Why Is My Phone Roaming At Home? 6 Quick Tips To Fix

Normally, your phone shouldn’t enter roaming mode when you are within your network coverage area. But there are times when your phone automatically switches to roaming mode even when you are well within your network coverage area. 

When this happens, it could mean two things. There are some configurations you need to switch on your phone. Or it could be an issue with your carrier and you need to contact their customer support to fix the issue. 

If your phone is in roaming mode when you are home, this post is for you. You will understand why your phone is roaming at home and ways to fix the issue without spending a dime. 

What Is Call/ Data Roaming

Call or data roaming occurs when your phone is outside your carrier’s network coverage area. What happens is that your phone automatically connects to another network. With the roaming feature, you can always use your wireless data, send text messages, and make calls when you are outside your carrier’s network coverage area. 

Roaming can happen when you are within or outside the country. But most times, roaming is usually activated when you are outside the country. Note that your phone doesn’t just connect to any random network when it’s roaming. Rather, it connects to a network that has a roaming partnership deal with your home network. 

How To Know Your Phone Is Roaming?

One common way to know that your phone is in roaming mode is that you will see the letter ‘R’ on display on your phone signal bar. Also, when your phone is roaming, it may affect your network reception. Finally, you may notice an additional charge on your call plan for no apparent reason, especially for international roaming. 

Note that unlike what most people think, roaming doesn’t use more battery power. So it doesn’t after your battery usage. You only have to worry about the issues mentioned earlier when your phone is roaming. That is low network reception and additional charges.  

Why Is My Phone Roaming At Home?

There are several reasons why your phone is roaming at home. Below is a breakdown of the possible reasons:

a. Failure To Turn Off Roaming Option

It could be that you manually activated roaming mode on your phone at one point and forgot to deactivate it. Normally, roaming is activated automatically and once you get back to an area with your carrier’s network coverage it deactivates automatically too. 

But there are instances where you have to manually activate the roaming feature on your phone. What happens is that, when you are back to an area within your home network’s coverage, you have to deactivate the setting manually too. 

Failure to deactivate the roaming option will keep your phone on roaming mode even when you are home. 

b. Outdated Firmware

A phone with outdated firmware may not be able to update its list of network IDs. If there is a change in a network’s ID, the phone with an outdated firmware may continue to connect to the old service network’s ID and this can activate the roaming mode when connected to your home network. 

c. Issue With Your Network Tower

Also, it could be that you are in an area where the towers available use network technologies and spectrum frequencies different from the one programmed in your SIM. In that instance, your phone activates roaming to find a compatible frequency. 

To break it down, it could be that the towers in your area are programmed to broadcast an MNC and MCC different from the one programmed in your SIM. This will activate roaming mode on your phone. 

d. Connecting To A Faulty Carrier

Finally, if you connect to a carrier that has issues with more than one network carrier.

6 Ways To Fix Phone Roaming At Home

Thankfully, fixing the roaming at home issue doesn’t require any technical skills. These are some of the possible tips to fix the roaming issue:

a. Restart Your Phone

The first thing to do when you notice your phone is roaming is to restart your phone. Turn off your phone, remove the SIM card from the SIM tray. Wait for a couple of minutes, place back the SIM card and turn on your phone. More times than not, this should fix the issue. If it doesn’t fix the issue, try the other tips below. 

b. Update Your Phone’s Firmware

Updating your phone’s firmware can fix the roaming issue. Most phone manufacturers release firmware updates periodically. If you have to always check to ensure you update to the newest firmware version. To do this,

  • Connect your phone to a wireless network. 
  • Tap on the ‘Settings’ icon on your phone.
  • Scroll down to ‘About Phone’ and select ‘Check for Updates‘.
  • If there is a new version available tap on ‘Install System Software’. For some phones, the option will display ‘ Install Now, Reboot and Install’. 

c. Turn Off Roaming Manually

Another option is to turn off the roaming option on your phone. Follow the steps below to turn off roaming on an IOS and Android Phone.

Turn Off Roaming On IOS Phone

  • Tap on the ‘Settings’ icon.
  • Select the ‘Cellular data/ Mobile data’ option.
  • Select the option to Turn off Cellular data’.
  • Go to ‘Cellular Data Options’ and select ‘Turn off Data Roaming’.

Turn Off Roaming On Android Phone

  • Tap on the ‘Settings’ icon.
  • Select ‘Wireless & Networks/ Connections’
  • Tap on ‘Mobile Networks’
  • Select ‘Turn off Data Roaming’.

d. Update ROM On Your Phone

If the ROM in your phone is a custom ROM, always make sure it is up to date. 

Also, check for bugs in the ROM because bugs on the ROM can affect your phone’s network connectivity. Check the video below on how to update custom ROM on Android. 

e. Search And Connect To Home Network

Another option is to manually search for and connect to your home network. Follow the steps below to complete the process.

  • Tap on the ‘Settings’ icon.
  • Select ‘Wireless & Networks/ Connections’
  • Tap on ‘Mobile Networks’
  • Select ‘Network operators’
  • Select your ‘Home Network’. 

f. Contact Customer Support

If you’ve tried all the options listed here and none have worked so far, it’s time to call in the big dogs. Contact your Carrier’s tech support. The support tech should help you identify and rectify the issue.