line. This is not important. What is important is if you see something else in your handset display such as Cingular, T-Mobile, O2 – UK, vodafone AU, Orange, IL Celcom etc, that you are in fact roaming and charges will apply. If your phone is one that says a variant of Rogers AT&T Wireless, be careful when travelling near the border as your phone may switch to the US signal and say just AT&T Wireless. This is not the same network and roaming charges apply.

    I have a Nokia phone and cannot get my blank or customised operator logo to show. Why is that?

    Nokia phones have a feature in which you can download a small image (or blank image) and use it to replace the network name on the home screen. Many people like to use a blank image to hide the network name so they can see their lovely wallpaper without disruption.

    However, if you try and set an operator logo now, you will be greeted with a message along the lines of ‘Logo cannot be shown while abroad’. The reason for this is Nokia designed the feature so you can only replace the operator text while you are on your home network. This is so when you travel and roam onto a different network, you will know just by looking at your display. As mentioned in the previous section, your phone is now technically roaming on the Rogers network 24/7/365. The phone therefore cannot show you your custom logo because of this. The only way for this issue to be resolved is if Fido sends an OTA update to all SIM cards telling them that Rogers (302-720) is now the home network. They have not done this as of yet and may never end up doing it. Do not call into Fido CS or TS regarding this as there is nothing they can do for you at the present time.

    OK, since I’m ‘roaming’ all the time now, will this affect my battery life?

    Your may experience slightly worse battery life. When you are roaming, you are not using your home network. In the GSM standard, when you are not using your home network, additional charges usually apply, so all phones will periodically search for their home network in order to minimise potential costs for the user. Since the Fido network does not exist anymore yet is still set as the home network on the SIM, your phone will still try to find it. This does take additional battery life, but there are some steps you can take to avoid this.

    If you use a Motorola phone, there is an option in the Network Setup menu called Speed. This option defines how often the phone seeks out a network higher in the list on your preferred networks list (home network being on top) as well as how quickly the phone will look for a signal when it enters a no service area. Set it to Slow.

    For all phones, you can go into your network settings and turn on Manual Network Selection. Tell it to search for networks and then when it comes back select Fido or Rogers or whatever it says. Your phone will now be locked on the Rogers/Fido network and will not search for any other network. Remember that if you travel to the US or overseas, to put your phone back on Automatic Network Selection or manually select another network to roam on.

    ------------ END -------------

    If there are any errors, omissions, corrections or additions to this FAQ, please do not hesitate to PM me so I can change it.

  2. #2
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    Fido... I mean rogers...whatever it's all the same
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    wow... good job!

    copied in facts thread

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    ^5 Nice post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcomp11
    The purpose of this FAQ is to explain why Fido customers’ handsets indicate roaming, why a different network name may be displayed, and why Nokia Custom Operator Logos no longer function, as well as talking a bit about battery life. The information contained herein is accurate to the best of my knowledge as of 31/01/2006.

    Technical Background

    I will begin with a bit of technical knowledge which will better help explain the rest of this article.

    As with anything in the world, GSM networks need to be identifiable and differentiated from one another. All GSM networks have what is called a ‘network code’. This five or six digit number is how your phone identifies the network, and is comprised of two parts: the MCC and the MNC.

    MCC stands for Mobile Country Code and is a three digit number. Like the title implies, it identifies what country a network is in. Therefore, all networks in the same country will have the same MCC. Canada’s MCC is 302, the US is 310, the UK is 234, Israel is 425, and so on.

    MNC stands for Mobile Network Code and is a two or three digit number, which is used to identify the network in a particular country. Fido (Microcell) was the first GSM network in Canada, and its network code is/was 370. Rogers' network code is 720.

    Therefore, we have Fido at 302-370 and Rogers at 302-720.

    Network Integration

    Shortly after Rogers bought Fido, they stared a process called Network Integration. Since it would be costly for them to run two different networks, Rogers integrated the original Microcell/Fido network (302-370) into its own Rogers Wireless network (302-720), and then went in and removed redundant towers.

    As it stands right now, there is only one* network in the Canadian provinces – The Rogers Wireless Network (302-720). The Microcell/Fido (302-370) network no longer exists.

    *Up north in the territories, there is a new GSM provider called ICE Wireless. They run their own GSM network at 1900MHz with a network code of 302-620.

    I’m a Fido customer, and my phone is displaying a roaming triangle or other indicator. Am I really roaming? Will I be charged extra?

    As mentioned above, Rogers has integrated the Fido network into its own and provides both Rogers Wireless and Fido services from its own network.

    The reason your phone shows a roaming icon is because technically, you are. All GSM SIM cards can be programmed with a home network code, which is the network it always looks for and in which the roaming icon will not display. Fido SIM cards, both old and new are still programmed with the original Fido network code of 302-370 as their home network. Since only the Rogers network exists now, the phone obviously cannot find the original Fido network and attempts to register on the Rogers network (which it does). Since the network you are using (302-720) is not the same as the home network programmed in the SIM (302-370), the phone says you are roaming. It is possible for Fido to reprogram the home network to 302-720 using an OTA (Over-the-air) SIM update which will eliminate the roaming indicator. They have not done so as of yet.

    You will not be charged extra if you are using your phone in Fido’s original digital coverage area.

    What is this Fido’s Original Digital Coverage Area you speak of?

    Prior to the Rogers buyout, Fido had a much smaller coverage area than Rogers. When Rogers integrated the networks and in order to keep Fido marketed as the cheaper option, they zoned the network into two.

    There is the Fido Basic Zone, which is comprised of essentially the original Fido coverage footprint. This covers all major urban centres. There are no additional charges, barring long distance, to use your phone in these areas.

    Areas which were never covered by Fido originally are apart of the Fido Expanded Zone. This includes certain fringe areas and highway corridors. There are additional charges for using your phone in these areas. It is 25c per minute billed by the second as a pay-per-use option, and is available as an add-on to most plans for $5/month. Certain plans include it for free if you sign a Fido agreement.

    The system which Rogers has implemented for checking which zone you are in is not the best but it’s all we have for now. To check which zone you are in: Dial *#123# [SEND]. Your phone will display something like “Requesting….” Or “Please Wait…..” and then one of the following messages will appear:

    Fido Basic Network – This means you are in the basic zone and no additional charges will apply.

    Fido Expanded Network – This means you are in the expanded network and calls will cost 25c per minute extra.

    NO TARIFF AREA INFORMATION AVAILABLE – This means that you either pay for the $5/month option or have it included in your plan. No additional charges for you.

    INCORRECT SYNTAX FOR TARIFF AREA INTERROGATION – This means you dialled the 123 part of the code right, but made a mistake on the * or #. (i.e. you dialled *123#, #123#, ##123# etc.)

    Please note that the roaming indicator (if your phone has one) will always be on regardless of the zone you are in so do not use it to indicate whether you are roaming or not.

    Both the basic and expanded network use 1900MHz and 850MHz everywhere.

    Why does my phone not say Fido, or why does one of my phones say Fido and the other say something else?

    The network name on the display is referred to as the Operator Logo and its purpose if to tell you the name of the network you are using. There are many different ways of displaying it. Some phones will display it from a database in the SIM card. Others will use a database in the phone itself. Others will use a network name transmitted by the network itself. What you see on your phone’s display will depend on your phone, its firmware, whether or not it is and official Fido phone, and your SIM card revision.

    Newer Fido-branded phones and Fido SIM cards have programmed the Rogers network (which Fido operates on) to display as Fido, while some older phones, non-Fido phones and older SIM cards may say Rogers. This is a list of all the possible names you may see on your handset display:

    Fido
    FIDO
    Microcell
    MCELL
    ROGERS
    ROGERS AT&T
    Rogers Wireless
    ROGERS WIRELESS
    ROGERS AT&T WIRELESS
    Rogers AT&T Wireless
    CAN ROGERS
    CAN Rogers Wireless
    CAN Rogers AT&T
    302-72
    302-720
    CAN-72
    CAN-720

    All of these refer to the same network. Some SIM cards have what is called a ‘2nd line operator logo’ and may display Fido, FIDO, or www.fido.ca underneath the first line. This is not important. What is important is if you see something else in your handset display such as Cingular, T-Mobile, O2 – UK, vodafone AU, Orange, IL Celcom etc, that you are in fact roaming and charges will apply. If your phone is one that says a variant of Rogers AT&T Wireless, be careful when travelling near the border as your phone may switch to the US signal and say just AT&T Wireless. This is not the same network and roaming charges apply.

    I have a Nokia phone and cannot get my blank or customised operator logo to show. Why is that?

    Nokia phones have a feature in which you can download a small image (or blank image) and use it to replace the network name on the home screen. Many people like to use a blank image to hide the network name so they can see their lovely wallpaper without disruption.

    However, if you try and set an operator logo now, you will be greeted with a message along the lines of ‘Logo cannot be shown while abroad’. The reason for this is Nokia designed the feature so you can only replace the operator text while you are on your home network. This is so when you travel and roam onto a different network, you will know just by looking at your display. As mentioned in the previous section, your phone is now technically roaming on the Rogers network 24/7/365. The phone therefore cannot show you your custom logo because of this. The only way for this issue to be resolved is if Fido sends an OTA update to all SIM cards telling them that Rogers (302-720) is now the home network. They have not done this as of yet and may never end up doing it. Do not call into Fido CS or TS regarding this as there is nothing they can do for you at the present time.

    OK, since I’m ‘roaming’ all the time now, will this affect my battery life?

    Your may experience slightly worse battery life. When you are roaming, you are not using your home network. In the GSM standard, when you are not using your home network, additional charges usually apply, so all phones will periodically search for their home network in order to minimise potential costs for the user. Since the Fido network does not exist anymore yet is still set as the home network on the SIM, your phone will still try to find it. This does take additional battery life, but there are some steps you can take to avoid this.

    If you use a Motorola phone, there is an option in the Network Setup menu called Speed. This option defines how often the phone seeks out a network higher in the list on your preferred networks list (home network being on top) as well as how quickly the phone will look for a signal when it enters a no service area. Set it to Slow.

    For all phones, you can go into your network settings and turn on Manual Network Selection. Tell it to search for networks and then when it comes back select Fido or Rogers or whatever it says. Your phone will now be locked on the Rogers/Fido network and will not search for any other network. Remember that if you travel to the US or overseas, to put your phone back on Automatic Network Selection or manually select another network to roam on.

    ------------ END -------------

    If there are any errors, omissions, corrections or additions to this FAQ, please do not hesitate to PM me so I can change it.

    Isnt there a SIM-card editor you can hook to a PC, insert your SIM, and edit or change details such as defined above (home network code, etc.)?
    TWTA -<T>ill <W>e <T>ype <A>gain.

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    Good thanks.

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    thanx uve just helped me with my Lg problem*))
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    Great post, Thanks. I thought I accidentally set it to roam when I was playing around with the settings a few days ago. But then what happens/how will I know if I'm actually am roaming?

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    So all these years since the Rogers buyout and the stupid roaming logo still remains on any phone I've owned... same with the retarded lack of voicemail icon.

    Are they ever going to fix the roaming thing? I have an old SIM from 1997 so it always says Rogers Wireless. I don't care about that, but the roaming thing is a hassle, especially if you wander in the expanded zone.

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    10x for solving my year-old headacke

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    Do You know if the Fido & Rogers zones are now merged into a single coverage area now included with the new plans? Or is there still a 25c/minute or $5/month expanded network fee applicable if you take a new plan?

    I thought I had seen mention of it now being 35c/minute but I can't find it now.

    Currently on $20/200 and paying 25c, if the zones are not merged, is the $5/month add-on still available to me?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gertie
    Do You know if the Fido & Rogers zones are now merged into a single coverage area now included with the new plans? Or is there still a 25c/minute or $5/month expanded network fee applicable if you take a new plan?

    I thought I had seen mention of it now being 35c/minute but I can't find it now.

    Currently on $20/200 and paying 25c, if the zones are not merged, is the $5/month add-on still available to me?
    I just signed up for the $5/month option as I may be travelling/needing my phone in the expanded area, so those policies do seem to still exist.....I think maybe they should compromise n just raise every Fido bill by $2.50 and throw out the expanded idea.

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    I believe that the new Fido plans (with no SAF/911 fees) has the expanded network for free.
    Unlimited Fido Data Plan: Netgear Aircard LTE Mobile Hotspot

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcomp11
    The system which Rogers has implemented for checking which zone you are in is not the best but it’s all we have for now. To check which zone you are in: Dial *#123# [SEND]. Your phone will display something like “Requesting….” Or “Please Wait…..” and then one of the following messages will appear:

    NO TARIFF AREA INFORMATION AVAILABLE – This means that you either pay for the $5/month option or have it included in your plan. No additional charges for you.
    I wanted to mention that if your phone is on 3G, it will also say "No Tariff Area information Available" but does not mean that the expanded network is included in your plan (or that you are paying $5/month for the expanded network).

    I tried this on my unbranded N95-4 forced the network to GSM and it would tell me that I'm in the Fido Zone. Standing in the exact same spot and issuing the network command again on the same phone but this time with the network set to 3G, it would say "No Tariff Area Information Available". I am not subscribed to the $5/month option and my plan does not include using the expanded network for "free".

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    how to fix it

    my phone message says incorrect syntax for area tarrif interrogation so it says something different

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    did they stop the 3G network or is it still going or why doesnt the message change. i want to use my free roaming on the extended network for when i go to the states.

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