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Thread: Internation roaming in France, trip report.

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    Internation roaming in France, trip report.

    We just got back from France, where we used both T-Mobile international roaming (free texting and data) and a local SIM card (in another phone) from free.
    Here's how things went:

    - Our T-Mobile phone (actually Harbor Mobile, but technically the same as T-Mobile) was roaming using Orange, and had great data (slow, but good enough for google maps, facebook messenger etc), and we could receive texts, but we were unable to send texts (tried all the possible prefixing, and responding to incoming texts, with always the same error, tried it in two different phones with the same results). We were able to communicate using facebook messenger over data, but that's not quite the same as texting. The coverage was very good: we had data even in the middle of nowhere, in a mountainous area in central France. We didn't try to call using this phone as that would have been somewhat expensive.
    I called the T-Mobile support number about sending texts, they claimed all was OK on their side.

    - Our free phones (free is a french mobile provider) had good text/voice, but data was atrocious. We barely got 3G speeds and coverage was quite bad. Our phones were ATT iphone 5's so perhaps the LTE bands used by free isn't compatible with the ones supported by the phone.

    If sending text had worked, then T-Mobile would have been a great solution (except for the lack of voice). But I would not recommend going with Free when in France.

    I'm wondering if anybody has encountered the same texting problem while roaming in France, and if they found a solution...

    Jean

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    Did you check the SMSC number in your phone?
    Donald Newcomb

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    My wife had texting issues similar to yours on her recent trip to Ireland with a LG F6. She never figured it out, but I don't think she really tried very hard. She never contacted T-Mobile or even me (tech support) about the issue until she got back. She just made a bunch of $.20/minute calls. Good data too.

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    I had no problems using a Verizon iPhone 5S with t-mobile sim in Paris back in February 2015.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    Did you check the SMSC number in your phone?
    AH! I suspected there was a setting somewhere that was wrong, but I had never heard of the SMSC, I just read about it, and that could easily have been the culprit (a bad format for example, missing the international prefix). Unfortunately, since we're no longer in France, we have no way to verify whether the SMSC was wrong or not. I'll take a look at its value, and report back. Perhaps someone for whom international texting worked can report what their value is, and we can see whether they're the same or not...

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    Texting back to the USA was perfect for me in Sete, Monpellier, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Nice and Paris this past May using the Orange France network. We were using our unlocked Moto X XT1053 GSM phones with T-Mobile SIMs. Data was fine at 3G speeds.

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    As a follow-up, my wife said that texting worked fine in Ireland to her friends USA devices on various Irish roaming partners, but she couldn't text local Ireland numbers in or out. It sounds like a simple setting was wrong, but strangely, she had no problem calling the same local numbers in or out.

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    Had no problems with T Mobile texting or calling in UK, Ireland, Belgium and France with TMobile in Aug 2014. Both calling back to US and within those countries. Also, had no problems in UK and the Netherlands in March 2015 both calling and texting.

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    Some people have reported problems sending texts to mobile numbers in Austria.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeanl View Post
    AH! I suspected there was a setting somewhere that was wrong, but I had never heard of the SMSC, I just read about it, and that could easily have been the culprit (a bad format for example, missing the international prefix). Unfortunately, since we're no longer in France, we have no way to verify whether the SMSC was wrong or not. I'll take a look at its value, and report back. Perhaps someone for whom international texting worked can report what their value is, and we can see whether they're the same or not...
    I tried to read the SMSC number of our phone, but I haven't been able to so far. Tried the *#*#4636#*#* method, with no success. Tried the Advanced Signal Status app, but phone needs to be rooted and it isn't. So, so far I'm unable to determine what the SMSC number is on the SIM card... Any pointers would be appreciated.

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    Did you mention what model phone you have? On my Avant the SMSC is listed under the Message Settings -> Text messages. The number is "+12063130004" but I don't see how it can be changed on this model phone.

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    It's a MotoG 2nd generation. There's no Message Settings menus on this phone, and *#*#4636#*#* does not work.... There's no urgency here as we're back from our trip, but I'd like it to work the next time we go there...

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    Free is a MVNO of Orange. Coverage should have been the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeanl View Post
    We just got back from France, where we used both T-Mobile international roaming (free texting and data) and a local SIM card (in another phone) from free.
    Here's how things went:

    - Our T-Mobile phone (actually Harbor Mobile, but technically the same as T-Mobile) was roaming using Orange, and had great data (slow, but good enough for google maps, facebook messenger etc), and we could receive texts, but we were unable to send texts (tried all the possible prefixing, and responding to incoming texts, with always the same error, tried it in two different phones with the same results). We were able to communicate using facebook messenger over data, but that's not quite the same as texting. The coverage was very good: we had data even in the middle of nowhere, in a mountainous area in central France. We didn't try to call using this phone as that would have been somewhat expensive.
    I called the T-Mobile support number about sending texts, they claimed all was OK on their side.

    - Our free phones (free is a french mobile provider) had good text/voice, but data was atrocious. We barely got 3G speeds and coverage was quite bad. Our phones were ATT iphone 5's so perhaps the LTE bands used by free isn't compatible with the ones supported by the phone.

    If sending text had worked, then T-Mobile would have been a great solution (except for the lack of voice). But I would not recommend going with Free when in France.

    I'm wondering if anybody has encountered the same texting problem while roaming in France, and if they found a solution...

    Jean
    How were you able to get Free? Do you need a French credit card and address?


    via the HoFo App

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    Quote Originally Posted by nclh7 View Post
    Free is a MVNO of Orange. Coverage should have been the same.
    Free is not a MVNO, they are a full MNO, running their own network. They do have a roaming agreement with Orange for the areas in which they do not have towers.

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