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Thread: Is roaming still a thing, or will it be again, in the future? My idea…

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    Is roaming still a thing, or will it be again, in the future? My idea…

    I think there have always been at least two generations of wireless connectivity in phones since a long time ago. 2G/3G, 3G/4G, and now we are looking at 4G/5G only devices, which you already see in some hotspot models.

    It appears we are moving away from roaming since 4G LTE and 5G have been defined, designed, and released.

    What if every OTHER generation was mandated to be able to roam on other carriers, while the generations between could be proprietary and kept closed.

    In my mind, this would still incentivize development of new technologies while giving better continuity of coverage from which all subscribers would benefit.


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    Those questions would best be asked to network engineers who design/implement the cellular technologies and/or the corporate executives in charge of maximizing profits for their respective companies. None of us on this forum can answer that definitively.

    No matter what their answer is, the US FCC ultimately has a tremendous influence on such decisions. They are the ones who regulate the industry and set policies that all carriers must abide by and obtain licenses from to maintain those networks.

    In the foreseeable future roaming (including domestic) will continue to exist. In some markets nationwide, some carriers don't have licensing in select markets to provide coverage on their own network and have pay for roaming from other carriers through licensing agreements.
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    Mandated inter-carrier roaming would disrupt the carrier's revenue streams. T-Mobile could hop onto AT&T or VZW whenever it loses coverage. But this could be like number portability, a disruptive change but worked out well in the end.

    The first thing to solve is to solve is all the new Roaming transactions between Carriers. Would T-Mobile go broke paying Roaming fees? Would they be allowed to restrict roaming? AT&T and VZW would perhaps break even if their clients could roam on each others network.
    It would be a lot to keep track of to keep it fair and profitable for everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tekfranz View Post
    Mandated inter-carrier roaming would disrupt the carrier's revenue streams. T-Mobile could hop onto AT&T or VZW whenever it loses coverage. But this could be like number portability, a disruptive change but worked out well in the end.

    The first thing to solve is to solve is all the new Roaming transactions between Carriers. Would T-Mobile go broke paying Roaming fees? Would they be allowed to restrict roaming? AT&T and VZW would perhaps break even if their clients could roam on each others network.
    It would be a lot to keep track of to keep it fair and profitable for everyone.
    Carriers would implement fair usage policies, much like they do for “unlimited” data usage (or they should, it’s already been done since at least 13 years ago when I was in billing/account services).

    The policies went something like this:

    1st month more than half of your minutes are roaming minutes: warning letter/email.

    2nd month: 2nd warning

    3rd month: final warning

    4th billing cycle with 50%+ minutes as roaming, services would be terminated.

    My hot take on this is if such a subscriber had 4+ months of no service, they would have cancelled anyway. Carriers (again, already done) have provisions in their contracts to waive ETFs for customers who were sold services when their address didn’t fall under coverage on the carrier’s map. (If you go on Sprint’s coverage map, at least up until last year, you could see the name of the tool we used, IMPACT.jsp, in the URL bar. This may have changed since T-Mobile takeover.

    The customers this would benefit (sustainably, at least) would simply provide a bridge or transition between areas of on-net coverage to minimize failed and dropped calls. Commuters and travelers. The primary beneficiary, in my mind, would NOT be the rural T-Mobile subscriber, using a cell phone as a landline, and a hotspot, etc.

    Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk, brainstorming out loud!


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    Is roaming still a thing, or will it be again, in the future? My idea…

    Roaming has always and is still a thing.

    Hotspot wise carriers wouldn’t want roaming for a good reason, along with why would a carrier sell a hotspot device with bands that another carrier uses?


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    Quote Originally Posted by hyelton View Post
    Roaming has always and is still a thing.

    Hotspot wise carriers wouldn’t want roaming for a good reason, along with why would a carrier sell a hotspot device with bands that another carrier uses?


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    I’ll answer that - a manufacturer whose device will inevitably end up with the carrier’s logo instead of the manufacturer’s (Inseego, primarily), that’s who. Why make 4 different models with specific/limited bands when you can make 1?

    The only thing limiting the bands the user can access is:

    1.) That specific carrier’s participation in select LTE bands, and/or

    2.) The carrier’s SIM allowing access to only that carrier’s LTE network


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    Quote Originally Posted by VoIP2TDM View Post
    I’ll answer that - a manufacturer whose device will inevitably end up with the carrier’s logo instead of the manufacturer’s (Inseego, primarily), that’s who. Why make 4 different models with specific/limited bands when you can make 1?

    The only thing limiting the bands the user can access is:

    1.) That specific carrier’s participation in select LTE bands, and/or

    2.) The carrier’s SIM allowing access to only that carrier’s LTE network


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    That’s what I was saying. I guess I shouldn’t of out a question mark there lol.


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    Quote Originally Posted by VoIP2TDM View Post

    Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk, brainstorming out loud!
    LOL. Solving the world’s problems as we say, one Ted Talk at a time.


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    Quote Originally Posted by VoIP2TDM View Post
    Carriers would implement fair usage policies, much like they do for “unlimited” data usage (or they should, it’s already been done since at least 13 years ago when I was in billing/account services).

    The policies went something like this:

    1st month more than half of your minutes are roaming minutes: warning letter/email.

    2nd month: 2nd warning

    3rd month: final warning

    4th billing cycle with 50%+ minutes as roaming, services would be terminated.

    My hot take on this is if such a subscriber had 4+ months of no service, they would have cancelled anyway. Carriers (again, already done) have provisions in their contracts to waive ETFs for customers who were sold services when their address didn’t fall under coverage on the carrier’s map. (If you go on Sprint’s coverage map, at least up until last year, you could see the name of the tool we used, IMPACT.jsp, in the URL bar. This may have changed since T-Mobile takeover.

    The customers this would benefit (sustainably, at least) would simply provide a bridge or transition between areas of on-net coverage to minimize failed and dropped calls. Commuters and travelers. The primary beneficiary, in my mind, would NOT be the rural T-Mobile subscriber, using a cell phone as a landline, and a hotspot, etc.

    Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk, brainstorming out loud!
    This is such a clever idea that you should patent and copyright it. When the carriers come to their senses and see the wisdom of your plan they would have to pay you royalties. They only have thousands of engineers and business analysts. They can't come up with every clever idea on their own.

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    Do I sense a little sarcasm??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serial Port View Post
    Do I sense a little sarcasm??
    /s

    Just a little.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    /s

    Just a little.


    Sadly, we have a lot of armchair CEO's trying to tell large corporations how they should operate.

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    You can never count on companies alone to best serve their customers without outside influence from regulatory commissions. I’m not some staunch opponent of monopolies. I’m talking about things like it taking government intervention to establish safe SAR ratings for mobile phones, allow Local Number Portability, and stop Robocalls. None of these things would benefit the company, so it would never naturally occur. Companies had to be forced.

    There were engineers and CEOs behind every single failed idea brought to market, too. Ones that never made money and operated for years at a loss. What excuse will you make for those? Don’t tell me it was a strategic loss.

    It’s a sad sight when peoples brains just shut down every time they’re in the presence of an “expert” and they take their word as gospel. It never occurs to them they’re literally being told their thoughts and feelings as consumers are invalid (e.g. “it’s a feature not a bug”, etc.)

    There’s no inventing going on in most levels of engineering. Engineers are doing what they’re told after decisions have already been made. Unless you are a distinguished engineer or fellow / associate fellow, there’s not much weight to your ideas at a public company.


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    Quote Originally Posted by tekfranz View Post
    Mandated inter-carrier roaming would disrupt the carrier's revenue streams. T-Mobile could hop onto AT&T or VZW whenever it loses coverage. But this could be like number portability, a disruptive change but worked out well in the end.

    The first thing to solve is to solve is all the new Roaming transactions between Carriers. Would T-Mobile go broke paying Roaming fees? Would they be allowed to restrict roaming? AT&T and VZW would perhaps break even if their clients could roam on each others network.
    It would be a lot to keep track of to keep it fair and profitable for everyone.
    Who says it has to be free???

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    Who says it has to be free???
    I guess I was thinking more futuristically like IOT. Devices should just hop on the nearest connection whether Wi-Fi, Satellite or Cellular, regardless of carrier. You would buy a pass to the internet and a third party would manage all the connections for you, kind of like Boingo but for cellular and satellite.

    But yes for the time being traditional roaming fees between carriers and roaming allotments would need to remain in place if there would be mandated roaming between networks.


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